Hello everyone and happy “Purple Up!” Day! That’s right, its that time of year again, the Month of the Military Child! And here with us today to celebrate is a friend of mine, Kassie Angle! I hope you enjoy our interview!
1. What is your favorite thing about being a Military Kid?
Everything...?? Yep, everything. 😉 I’ve known nothing different. Getting to move so often and see so many places is really amazing. I can’t imagine staying in one place my whole life. All the opportunities we’d never have had otherwise. The Army is a really strong community and knowing that our Army family will always be there for us is something I wouldn’t change for the world.
2. What is your least favorite thing about being a Military Kid?
Changes. Goodbyes. DEPLOYMENTS. Worrying about my dad getting killed. Ya know, those things that come with the territory but never get easier.
3. Name a few things you think people often forget about Military Kids?
We love it. We really do. When I was younger I never liked people thanking me for my service or sacrifice because...well, that’s just not how I felt. For one, I didn’t have a say in it (our family’s favorite analogy for Army kids is getting drafted), and for two, I loved this crazy life too much to think of it that way. Nowadays I can appreciate that more, but the truth is, no matter how hard it gets, we still love it.
And we don’t fit in anywhere else. Sometimes folks presume we’d be glad to be out of the Army now...but the Army is home. Anywhere else is way out of our comfort zone!
4. Where was your favorite base to live at? Why?
Ft. Hood. All the way. People deploy constantly from Ft. Hood, and there are thousands of people living there...so it kinda gets a bad rap. But it is an amazing place to live. Everybody’s in the same boat, and everybody knows it. If your dad’s deployed, so is everyone else’s. The community that builds is beautiful! (And Central Texas is physically beautiful, too... 😉) Knowing anyone will watch your back, just because we’re all Army—that everyone “gets it.” And with BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area), the cavalry shows, the greatest FRGs (Family Readiness Group) in the world...the Army takes good care of its people. And the PX (Post Exchange; it’s like a store on base) there is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Sometimes we want to go to Ft. Hood just to go to the PX!
5. Name a Base you would have liked to visit.
Somewhere I still have my list of posts in Virginia along with the Civil War battlefields nearest to each one...! 😉 I would’ve given just about anything to get stationed in VA. But my number one would definitely be Landstuhl. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is the first stop for soldiers MEDEVACed (Medical evacuation) out of war zones, and there is an organization there called Soldiers’ Angels that I would love to volunteer with.
6. Anything else you think we should know about Military Kids?
Even the little kids understand more about Army life than you’d guess. Trust me on that. Looking back, it surprises me a little just how much I did understand at four and five. I don’t ever remember being taught that soldiers were killed in war, or that you salute the flag going down. And as I got older, seeing little friends with that same understanding that’s almost instinctual...I don’t know. That probably didn’t make any sense. 😉
And contrary to my younger self, if you know military kids, please tell them thank you. Honestly, no, we don’t want to be thanked for any sacrifice...chances are, we don’t feel like we’re the ones who’ve sacrificed. But sometimes it’s nice if someone notices that we do serve too. We might not take it in stride just then, but we’ll look back and feel honored. 💜
7. What is your favorite memory about being a Military Kid?
We’re gonna be here a while... Well, welcome home ceremonies are a natural choice—absolute chaos at an unreal hour, and it is the happiest, most exciting thing in the world. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really convey the emotion of a welcome home ceremony. We’ve literally wished we could have welcome home ceremonies without deployments—they’re that thrilling. Of course, they probably wouldn’t be without waiting through a deployment for them. 😉 The time our brigade had a welcome-home-sign-painting party and twelve-year-old me had the brilliant idea to paint a giant flag out of handprints with only four or five kids around...a soldier who had pretty small hands ended up filling in most of the flag. Independence Day when we had half-a-dozen of Daddy’s single and unaccompanied soldiers over and sang around the piano, discovering all the soldiers’ hidden musical talents, and then ending with a wild punch-balloon fight with a soldier who was kind of our adopted brother. Having pizza with friends every single week one deployment. One of Daddy’s soldiers taking my brother and I to the range while Daddy was deployed. Sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet. How do you pick...
Okay!! I’ve got it. The day after my 16th birthday, Rescue was doing sling-load training out over the ocean. One helicopter would pick up an old car, slung under the heli (helicopter), and carry it out to sea while another heli stayed along the shoreline, “covering fire.” Well, I ran up on our roof to watch them just as the “covering fire” heli went by a couple blocks down from our house. Just for fun, I saluted it, and all of a sudden it pivoted and came right towards the house. I just stood there frozen holding my salute and that big Seahawk buzzed right over my head and turned back out to sea. I went running downstairs and Josh said, “That helicopter went right over our house!” I said, “Oh, you have no idea,” and just started crying. Yeah...that one definitely takes the prize. Getting buzzed by a Rescue heli for my 16th birthday. 😭
8. How did being a Military Kid influence you as a writer?
Wow...this is a neat question. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is all the experiences I’ve had that end up in stories. There’s a lot more real life in my stories than I usually care to admit. 😆However, on a more serious note, when I was about 15 it began to dawn on me that not everyone understands the Army life and that there is a lack of good sweet war stories to help them understand. One of my favorite writing quotes is “Listen to what others aren’t saying and write about the silence.” I guess this Army lifestyle has really opened my eyes to one of the silences. I’ve always been writing, but it was at that age that the Lord really opened my eyes to how I could use that writing—which would probably never have happened if we weren’t Army.
9. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Writing the action scenes, haha! If I get in a rut writing a slow scene, I jump ahead and write something fast-paced. It’s absolutely contradictory, but I will tell you in the same breath that I don’t like torturing my characters and that I love writing action scenes. It’s just the easiest part for me, for whatever reason! As much as I love stories with “breather” scenes, I also love stories that just run from one intense scene to another—and sometimes that’s the best way for me to convey my story’s emotion.
10. Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress?
No, I throw out spoilers way too easy! 😉 Well...Tattered Wings is about a small-town police officer, his daughter who is searching for answers about her past, a wounded Airborne Ranger, and the dog that brings them all together. I want to show a perspective of soldiers’ children I haven’t seen portrayed in fiction before while also writing about law enforcement and therapy dogs. The basic theme is very similar to O to be Like Thee— there is healing, and sometimes failure only means you didn’t fail—but the plot is completely different. My heart is still very much in O to be Like Thee, but I’m starting to fall in love with Tattered Wings, and I hope it can be comparable someday.
11. Do you think being a military kid affects your writing process in any way?
Hmm...well, I hope my stories read authentically military-wise, even with creative license...does that count? My stories are chock-full of Army terms and acronyms that I sometimes wonder if anyone will understand. Physically writing the story...probably, but I don’t know if I could tell you how.
12. Who do you hope to reach with your stories? Soldiers, civilians, both?
I’ve asked myself this sometimes... Both. Definitely both. I pray I write characters that soldiers can relate to and thus are willing to listen to. It’s hard, but there is hope. I pray that soldiers see that in my characters’ lives. Likewise, I also pray that I open the eyes of those who otherwise have no experience with the military—help them to understand what thousands of soldiers go through, give them a reason to remember and honor, show them why it’s worth respecting.
Thank you, so much, Kassie for doing this interview with me! And thank you to all the Military kids (Whether you’re still in or out, you are always a military kid!) for your sacrifice and service to our Great Nation, The United States of America! You are loved and appreciated!💜
Until Next Time,
Hello! I know I normally post on Fridays, but I have a very special post for you today. As you probably know my family represents the Fundamental Broadcasting Network (You can see a post here and here about FBN!) and March 18-23 is our Share-a-thon! It’s when our listeners call in and donate to keep the network running. The preachers (my dad being one of them) talk and preach live on air, sometimes groups will sing and prayer requests are taken. It’s a wonderful time! So today, I thought I’d give you a behind the scenes look at what happens at FBN Share-a-thon!
Share-a-thon begins at 7:00 a.m. EST at 520 Roberts Rd, Newport, North Carolina. My dad and I usually get there early to meet with others for prayer. Then, I head to the kitchen to talk with Mrs. E., our breakfast lady. I’m good friends with her daughter and I always enjoy getting Mrs. E. to myself for about half an hour. I get my breakfast (decaf coffee and a bowl of the best ever grits with bacon!) then prepare to head in for my shift. Most of the time, I at least start out answering phones at 8, but sometimes, others volunteer for that shift.
Now, I’m what I like to call a floater! I have phone shifts of my own, but I hang around to fill in for people who have to cancel or need to get something to eat or may just be running a little late.
We have three phones used to answer calls. When they ring, you can hear it on air! We answer, “Hello, FBN Spring Share-a-thon, may I take your promise?” People tell us the amount they would like to promise our station and whether it’s a onetime amount or something they want to give over six months. Then we collect their name, address, how they listen and any prayer requests or testimonies they would like to share.
I’ve had the privilege to talk with many people over the years and hear amazing stories first hand. There is a woman who I’ve talk to three times who gives in memory of her son. He was a Navy SEALs and died in a helicopter crash. We’ve cried together over the phone and once she called me back so she could read me a letter a buddy of his wrote to her after her son passed. He told her that there wasn’t a day go by that her son didn’t witness to the guys on his team. What a testimony!
Another lady calls every year to give and she told me about a young couple she was witnessing to, helping the young man get employment and transportation, plus talking them out of aborting their baby! She’s working hard to reach them! What a blessing!
I don’t know about you, but I get nervous praying in front of others. I was on the phone once with a woman who was struggling with several situations trying to discourage her in her walk with God. She began to cry, asking us to pray for her. I was about to pass the phone to my mom, who was on shift with me, so she could pray with her. Lo and behold, the other phone rang! I would have to pray with her! So, I did! God helped me overcome my fear and the lady seemed truly grateful. I hope she didn’t hear how shaky my voice was!
This is what FBN is about, helping others in their spiritual lives, whether it’s encouragement they need, or salvation!
I was on the phones with my dad one day and a man called asking about being saved. I transferred the call to my dad, since it was a man. He was very upset, afraid God hated him because of a specific sin in his life. Dad explained that God didn’t hate him, just his sin. After about fifteen minutes, my dad was able to lead him to the Lord! He talked with our pastor and he asked if we could send him “a King James Bible,” because he had heard that was the good one! We sent it to him along with some literature for new Christians.
Another time, a young Marine from New York dropped by, asking if he could donate some Sweet Potatoes they had left over from a party. He knew lots of churches had food closets. (I’m curious as to what kind of party it was, lol! I haven’t thought of Sweet Potatoes as party food!) Anyway, he drove past several churches on his way to our church. His family were Baptists, so he decided that’s the kind of church he wanted to deliver the food to. But there were other Baptists churches on his way, yet he came here. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Mrs. Robinson, our secretary, got my dad off the radio to come talk to him. Long story short, the Marine got saved! We never saw him again, but we know that one day, we will see him again. I don’t know what ever became of the Sweet Potatoes…
I think that’s all I’ll share for now. But please, tune in if for no other reason than to hear what God is doing at 520 Roberts Rd. and around the world! He is a Marvelous, Matchless Savior!
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
King James Bible
Have a blessed day!
P.S. Tune in and see if you can figure out which voice belongs to my dad!
Hello and welcome back! Today, I have another fun book review for you and oh! This book *eyes tearing up already* will hit you right in the heart. I just recently met this sweet author through the blog and I am so excited to share with you about her novel, O To Be Like Thee!
O To Be Like Thee
How Deep Love Runs
By Kassie Angle (Published 2018)
Wartime friendships are almost legendary. There’s nothing quite like the bond between soldiers who know their lives depend on each other.
That’s the thing, though. Your best friend’s life depends on you. That’s not always an easy responsibility.
And to make things worse, there’s that little blue-eyed boy in Texas who recognizes your uniform and not your face, and somehow his broken heart learns to love you…
Okay, so I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I love the army and I love military medical units, regardless of branch. I love a novel about medics (I mean, Seth is one of my favorite characters from my books and he’s a doctor’s aide 😉). This book combines these passions and oh! I love it so much!
We follow the story of LT Corban “Corey” Schreiber, a medic stationed in Afghanistan and his relationship with a new friend, Mayson McKinley (Already, I love this guy! Mayson…kinda partial to that name even if the spelling is different…). I used to live near a military base and I have army in my family, so this story really hit home for me.
Kassie handled topics such as blaming one’s self for someone’s death, mild PTSD, grieving a loved one and how things change after deployment for a service member. And she did it very well! Having been raised on army bases across the globe, Kassie knows what she is talking about. And her writing style is to the point and heart wrenching. Few books actually make me cry. I can think of…five that made me cry and one of them was mine, so it doesn’t count, lol! This book made me cry several times. It’s so…real. Even though the story is from Corey’s Point of View (POV), I felt I could connect with him. She did something few books I’ve read about the military have done. She made Corey human, not some larger than life superhero who can handle anything. He had struggles. He had feelings. He wasn’t a robot, but a person.
While there is some blood mentioned in the story, and injuries discussed, nothing was exceedingly graphic. I would read it to my younger siblings, no problem.
I will not forget this story. It hit home for me on a deep level and brought me to an even stronger appreciation for our servicemen. I encourage you, click this link and order you a copy of O To Be Like Thee. It’s a 400+ page novel, so it may take a while to finish, but it is worth it. READ THIS!
…Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
Happy Veterans Day! November 11th is the day we set aside each year to remember and thank our servicemen for their service to our country, but do you know why the date is so important?
November 11th this year is the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One. The horrors of trench warfare were over, but not soon to be forgotten. Originally known as Armistice Day, it was a date set aside to work towards World Peace (like one day was gonna do that?) since WWI was called “The War to End All Wars”. Unfortunately, this failed to stop WWII, The Cold War (which includes Korea and Vietnam), The Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Over the years, since it was quite obvious world peace was impossible, Armistice Day morphed into Veterans Day. This is something we can accomplish, thanking our Veterans and making sure they know we love and appreciate their service and sacrifice.
A few fun facts about the blog graphic: The flower is a poppy, the international flower of World War One Remembrance :_ And the Phrase "Lafayette, We are Here!" is what many American soldiers said when they arrived in France. They were referring to Gen. Marquis de Lafayette of France, who came to the Colonies to aide us in our American Revolution. Our troops were announcing when they arrived that they were here to return the favor, over a hundred years later!
If you are a Veteran, thank you for your Service!
Have a blessed Day!
From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, the Marine Corps has been there, ever ready to defend America from any foe who dares to mess with us. Having lived near a Marine base and being a member of a church were nearly every man on the membership role has been or is a Marine, I've had quite a bit of exposure to Marine Corps culture. It's unique, like every other Military branch. For example, don't call them an ex-Marine or a former Marine, because "Once a Marine, always a Marine!"
They like to say that there are two kinds of people in the world: Marines and those who wish they were Marines. They found out this wasn't true anymore when they met me, lol! You could not pay me to go to Parris Island (MC Boot Camp in South Carolina)!
Well, instead of loading you down with tons of facts about the Corps, I decided to share a bit of flash fiction I wrote last year for a writing contest. The main character is a Marine and it showcases his relationship with his siblings...oh that I could tell you more about that! Anyway, here we go!
They say you learn from your mistakes. Not always.
Salem Springfield well knew that Becca, his sister, was a jumpy person. Very jumpy. And when startled, Becca often over reacts. Like the time when they were younger and he threw a rubber snake at her while they were working in the garden. She had screamed and thrown her hoe…barely missing Salem’s head. There were many other such incidents…far too many to list now.
Well today, they had been conveniently forgotten. He had returned earlier than expected from deployment and was finally going to get to do a surprise homecoming to his parents and siblings. After doing a little reconnaissance, he found out from a neighbor that everyone was home, except Becca and their younger brother Jason. They had run to the store for some ice cream and should be just about home.
It was getting late when Salem ducked behind their family’s small outbuilding. He saw headlights and watched at Becca pulled her dark green Volkswagen Bug into the driveway. He grinned. It was time.
He snuck around behind her car as Jason stepped out, holding the cartons of ice cream. “I hope we got the right kind of Butter Pecan,” Jason said. “You know how particular Tim is about his ice cream.”
Becca, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat, putting her keys away and impromptu cleaning out her purse in the process, laughed and continued rifling through the pockets. “I think I got the right kind…Jason, where’s my cell phone?”
“In the cup holder where you put it earlier,” Jason called, closing his door and heading for the house.
“Thanks,” Becca laughed, unplugging the device and putting it in its proper place. Salem noticed she was carrying the purse he had gotten her for her twentieth birthday. It was a patchwork style purse, featuring four different kinds of military camo, since they had family in each of those branches.
Finally, Becca stood and closed the car door, dug through her purse to get her keys back out, locked the door and replaced the keys. She was so predictable. She placed her purse on her right shoulder and headed for the house.
Salem made his move. He silently came up behind her and touched her arm, saying, “Hey, Becca!”
It all happened so fast, Salem was completely caught off guard. Becca screamed at the top of her lungs, whirled around and sprayed Salem in the face with her infamous can of Pepper spray…the one thing Salem had forgotten about her routine. She always carried it with her.
“Oh, my eyes!” Salem gasped, tripping backwards to the ground as Becca continued to scream. Jason came barreling out of the house with Tim, Randy and Dad on his heels. Every house light in the base housing neighborhood came on, or so it seemed.
“You just stay right there!” Randy, the oldest of the Springfield boys, ordered.
“Randy, it’s me!” Salem choked, fighting the urge to rub his eyes. That would only make the situation worse.
“Salem?” Tim shouted. “What are you trying to do? Get yourself killed?” he added, shoving his pistol back into his pocket.
Becca turned as reality sunk in. “Oh, Salem! I’m so sorry!”
Mom joined her family and when she saw, aided by Jason’s flashlight, Randy helping Salem up, she immediately took control of the situation. “Get him to the kitchen sink!”
“Is everything alright?”
Dad turned and saw their neighbor MSGT. Williams shouting from his porch. With a smirk, Dad called back, “It’s all good. Just a surprise homecoming.”
Williams laughed. “Sounded more like a cat fight!”
“When pepper spray’s involved, that’s about right,” Dad replied.
“Oh no! You’ve got to tell me about this tomorrow, Doc!”
Meanwhile inside, Salem was holding his head over the sink while his mother sprayed cold water in his eyes from the sink hose.
Rachel and Mary hurried down the stairs. “What happened?” Mary asked in alarm, observing what looked like a drowning in process.
“Salem’s home,” was all Jason could manage. Mary stared at her older brothers gathered around the sink. She looked at Rachel, then Becca, who explained what had happened.
“That was real bright,” Rachel snickered, patting her younger brother on the shoulder.
Salem wrinkled his nose at her. “Who’s bright idea was it to give Becca Pepper spray?” Salem defended, drying his eyes.
Randy grinned. “Yours, remember, Jarhead? You better be glad she wasn’t carrying her Navy SEAL knife Dad bought last week!”
“You beat all, Salem,” Tim said, laughing at his brother’s red eyes, still watering from the ordeal.
“Salem, I am so sorry,” Becca lamented, her voice quite pitiful. “You really startled me! I shouldn’t be on such a hair-trigger.”
Salem shook his head and gave his younger sister a side hug. “You did exactly what you should have done in that situation. You had no reason to think it was me and not some lunatic.”
“Uh, that’s debatable,” Dad said with a chuckle. “Seems like she was dealing with a lunatic!” Everyone laughed.
“The mighty Marine taken down by a civilian girl!” Randy teased.
Mom smiled and hugged Salem tightly. “Welcome home, son! It’s so good to have you back!”
“Thanks! I was wondering if that part of my presence had been forgotten!” Salem said, hugging her back.
Welcomes and hugs were exchanged by the family, their ice cream snack turning into a welcome home celebration. Salem smiled. It was so good to be home with his family.
Dear Lord, he prayed silently, thank You for our family. Thank You for letting us get back together, all safe and sound. Please protect us in the days ahead and guide us through whatever You may choose to bring our way…and help me learn from my mistakes!...
Copyright© 2017 Ryana Lynn Miller
Ahh, the Springfield family...one of dozens of story ideas that I have :) A few things have changed in my planning for this story, but the gist is the same. And the relationship between Salem and Becca is just so adorable...I so have to write this story so someday y'all can see just how close these two are!
Anyways, happy Marine Corps Day! Hope you enjoyed this somewhat random post, lol!
Have a Blessed Day!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.