Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Traveling Tuesday: Life as a Military Family

Traveling Tuesday: 
Life as a Military Family

Pixabay/Military Material
I bit off a lot when I decided to write a story that featured a member of the U.S. armed forces. Interestingly, my college roommate attended school through the Army ROTC program and encouraged me often to consider applying. I replied with snarky comments such as “I don’t look good in green,” “I have problems with authority,” and my personal favorite, “I have too many phobias to qualify.” Can you see me trying to explain why I can’t scale a wall because of my acrophobia or refusing to crawl through a tunnel because of my claustrophobia? In actuality, I knew I didn’t have what it took.

When it came time to conduct research for Dial V for Valentine, I reached out to the writing
Amazon Author Photo
community through a newsgroup and almost immediately heard from USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author Jodie Bailey. Her husband, 1SG(R) Paul Bailey, is apparently quite used to being a resource, and the two were a gold mine of information. I should have realized like any industry the army has its own vocabulary. Here are a few tidbits of what I learned:

  • Mission cycle: A soldier can be called in and have to report within two hours. They can’t be more than a certain distance from home and must be in reach at all times. When called they can be “wheels up” in less than 24-hours. Someone is always on a mission cycle.
  • Wheels up: Literally, in the airplane and on the way to your assignment. 
  • Rapid deployment: Doesn’t just happened to any old unit or soldier at any time. A rapid deployment typically happens to those on mission cycle. It’s unplanned and typically in response to a world event.
  • Regular deployment: Military members often know about these months or even a year in advance. Departure and return dates are well-known. These are rotational. However, a regular deployment can be extended. 
  • Transfers: If a soldier is transferred into a new unit, and that unit is deployed, he’s going along. It’s not like, oh, you’re new, you can wait until the next round. 😁

These few terms gave me a tiny inkling (is that redundant?) about the countless sacrifices members of the military and their families make every day. I can’t imagine having to report to a who-knows-how-long assignment or having my heart leap into my throat because I’ve just been tapped for a rapid deployment.

I loved writing this book, and the research gave me an even greater appreciation for those serving in the armed forces. There’s no way I have what it takes to be part of this special group of people. I hope Dial V for Valentine honors them and brings to light their daily sacrifices.

Thank a veteran or currently serving member of the military today!


Dial V for Valentine

Valentine’s Day is perfect for a wedding. If only the bride will agree.

Being part of the military is not just a job for Fergus Rafferty, it’s a calling. He’s worked his way up the ranks and doing what he loves best: flying Apache helicopters. The only thing that will make his life complete is marrying Celeste. After he transfers to a unit scheduled to deploy in three months, he’s thrilled at the idea of marrying before he leaves so they can start their new life. Except Celeste wants to wait until he returns. Can he convince her to wed before he leaves?

Celeste Hardwicke has just opened her law practice when she finally accepts Fergus’s marriage proposal. Not to worry. She has plenty of time to set a date, then plan the wedding. Until she doesn’t. But a quickie wedding isn’t what she has in mind. Besides, why get married when the groom will ship out after the ceremony? When she stumbles on her great-grandmother’s diary from World War II, she discovers the two of them share the same predicament.

At an impasse, Celeste and Fergus agree to call into WDES’s program No Errin’ for Love. Will DJ Erin Orberg’s advice solve their dilemma or create a bigger divide? One they’ll both regret.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/4bicqfm

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