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As a little girl, I often dreamed of my Knight in Shining Armor, being swept away by my handsome prince, loving profoundly, and starting a family. Although I had aspirations and dreams for a career, my deepest longing was for a family and true love.


I wanted and craved IT ALL: the prince, the family, the dream job. 


But let me remind you, the reader, about fairytales. Although they generally have happy endings, the main character faces significant challenges and obstacles, perhaps even loss and tragedy, before that romantic “fairytale” ending. 

I met my husband in faraway lands; I’m a Texas girl, and he is a West Virginian. We would both be assigned to Fairbanks, Alaska, for first duty stations.

Our love story would begin. It was love at first sight for me, but he was an officer, and I enlisted. 


The world and the military would frown upon this union from the beginning.


But like any fairytale worth investing in, we had obstacle after obstacle, challenge after challenge thrown our way. 

Much like Jack and the Beanstalk, we weren’t sure what to find once we started to climb up and onwards in search of that perfect love story.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I had significant medical emergencies (please note in my fairytale story, this would become the second tragedy, as the first was that I could not pursue a relationship with an officer) and would be medically discharged from the military.

I could not serve, but I was now free to LOVE. 


Would this be my fairytale, and would the ending be tragic or triumphant? 


Or would I even possibly be forced to find joy in the tragedy? I would marry a soldier, the military, a lifestyle, and our story would continue.

We made it through the most challenging part, right? 

I wonder if that’s what Goldie Locks thought when she found a bed to rest her weary head. 


Fairytales almost always include a battle of sorts in their storyline.


The battle came. It was called war in the form of Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and Kosovo, and it took over 20 years.

The tragedies grew, the heartache unbearable at times, the loss devastating. 

What I witnessed was the truest and bravest of souls: my Army friends, who became my family, enduring pain beyond measure.

I also saw love, sacrifice, selflessness, and healing. I experienced tragedy with those experiencing significant loss while experiencing joy at the return of my prince from war.


Real heroes surrounded me—the bravest of brave and the fiercest of fierce. 


The difference between my innocent, young idea of fairytales and the reality of real-life military stories is quite profound.

In our story, the hero doesn’t always come home; a family’s life is left in pieces, broken and torn. You hurt with them, you grieve with them, and you do whatever you can to ease the pain of the tragedy, knowing you cannot change the ending they want and deserve. 

My prince is home, and I am grateful.

I wonder if Cinderella has PTSD from her childhood. Her mother and sisters abused her. 

Does Snow White have issues trusting people?

I mean, she was tricked and poisoned. Hansel and Gretal almost got eaten; what kind of psychological scarring does that leave? 

The military gave me a fairytale, and I’m learning to take the Beauty with the Beast.



Meet Finalist Amy Marson, Army Spouse (Ret)

fairytale Meet Amy Marson, wife to Cecil, mom to Harry (21) and Hank (17), and dog mom to Soldie the Goldendoodle.  Amy is a self-proclaimed introverted extrovert, lover of Jesus, family, and country, and accidental professional volunteer.

After 27 years, her husband retired from the military, and they settled in a small mountain town in beautiful West Virginia, his home state.

Amy is months from becoming an empty nester or perhaps a bird launcher, and she is excited for this new chapter.  My perfect day for Amy would consist of a cup, no make that a pot, of coffee and friends, gathered around a table or cozy fire, talking about life, kids, work, and love.



*For more posts from the Finalists, visit Mission:Milspouse’s Homepage.




  • M:M Command Team

    With over 159 years of military spouse experience and 68 PCSes under their belts, the M:M Command team is the ultimate Battle Buddy to help navigate Milspouse life. Powered by volunteer spirit and optimism the M:M Command Team could run a small country, but instead are dedicated entirely to the global empowerment of military spouses to help them conquer adversity, foster confidence, and thrive in this military life.


  1. Lyndon lang

    EXTREMELY well written account of a relatively unique life experience that a small percentage of the population gets even a small taste of.

    I’m grateful for what they have done for all of us and happy they weathered the storms and found their happy ending.

  2. Ashley Overbo

    Through it all, its been inspiring to see how YOU’VE chOsen to bring beauty to those Who are suffering even in the midst of your own very real desert seasons. So proud of you, sister.

    • Kathleen Palmer

      Amen Ashley!

  3. Michelle fowles

    Well miss marson should blog on… the STORIES of a military wife are endless and she DEFINITELY has them to tell. Well done Amy. Live you fairytale.

    • Kathleen Palmer

      Yes she does and we think Ms. Marson will be bloggiung again shortly!


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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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