Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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    Stories Worth Telling |

    Stories Worth Telling |

    Jennifer Barnhill is a columnist for .com writing about military families.

    Like other underrepresented populations, military spouse history is largely an oral history, in which stories, if not hyperbole, are passed from one spouse to another.

    In 100 years, those interested in learning more about our collective experiences will have only a few sources: academic research, military wife (spouse) handbooks written in the mid-1900s, or individual memoirs that capture only slivers of experiences.

    There is a small museum dedicated to us in , as well as the book “Campfollowing,” a 1991 history summarizing the experiences of military spouses from the Revolutionary War through in less than 200 pages.

    But that's about it. While we should certainly keep passing down our stories, telling the stories of the home front could be an untapped recruiting tool to make the military lifestyle more relatable to the average American. Here are a couple of stories that far more people should know.

    The Impact of One Woman

    In an era that did not let women or African Americans lead, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Elmo “Bud” Russell Zumwalt Jr. and his wife, Mouza Coutelais-du-Roche Zumwalt, charted a new course for the United States Navy.

    Segregation was still common in Virginia in the early 1970s.

    “Even in the places of worship … black members were sent to the back rows of the church or up to the balcony,” retired…

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