Army Spouse Shares Story to Inspire Others
Devin Patton, seen here with her daughter Madison, seven, is one of 48 authors recently published in Baggage Handlers. The new book highlights the journeys of military spouses throughout the country.

Fort Lee, Va. (July 9, 2008) -- Becoming a Family means different things to different people. For some it may mean getting married, for others, it may mean having a child. For military wife Devin Patton, it meant finally feeling like a member of the Army Family.

Her initial feelings of loneliness and transitioning to life in a new Army community became the topic of a story Patton wrote about in the recently published book, "Household Baggage Handlers."

Patton's story is one of 52 stories in the book compiled by Marna Krajeski. Krajeski is a former Army spouse.

"I started noticing that the conversations I heard on the playground sounded very familiar," said Krajeski. "There were a lot of stories common to the military experience, no matter which service."

Devin's story, "Becoming Family," focused on life during the months her husband was deployed to Iraq. Patton's husband, Sgt. Bobby Patton, 111th Quartermaster Company, has served in the military for less than three years and has been deployed once. Patton felt it was important to share her story to show that although there are ups and downs of being part of the military, there are definitely more ups.

Patton's husband was working in human resources when he came home one day and "asked" if he could join the Army.

Patton was not enthused, but wanted to support her husband. She was worried about his well-being, but knew she had to be strong, especially during her husband's mission in Iraq.

During the eight months of his deployment, Patton, a stay-at-home mom, tried to handle everything alone. She said writing became her outlet.

"Some people work out, I write," said Patton.

She began journaling in between managing the bills, mowing the lawn, and fixing flat tires. Patton was near her wit's end when she couldn't find assistance when she needed it most. One day when she felt alone and in despair, she asked for help and someone connected her with the resources she needed.

"Although I was frustrated and angry at times, I made it," said Patton. "My story in "Household Baggage Handlers" was a metaphor for me being able to make it."

Patton said she was emotional when she read the entire book upon publication.

"When I read the other stories I felt like I could have written any of those stories," said Patton. "It is a feeling of belonging that Army wives have, like a sorority."

Patton was surprised her story had been chosen. Just one year ago she received an unsatisfactory mark on a class assignment. She feels the published article has somewhat redeemed her.

"I never dealt with rejection well," said Patton. "But my friend in California kept encouraging me."
She plans to continue writing and plans to submit another story in the upcoming "Household Baggage Handlers, too!"

"I wasn't expecting to be published," said Patton. "I was just hoping, but now I plan to pursue writing and possibly even write a book."

Patton said she is happy that she survived her husband's deployment yet takes more joy in the fact that he is proud of her for handling the home and getting published.

"The military does care about Families," said Patton, "The mission first, Family always."

Page last updated Wed July 9th, 2008 at 17:10