By Kaytrina CurtisJanuary 26, 2009
FORT STEWART, Ga., -- She walked into her newly decorated spacious formal dining room wearing an orange cashmere turtleneck pullover, a coordinating gray and orange flannel skirt, knee high steel gray-colored boots and a smile as big as the state she calls home.
Latrice Haseman, a Houston Texas native, has much to smile about as she lives a life she describes as Aca,!A"blessed.Aca,!A? Just a few short months ago, Latrice, a newlywed to warrant officer Robert Aca,!A"DanAca,!A? Haseman, 260th Quartermaster Battalion, received a call that left her smiling from ear to ear. She learned that from the confines of his hooch in Iraq, Dan wrote a letter to scouts from Lifetime Television Network, which told why she deserved to win a spot in the mini-documentary contest Army Wives Give Back.
Albert Einstein once quoted, Aca,!A"The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.Aca,!A? When Latrice met Dan, she was in a giving spirit. At the time she was employed by an investment banking firm in New York, and met Dan while he was in the middle of his first deployment.
Aca,!A"People at my job decided to make care packages to send to troops who were deployed overseas,Aca,!A? LaTrice said. Aca,!A"We had an office full of stuff and it couldnAca,!a,,ct stay there much longer.Aca,!A?
As the contact person, it was LaTriceAca,!a,,cs responsibility to ensure the boxes were delivered. She searched the internet and found a website geared toward corresponding with servicemembers. Through a series of emails she met her true love and now husband, Dan.
After dating and an engagement, wedding plans were soon in the works. Then the unexpected happened. Dan learned of an impending deployment to Iraq which thwarted the big wedding plans until a later date.
Aca,!A"We wanted a big wedding; we wanted all the bells and whistles,Aca,!A? said Latrice. Aca,!A"We had planned for that and were looking forward to that.Aca,!A?
Although they put the official wedding on hold, the couple proceeded with private nuptials in a quiet ceremony in Jamaica.
Latrice said that nothing had prepared her for the big responsibility of being an Army wife, but she feels she is up for the challenge. DanAca,!a,,cs thinks that she has met that challenge extremely well.
While Dan was deployed, Latrice moved back to Houston to be close to her Family. She stayed busy with her career as an international flight attendant, full-time student, and decision maker on building their new home in Savannah.
Between work, school and other projects, Latrice still managed to help with Family Readiness Group bake sales.
Dan said when he was deployed; she helped with the bake sale, which was hard because she is a flight attendant, and is gone a lot.
Aca,!A"There were a lot of people buying stuff for the bake sale,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"She made this banana pudding; she really poured her heart into it and it sold out fast. She made so much money from that,Aca,!A? he proudly explained.
In the meantime, Dan heard about the contest Army Wives Give Back, through his rear detachment FRG leader Sgt. Lorraine Pozas. After Dan wrote a letter about why he thought his wife was special, Lifetime scouts called Latrice for a telephone interview. She had no knowledge that Dan wrote the letter and the phone call caught her off guard.
Aca,!A"I just wanted to do something to let her know that I was thinking about her and surprise her,Aca,!A? Dan said.
Aca,!A"When she (the scout from Lifetime) called I really had no idea what was going on,Aca,!A? said Latrice. Aca,!A"I thought it was awesome that he had written something they would take notice of, about me.Aca,!A?
The couple unknowingly competed with hundreds of other military couples and won. Producers asked Latrice to come to the set of Army Wives, in Charleston, SC, for the day. She still had no indication that the visit was the result of winning. She thought she was there to shed light on what a real Army wifeAca,!a,,cs day is like.
To LatriceAca,!a,,cs surprise, about seven hours into taping she met Catherine Bell who plays Denise on Army Wives. Bell presented Latrice with her prize for winningAca,!"an all-expense paid honeymoon to Santa Ynez wine country in southern California. The honeymoon includes air-fare, hotel, transportation, food and entertainment. The city of Santa Barbara was generous and opened the invitation to six of the HasemanAca,!a,,cs friends. The Hasemans decided to extend the invitation to three groomsmen who are Soldiers who served with Dan in Iraq, and their wives.
The segment aired Oct. 19, 2008. The couple is planning for a May 24 wedding this year in Houston.