Military Spouse Magazine

OCT 2018

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BRUNELLA COSTAGLIOLA "MY LIFE AS A GHOSTWRITER" PAGE 14 Being part of the military com- munity has given me a sense of identity and purpose. As a southern Italian woman, I was worried I wouldn't fit in, and I was scared to be labeled a for- eigner, an outsider. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only was I welcomed with open arms by the military community, but in my fellow military spouses I also found understanding, acceptance, and support. Turns out, the diversity that distinguishes our community is what actually makes it so unique. It is an incredible feeling being part of such a community where people with different cultural backgrounds come together for a common purpose, which is so much bigger than each and every one of us: support- ing the troops, the mission, and ultimately, the military. Brunella Costagliola is an editor and writer. She is a proud Air Force wife and mother of two children. Connect with her at brunellacostagliola.com. NATALIE HAYEK "ADDICTED" PAGE 24 Like most military spouses, I've heard the comment, "I don't know how you do it," a lot. I understand what people are trying to say, but in a way it doesn't make sense to me. It's my life, so I make it work, right? When I reflect on it, this is why I think it works: the military life presents me with many challenges, but the military community reminds me that the power to handle those challenges is always within me. Looking back on the last 12 years, my experi- ence in the military community has helped me learn to trust myself, lean on friends when I need them, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Natalie Hayek is an Air Force spouse and a mom of two. She is a writer in the nonprofit and education industries, as well as in the military spouse community, which is where you might say her heart beats. You can connect with her at linkedin.com/in/nataliehayek. TONIA GÜTTING "PLAYING THE GAME" PAGE 29 Every time we move, I cry my eyes out over the friends I leave. And yet at every station I've found friends I would move across the country to be with. These are the women who prayed with me for our deployed husbands, worked beside me on school projects for the kids, held my babies, celebrat- ed my teenagers' triumphs, paced me for my running goals, cheered my successes, gave grace to my weaknesses, answered the phone in the middle of the night, and laughed and laughed and laughed. Backpacking an Alaskan mountain pass, walking on North Carolina beaches, standing in a field of Washington's tulips, watching snow fall in New York, while all the experiences the mili- tary life affords change you, the people beside you every day cre- ate the masterpiece of a rich life. Tonia Gütting has been married to an Army chaplain for 21 years, homeschooling her three kids from the Alaska tundra to the North Carolina sand hills. She has a BA in Writing, does freelancing, and is a regular contributor to Planting Roots, an online ministry for military women. H Q How Has Being a Part of the Militar y Communit y Helped You Be a Better You? October 2018 Contributors O U R L I V E S Illustration Amy Hood 6 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / OCTOBER 2018

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