Author Archives: Victoria Terrinoni

About Victoria Terrinoni

I am an Air Force Chaplain spouse and proud of it. The Good Chaplain retired in 2018, and we now live in Central Illinois near one of our daughters, our son-in-law, and two granddaughters. Our other daughter lives in Delaware with her husband and two sons. My passions are my grandchildren, the military, and meeting new people. My goal is to mentor new military spouses in this beautiful way of life.

Goodbye for now!

I’m taking the month of July off from this blog, social media, and my newsletter so I can spend time with family, friends, and traveling. I’ll be back in August.

Until then,

Vicki

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

Comoros Islands National Day celebrates 47 years of independence from France

The Comoros Islands off the coast of East Africa celebrate National Day on July 6. Just like Independence Day in the United States, Comoros National Day marks the day the islands gained their independence from France.

When the Good Chaplain visited the capitol, Moroni, on the island of Grande Comore, when he deployed to Africa in 2010-2011. The islands only recently gained their independence from France in 1975. A referendum for independence passed with only one of the four main islands — Mayotte voting against it. The other three islands, Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli, voted for the referendum and formed the Union of the Comoros.

A constitutional referendum passed in 2018 eliminated the long standing single five-year presidential term two terms. Since 2001, the presidency rotated among the three islands. The referendum also designated Islam as the state religion and granted the president power to eliminate the three vice presidents — one from each island.

Roughly 98 percent of the population is Muslim, with Sunni Islam as the main branch, with African Arabs making up the majority ethnic group, with 86 percent of the population. The Good Chaplain met one of the few non-Muslims on the islands. This man (whose name is being withheld for his protection) was well-respected and well-known on the islands. “Everyone knew him,” the Good Chaplain said. Comoros is the only Muslim-majority country in Southern Africa.

The man converted from Islam to Christianity while attending school in the United States. He realized he couldn’t find answers about God in the Quran, but were in the Christian Bible and he converted. They imprisoned him for two years when he returned to the island, for converting, but eventually let out of prison and became a well-known member of the community. I’ll tell you more about him in my next book on the Good Chaplain’s African deployment.

Comoros Flag

According to the 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Comoros – United States Department of State) put out by the US Department of State, “significant human rights issues” include torture, arbitrary detention, abysmal prison conditions, political prisoners restrictions on free expression, the press and the internet, severe restrictions on religious freedom, corruption, human trafficking, criminalizing same-sex relationships between adults, and forced child labor.

Despite the deplorable human rights conditions, the Comoros Islands is a ‘place of amazingly warm, friendly people, all-around fantastic weather, and world-class beaches,” according to The Unusual Traveler blog. The author of the blog post found the islands to be safe, even when walking around at night. “The biggest danger here is, as always, the traffic,” he wrote.

All-in-all, the Good Chaplain enjoyed his visit to Moroni and I can’t wait to share his trip with you in the next book.

Until then,

Vicki

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

A Tribute to Military Fathers Where Ever They May Be

It seems like Father’s Day gets buried in the business of life. I feel like Father’s Day sneaks up on me and then I am scrambling to get cards out. This year is no exception. It’s Wednesday, and I still haven’t mailed the two cards I need to send — to my dad and my deployed son-in-law.

Military Dads are special. They work hard. They play hard. And they make time to strengthen bonds with their family. I know other dads do those things as well, but not at the same time they are protecting our nation.

Military dads are strong, disciplined, focused, resilient, and centered. It is sometimes hard for them to compartmentalize between work and family. And they miss a lot of their children’s special moments because duty comes first.

I know the Good Chaplain always tried to make it up to our daughters if he missed something important, like a school recital or play. But when he was home, he made himself available to the girls, no matter how tired he was after work.

Tyler and the boys making memories!
My favorite military dad!

A military dad takes the time to explain to his children why he gave an order. (Some of them give orders at home too.) He takes time to show them how things work, what he does and who he is. And he takes pride when someone comments on how well behaved his children are. He’s done his job and taught them structure and discipline.

I can’t count the number of times the Good Chaplain said we needed to do something to “make memories” before he left on a deployment. He was right. Remembering the fun we had before he left helped us look forward to making more memories when he got home.

Sometimes the military has to come first, and sometimes the family has to come first. A military dad knows this and figures out a way to balance everything. And when he can’t be there, a military dad transfers his powers to a military mom to carry on until he comes home again.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there. Dad, your card is in the mail. Tyler, you might get yours after the holiday, but we are thinking of you.

Until next time,

Vicki

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

How to layout my new book. Take a poll to help.

The best advice I ever got as a reporter and writer was “Puke it out and clean it up later.” It means get your thoughts, stories, articles or whatever down on paper and then go back to edit and make it look pretty. Do you think I can do that?

Not a chance. With my new book about the Good Chaplain’s deployment to Africa, I’m trying to get the rough draft done, but every time I sit down to write, I think about previous sections and how I can improve them.

First person or third person?

I’m also confused whether it is better in the first person or third person. Some parts work well in the third person, but the rest of it seems to lend itself to the first person. Right now, I am leaning toward the first person.

The second dilemma is how to organize the book. You all can help me with that. Should I set up the book by month, or by country? I started out by country, then set it up by month. The issue with the country route is he visited some countries more than once. But I can fix that easily.

By month, country, or people?

Or, and here is the big question — should I set up the book with each chapter a story of the people he met? Now I’m thinking maybe this is the way to go. The working title is “East Africa: Stories of Hope and Faith.” Maybe a little less of what the Good Chaplain did and more about the people’s story is the way to go.

Your help with this will allow me to write the best book possible to inspire, educate, and entertain my readers.

Thanks for your time and input.

Until next time,

Vicki

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

National Military Brats Day celebrates past and present military children

The only time I felt my girls got the short end of the stick as military brats was when they went off to college. We moved from California to Alabama the week after high school graduation, and then the girls went off to college. When they came home for the holidays, they came home to an unfamiliar place.

They didn’t know anyone, and they weren’t getting together with high school friends because those friends were in California while we were in Alabama. I felt sad for them. I remember coming home from college and seeing my friends and hanging out again. We robbed them of that experience.

That is just one issue military children face in their lifetime. As we wrap up the Month of the Military Child, let’s not forget National Military Brats Day on April 30. It’s the last day to honor all our military children — past or present.

The National Today website list five facts about military brats and some activities military families can do together to honor their brats.

Five Facts About Military Brats

  • Military Brats are children whose parents are, or once were, members of the military community.
  • One in every 25 American citizens is part of a military family. That means roughly 15 million Americans are military brats.
  • Military Brats attend between four and 12 schools in their lives. Mine attended three different elementary schools on one base!
  • Several famous people were military brats, including Amy Adams, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Chris Cooper, John Denver, Shaquille O’Neal, and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few. One of my favorites is Harris Faulkner, host of the Faulkner Focus and Outnumbered on Fox News.
  • Unless they join or marry into the military, many military brats cannot go visit their childhood neighborhoods because they won’t have access to base once their parent leaves the military. That’s true for Illinois Girl, but not for Mrs. Tech Sergeant.

She and her family recently drove past our house on Langley Air Force Base, VA and Tech Sergeant’s house in Yorktown, VA. Mrs. Tech Sergeant also lived on the same street at Eielson AFB, AK that she lived on as a child. And, my grandson, Tony B, went to the same grade school as his father, in England.

A good way to celebrate National Military Brats day is to pull out pictures from past bases and relive some memories. Military brats may have it hard sometimes, but they’ve seen and done a lot more than their civilian counterparts.

Until next time,

Vicki

How will you celebrate with your military brats on April 30?

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

My Adorable Air Force Brats in Pictures: Month of the Military Child

In honor of the Month of the Military Child, view this slideshow of some of my favorite military children and then please share your own pictures in the comments section.

Purple Up Day supports military children of all branches

Friday is Purple Up Day, the day we all wear purple to honor our military children. It is a day for everyone in the nation to show support for the sacrifices these children make, including frequent moves, deployments, new schools, new friends, and new communities.

Military children often feel the same stressors as their parents during these times, so during the Month of the Military Child in April, we set aside one day to recognize their contributions.

Schools and communities offer many events to celebrate throughout the month, but they encourage everyone to wear purple on Purple Up Day. They chose the color purple to represent all branches of the military as one.

Video by Fort Campbell MWR

Take time out Friday to thank military kids for their service as well.

Until next time,

Vicki

I am honoring my two daughters, Marissa and Alanna, and my two grandsons, Anthony and Gabriel, by donning purple. Who are you going to Purple Up for Friday?

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

Military Children Can Find Comfort from Books Written Just For Them

April is the Month of the Military Child, so this week I thought I would provide you with a list of books written specifically for military children. Disclosure: I have not read all of them and I have no affiliation with any of the authors or books.

Here is a list of the books. Buy them wherever you buy your books.

  • “I’ll Lend You My Daddy: A Deployment Book for Kids Ages 4-8,” by Becky King and Cynthea Liu
  • “Night Catch,” by Brenda Ehrmantraut and Vicki Wehrman
  • “Lily Hates Goodbyes (All Military Version),” by Jerilyn Marler and Nathan Stoltenberg
  • “I Will Be Okay: Adventures of a Military Kid,” by Amy Schweizer
  • “Momma’s Boots,” by Sandra Miller Linhart and Tahna Marie Desmond; and “Daddy’s Boots”
  • “When You Are Away” by Dominque James Ed.D
  • “I’m A Dandelion: A PCS Story for Military Children,” by Brooke Mahaffey and Lidiia Mariia Nyz
  • “Superheroes’ Kids: When Dad is Deployed,” by Heather Carson and Angelica Rose Jacquez
  • “Why Do We Have to Move?: A Book for Military Kids,” by Tara Scott
  • “Hero Mom,” by Melinda Hardin and Bryan Lando
  • “The Adventures of a Military Brat: The Big Move,” by Johanna Gomez and Daniel Gomez
  • “On the Month of the Military Child Purple Up!” by Military Child

Some books for older children by “military brats” include:

  • “Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress,” by Mary Edwards Wertsch
  • “Growing Up Military,” by Marc Curtis
  • “9 Rules of Engagement: A Military Brat’s Guide to Life and Success,” by Harris Faulkner
  • “All You Need Is Love: Memoirs of a Military Brat,” by John Thomas Young

As we celebrate our children and their resilience, this month talk to them about how they feel about being a military child and really listen. The answers might surprise you!

Until next time,

Vicki

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

Applaud military women who have come so far and empower them to do more

To wrap up Women’s History Month, I thought I would share with you some interesting facts and statistics about women in the military.

Since the Department of Defense lifted the ban on women in combat roles in 2015, integrating women is rising slowly, but more women are serving in leadership roles.

The graph below shows the increase in women in the military across the four branches.

Courtesy of the Pew Research Center

The Center for a New American Security published in March 2020 breaks down how the branches of military are doing with this integration. I won’t bore you with that information, but you can click the link if you want to read it.

The CNAS article also points out the areas the military is weak in bringing in women, namely Special Operations Forces (Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders, and Air Force Special Tactics). While these units are now open to women, they have integrated none of them as of 2019, although several women are in the selection process.

And now for some fun facts about Women in the Military courtesy of the USO:

  • Female marines did not attend boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina until 1949.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt established the Navy Nurse Corps in 1908 with 20 women.
  • Hundreds of women took part in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program during WWII.
  • Commander Maureen A. Farren was the first woman to lead the combat ship USS Mount Vernon in 1998.
  • Coast Guard Seaman Ina J. Toavs was the first woman to receive the Coast Guard Medal in 1979.
  • In 1984, Kristine Holdereid graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy as valedictorian; the first woman to do so.
  • In 2016, Brig. Gen. Diana Holland was the first female West Point Commandant of Cadets.
  • Navy Nurse Joan C. Bynum became the first black female promoted to rank of Captain.
  • Maternity uniforms came about in the 1970s. Before that, a woman could not serve if she was pregnant.
  • And, finally, 54 women graduated from U.S. service academies in 1980 for the first time.

We women have come a long way from the time when we stayed home taking care of the home front. Thank a female service member today!

Until next time,

Vicki

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!

The ever-changing plans of military life are infuriating

Tech Sergeant was supposed to deploy very soon, but now that is on hold. I can only imagine what my daughter, Mrs. Tech Sergeant, feels.

I’m sure she is happy and relieved that he is home longer, but he is not off the hook yet, so I’m also sure she is anxious, wondering when the orders will drop.

The Good Chaplain and I experienced these feelings a few times. However, one event will always stand out to me. The Good Chaplain was going to Guam to support Iraqi/Kurdish refugees, but literally at the last minute — I remember we were walking out the door to go to the airport — the Air Force canceled the trip. Grrrr!

I was angry. You’re wondering why I would be mad? I’ll tell you why. Once the Air Force notified the Good Chaplain of the deployment, I started mentally and emotionally preparing for the separation. I started doing more things independently, detaching myself from my dependence on the Good Chaplain.

I tended to do that. I subconsciously pulled back, especially emotionally. The Good Chaplain wanted to spend quality time and” make memories,” but I felt the goodbye was more painful if we grew closer to each other right before he left. I felt that way towards friends during PCS season as well. I was an absolute joy to be around.

Anyway, as we made preparations for the Good Chaplain’s departure, we heard the mission was shutting down shortly after he arrived. So it made no sense for him to go for a few weeks. So the Good Chaplain raised the question, but the deployment people (whoever they are) claimed it would be a hardship on the present chaplain because it extended his deployment by a few weeks. So the Good Chaplain was going.

But then, on the day of departure, as we prepared to go to the airport, the Good Chaplain’s phone rang. The Air Force canceled the deployment. They said it made no sense for the Good Chaplain to go to Guam when the mission was shutting down in two weeks. Duh!

I was angry that we spent so much time preparing physically, emotionally, and mentally for naught at the last minute and canceled for reasons we brought up earlier.

Gotta love the military!

Until next time,

Vicki

My thoughts and prayers go out to the citizens of Ukraine and for our soldiers and allies amassed on the western border, prepared to fight if necessary.

Victoria Terrinoni is the author of “Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse,” available here or by clicking the Shop tab above. Watch for her new book on the Good Chaplain’s Africa deployment coming soon!