Warm welcome in Tucson, Arizona

with 2 Comments

Barb Brownlie with Marge Hawthorne, volunteer, and Krista Durocher, Volunteer Coordinator for the Tucson Medical Center.
What more can you hope for than to work with someone like Barb Brownlie who first introduced herself to us by asking, "How can we bring I Married the War to Tucson?" Not only was she incredible to work with, but we came to love this woman who has a huge heart for active military, veterans, and their families. Barb can put a team together in no time at all, primarily because she's the sort of person you just can't say "no" to. Witness her long list of current projects: Woody Williams Foundation-Louisville, Ky, Honorary Board Member, Tucson Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Co-Chair, Honor Flight So AZ Co-Founder, House Neighborly Service Past President, Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers volunteer, Tucson Medical Center Hospice/We Honor Veterans volunteer, and Wreaths Across America volunteer.

With all of that on her plate, Barb still had time in October to "bring I Married the War to Tucson!" She and a host of others whom we were privileged to meet. Among them was "Col. Moe," aka US Army Colonel Maureen Gagliardi (Ret), who was the wonderful MC for the event, and Krista Durocher, Volunteer Coordinator for Tucson Medical Center Hospice.

A big shout-out to Tucson Medical Center Hospice/We Honor Veterans, the major sponsor for the screening, and the four forthcoming wives of combat veterans who participated in the panel: Terri Topmiller from the film, Kari Middleton from Tucson, Wendy Council (wife of Davis-Monthan AFB Command Chief Master Sergeant, 355th Wing), and Michelle Mills (wife of Davis-Monthan AFB Commander of the 355th Wing). More thanks to ace photographer Katie Moore for documenting the event, and to Zach Breneman and his staff at The Loft Cinema for their kind hospitality.

Panel members Kari Middleton, Terri Topmiller, Michelle Mills, and Wendy Council
Barb Brownlie, Marge Hawthorne, and Suzanne Ryan from the local DAR chapter, being photographed by Kevin Mullis
Col. Moe, Nancy Grant, Trish Jarvis, and Marge Hawthorne giving the Hawaiian shirts a Ranger Roll
Tucson afternoon rainbow

At The Loft Theatre, we also had the pleasure of greeting family and reuniting with longtime friends. The proceeds from the screening were donated to the Tucson Gold Star Memorial Monument fund, and the Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers project. We were delighted to join the Hawaiian Shirts committee and fold shirts in a Ranger Roll for shipping, complete with personal notes tucked into the pockets.

We really appreciate every single person who attended this fundraiser, who donated cash or goods, who volunteered their time and knowledge, and who believe in acknowledging, listening to, and supporting not only our nation's active military and veterans, but also our nation's military spouses and families. To top it all off, this vivid rainbow greeted everyone as we said our goodbyes and drove away.

If you would like to bring I Married the War to your community, please contact us today by responding below this update. You can also follow us on Facebook at this link.

2 Responses

  1. Barb Brownlie
    | Reply

    Thanks Betty and Ken for coming to Tucson and introducing “I Married the War” to our community. Thanks Terri Topmiller, documentary star, and our 3 other local combat spouses for sharing your story too.

    Glad the 11 women in documentary shared how life changed once their spouse came home from war. Their struggles are real-the scars of war don’t go away; families cope in many different ways-thankful these spouses across America have their own support system.

    We made many new friends too….thanks Ken and Betty for taking part in the Hawaiian Shirts for Deployed Soldiers mission.

    • Betty Rodgers
      | Reply

      We thank you, Barb, for your dedication to our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families. Your efforts make a huge, affirming difference in so many lives.

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