Meet the Army Wife Network Team
Tara Crooks, Co-Founder Army Wife Network
Tara is the resident “Lipstick 6” at Army Wife Network and functions as the host of Army Wife Talk Radio, coauthor of Field Problems™, and speaker at Field Exercises™. As our resident “networker” she handles marketing & sponsorship inquiries and social media integration at Army Wife Network. Tara is a coauthor of 1001 Things To Love About Military Life.
Tara is the proud Work At Home Mama (WAHM) of Wrena and Chloe, and wife to MAJ Kevin Crooks, US Army. She has been married to the military for 14 years. She loves Mexican food, the color red (Field Artillery kind), primitive decorating, crafting, and baking. She is known as a “glass half full” kind of gal who can craft a serious belly laugh. Once she sat still long enough she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management. She earned some awards along this journey too. She holds the distinction as one of Military Spouse Magazine’s “Who’s Who Among Military Spouses” for 2009 and she was named the American Legion Auxiliary “Woman of the Year 2008”. What she is most proud of is attaining the goal of her military journey – to empower military spouses to make the most of their lives. To meet Tara and learn more about her visit www.TaraCrooks.com.
Starlett “Star” Henderson, Co-Founder Army Wife Network
Star is the “XO” of this operation serving as cohost of Army Wife Talk Radio, coauthor of Field Problems™, and speaker at Field Exercises™ as well as Editor-in-Chief of Army Wife Network. She is a coauthor of 1001 Things To Love About Military Life.
Star is a National Guard Army wife and Army veteran of full-time and Army Reserve components. Since leaving the military, she worked briefly as a budget analyst with the Department of the Army and later returned to school to earn her Master’s of Arts in Professional Counseling. Her desire to return to service for military members and their families drew her to Army Wife Talk Radio where owner, Tara Crooks, and her became fast “battle buddies”. She was awarded the FINRA Education Foundation’s 2011 Military Spouse Fellowship, which provides training to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation.
Star has been married to the military for 16 years and has two children with MAJ David Henderson, US Army National Guard.
Rebecca Homan, Resource of the Week (ROTW) co-host and database manager
Rebecca is the wife of SFC Matthew Homan. They are a Reserve family living in Cincinnati, OH with their children and two doggies. Rebecca is the Administrative Assistant for Children’s Ministries at her church and high school musical vocal coach with a wide variety of interests to include running, baking, cooking, scrapbooking, and other crafty things.
Janet McIntosh, Field Problems™ and Post with the Most Segment Leader
Janet is the wife of SSG McIntosh. She is mommy to two beautiful children, Alina and Aiden. Janet began her military journey 16 years ago as a soldier herself, serving 2 years in the US Army active duty and another six years in the Army Reserves. She recently finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Janet spends a lot of her time volunteering in her community and has devoted her Army Wife Life to making this journey easier for other spouses. She currently works for Blue Star Families as their Books on Bases Program Manager. Janet knows a life in the military is full of ups and downs but also knows there can be many rewards as well. She is eager to pass on her knowledge and experience to other spouses. Janet was also the 2010 Army Wife Network Household 6 winner.
Kristen Smith, Loving A Soldier (LAS) blog coordinator
Kristen Smith is the proud mama of one little monkey, wife to CPT Kevin Smith and a professional portrait photographer. She did her undergraduate work in marketing, and has since completed her nutritionist certification and is currently working towards a degree in dietetics to become a Registered Dietitian through Eastern Michigan University. She is also a certified Family Manager Coach and committed to helping families through a balanced approach to the military home.
Kristen enjoys participating in the Army community through volunteer opportunities with Army Family Team Building, FRGs, Army Family Action Plan, and therapeutic riding programs. She believes that the Army offers spouses a tremendous opportunity for growth and development and is committed to helping others make the most of those opportunities. Kristen joined the AWN team as the 2011 Household 6 and has stayed on as the Loving A Soldier Blog Coordinator- helping spouses from across the Army share their stories.
Paula Swanson, Virtual Assistant & Resource of the Week co-host
Paula is the very proud wife of Army Reserve SSG Brent Swanson. She has a lot of active duty and reserve time as an Army wife as well as being a SGT herself in the Tennessee State Guard, an all-volunteer arm of the Tennessee Military Department. Paula is a WATT (Work all the Time) wife, mother and grandmother but still finds time to be passionate about volunteer work and supporting many military organizations. She is a 2009 graduate of the FBI Citizens’ Academy and is currently completing her Criminal Justice & Paralegal Studies degrees. Brent and Paula’s permanent duty station is outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
Kowanda McBride, 2012 Household 6 (HH6)
Kowanda McBride is the 2012 Household 6 (HH6). She “grew up” in the military. She is married to her husband Ryan McBride. They have been married 11 years. They have one energetic and inquisitive son who is 6 years old. Kowanda is a SAHM and considers herself a professional volunteer. She enjoys volunteering in various capacities whereever they are stationed. Kowanda is particularly fond of AFTB and AFAP.
Kowanda feels that a quote from Martha Summerhayes just about sums it up for her :: “I had cast my lot with a Soldier and where he was, was home to me”.
Emily Grace, Loving A Soldier (LAS) blog assistant
Emily Grace was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Currently she and her family are stationed in Seoul, South Korea. She ismarried to a wonderful Army aviator and the mommy of a rambunctious and loving three-year-old. She likes to keep busy, as if being a stay-at-home mom weren’t enough, and volunteer with her FRG, Spouse Sponsorship Program, and the American Forces’ Spouses’ Club.
Maggie Shartel, Public Relations
Maggie Shartel was born near San Jose, California, but grew up in NY and Vermont. Currnetly, she, her husband and three kids live north of Fort Lewis Washington, while her husband is stationed there. She and her husband were married in Denmark, while they were both in the Army, stationed in Germany.
She spends a lot of time researching information that interests her, and figuring out how to do things for herself…as in knitting, jewelry making and currently canning and couponing. She reads a lot and keeps busy chasing after her three kids, while finishing her masters in communication and leadership and looking for permanent employment.
Corrie Blackshear, News 6 and Field Problems™
Corrie is a native Chicagoan. She is the wife of Army SFC Steve Blackshear, and is herself a veteran of both the Army and the Army Reserves. For the past nine years, she has worked as a DA Civilian and as a contractor facilitating Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshops for separating and retiring service members, which she loved. She is a portrait photographer and graphic designer who is launching a new business venture.
Corrie lives for volunteering, and while on base can be found volunteering through ACS, AFTB, AFAP, FRG and anything else with an acronym. She also volunteers as an interpretive guide for her local National Park site.
Corrie has two stepchildren, Nick (21) and Emily (17), who are smarter than she is. She also has two dogs and lives in a hollow on a mountain in Colorado, where she is looking forward to her husband joining her in what they hope is their last house ever.