Tara Crooks, Co-Founder Army Wife Network
Tara is the “Commander” at Army Wife Network and is responsible for the overall guidance and execution of the AWN mission. She is host of Army Wife Talk Radio and speaker at Field Exercises™. As our resident “networker,” she also handles marketing & sponsorship inquiries. Tara is a coauthor of 1001 Things To Love About Military Life.
She 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 16 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”. In May 2013 Tara was honored as the Armed Forces Insurance™ Army Spouse of the Year. 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 , Retired
Star, coauthor of 1001 Things To Love About Military Life, 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 18 years and has two children with MAJ David Henderson, US Army National Guard. She retired from her duties with Army Wife Network in October 2013. You can find her now at www.LoveMilitaryLife.com.
Emily Grace, Editor-in-Chief
Emily Grace officially took over the Editor-in-Chief duties from Army Wife Network co-founder, Star Henderson, in October 2013. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Emily and her family are stationed in Seoul, South Korea. She is married to a wonderful Army aviator and the mommy of a rambunctious and loving four-year-old. She likes to keep busy (as if being a stay-at-home mom weren’t enough) with her photography and by volunteering with the American Forces Spouses Club. She is currently holding the position of club president.
Paula Swanson, Virtual Assistant & AWTR 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.
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.
Janet McIntosh, Social Media Coordinator
Janet is the wife of SSG McIntosh. She is mommy to two beautiful children, Alina and Aiden. Janet began her military journey 17 years ago as a soldier herself, serving 2 years in the US Army active duty and another six years in the Army Reserves. She holds a Bachelor of Arts 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.
Corrie Blackshear, News 6 and Field Problems™ Segment Leader
Corrie is a native Chicagoan. She is the wife of newly retired Army SFC Steve Blackshear, and is herself a veteran of both the Army and the Army Reserves. Since leaving the Army 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. 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, with several veterans’ groups and with her county’s animal shelter. Corrie has two stepchildren, Nick and Emily, who are smarter than she is. She also has three dogs and lives in a hollow full of aspen trees on a mountain in Colorado, where she and her husband plan to stay after military retirement.
Malori Mayor, Loving A Soldier (LAS) Blog Assistant Coordinator
Just a few years ago, Malori never imagined that she would one day be an Army wife. She was born and raised in Texas in a non-military family, and earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She returned to Texas in 2009 and currently works for the Dallas Symphony as a Group Sales Representative. She also teaches violin.
Malori is married to CPT Mark Mayor who is stationed out of Ft. Hood. They met in the spring of 2010, tied the knot at the courthouse in June 2013, and plan on having their church wedding after Mark returns from Afghanistan. During their first deployment, Malori began to “recover” her dream of being a writer by starting a blog, which she uses to share her perspective both on the military life and her journey towards becoming debt-free. She also began blogging for Loving a Soldier in 2012 and finds great inspiration and comfort in the online military spouse community. Her future career goals include being an author, a financial counselor, and a homeschool mom.
Lisa D., Post with the Most Segment Leader
Lisa is the proud girlfriend of 2LT Ryan. They met during her last year of college, and 6 months into their relationship, she graduated and accepted a job at a tech startup in San Francisco. For the last two and a half years, Lisa and Ryan have been dating long distance. While Ryan commissioned, went through BOLC in San Antonio, did a year long hardship tour in South Korea and started flight school in Alabama, Lisa has been making San Francisco her home, now working in sales at Google. Lisa is a fitnessista, and loves to run, cycle (and is a newly certified spin instructor), hike and take advantage of all the wonderful yoga studios in SF in her free time.
Lisa is extremely passionate about sharing her journey as an Army girlfriend, especially on AWN’s Loving A Soldier blog. Still living in the civilian world, Lisa is still trying to absorb as much as she can about the army, while connecting with seasoned military spouses!
Alison Pulcher, Public Relations
Alison is an Army spouse of ten years. Her and her Husband have 2 children: Charlie is 5 and Helen is 2. She grew up in Maryland but the Army has allowed her to spend the last 10 years in Manhattan, Kansas. Her family recently came into Army recruiting and they are once again stationed in her home state!
Professionally, Alison has worked in politics, law, and military community relations. She’s also waited a great table here and there.
Alison is passionate about empowering and informing our military community as well as our civilian community about how our military families shine.