Army Wife Network Core Team

 Army Wife Network Core Team

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Crystal Niehoff, Owner & “Commander”

Crystal is married to her best friend, Army Chaplain (LTC) Kevin Niehoff and is the proud work-at-home mom of Aricka and Seth, two fur babies, and three grown children with families of their own.

Formerly a child welfare worker, Crystal additionally holds certifications as a doula, and birth and bereavement chaplain. In 2014, she founded Heartstrings Ministries, providing grief support for military families enduring pregnancy loss in any trimester. Her e-book, Dads & Bereavement, can be obtained through StillBirthday.

Crystal has written extensively for non-profit organizations, including TFI Family Services, Inc., CASA for Children, Bethany Christian Services, and Rainbow Kids Adoption & Welfare Advocacy, through which she shares her expertise on parenting, foster care, and adoption.

In her not-so-spare time, Crystal enjoys volunteering, researching, traveling, and photography. She and her family currently live in Fort Hood, Texas. 

Sharita Knobloch, Executive Officer & “Deputy Commander”

Sharita Knobloch is the Executive Officer and Deputy Commander for Army Wife Network. She is married to her beloved infantryman husband Brandon. The joys and challenges of #ArmyWifeLife ignited her faith on a deep level, so she answered the call to ministry in July 2011. Soon after, Sharita received her Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Liberty University.

Sharita is not only an Army Wife, but is also a Toddler-Mama, smallish-dog-owner, aspiring-runner,  writer, speaker, and spiritual leadership coach. She loves encouraging others through her personal blog,  7 Days Time. The Knobloch family believes that it is a great privilege to watch God work as they minister in their Army community, regardless of zip code or time zone.

Sharita gets way too excited about office supplies and journal shopping. She is a certified auctioneer, wore duct tape to senior prom (for a scholarship contest #DontJudge), discovered that Zentangle is her relaxation jam, overuses #Hashtags on a regular basis and frequently uses #America! as a verb. 

Jennifer Aloisi, News 6, Field Problems Expert & Post with the Most

Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom of six ranging in ages from five to sixteen. She is married to SFC Michael Aloisi, an Army musician who just hit his twenty year mark in March. With the prospect of all six children being in school full time starting in the fall, Jennifer has resumed her classes in Legal Studies and is working towards her paralegal degree. When she is not busy wrangling the Aloisi tribe, playing shuttle bus driver, or learning how to write legal briefs, Jennifer likes to volunteer in her community and at her children’s schools. She currently lives at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Mandy Gibson, Social Media Graphics Designer

Mandy Gibson is married to her awesome husband, CPT Josh Gibson, a logistician who has an Excel spreadsheet for everything. (Opposites attract, right?) She is a work-at-home mom to her sweet and sassy, one-year-old daughter, who keeps her on her toes. Her family has two fur babies: Capone (English Bulldog) and Jade (Dachshund). Mandy owns her own graphic design company, AK Gibson Designs. Previously, Mandy has worked in the marketing field, focusing primarily on digital marketing in the financial industry. She has a passion for helping others and enjoys volunteering for a variety of organizations and ministries. Mandy is an avid Ohio State fan and and might be a little obnoxious on Saturdays during college football season. If she could adopt all the dogs that needed a home, she would. And in a perfect world she would spend all day at the beach with a good book in hand. (Unless the Buckeyes are playing, of course!) She and her family are currently stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia. 

Lisa headshotLisa Walters, AWN Blog Editor

Lisa is an Army Chaplain’s wife who is also an editor, writer, dark chocolate fanatic, Jane Austen reader, and movie lover. She recently graduated her first homeschool student, continues to homeschool her (now) high school sophomore, and is absolutely loving her new view of mountains and trees in the Pacific Northwest. You can find her online at thearmychapswife.net and forloveofwords.net.

Elizabeth Rains, Blog Editor Assistant

Elizabeth is a full-time seminary student called to become a military chaplain. She is married to her best friend and lives near Fort Hood with her oldest stepson and two furbabies. Elizabeth also holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and interned at the Fort Hood Family Life Chaplain Training & Resource Center; she is passionate about trauma, attachment, and the impact of military life. Adoption and step-family life are also close to her heart. Elizabeth volunteers as a youth leader with the Fort Hood Bob’s Diner youth group and enjoys walking alongside youth through the ups and downs of military life, faith, and teen issues. 

fb_img_1478029153277Amber Budzynski, Social Media Coordinator

Amber is a proud Army wife to her best friend Joshua. She is the mother of three wonderful, smart children (and one on the way!). They have a poodle mix named Penny, and a parakeet named Vinny. She was Mrs. Montclair, VA 2016 with the Mrs. America pageant. Amber spends most of her time volunteering with numerous organizations and attending community events to support great causes. She also tries to attend as many military related events as possible. Amber owns a small all-natural bath and beauty products business. She loves to spend time with her family and friends, and homeschool her children, helping them excel in their academics. Amber also loves coffee, crafts of all sorts, specifically her planner, and music.

Erin Myers-Renaghan, Social Media Assistant

Erin is married to her Active Duty husband of 9 years. They are the proud parents of 4 children and currently enjoying their homeschooling adventure. They live outside of Fort Bragg, NC on a few acres that they share with their chickens, ducks, two Great Pyrenees puppies, a cat and an English Bulldog. She is currently taking her pre-requisites to begin Nursing school while volunteering with local organizations and their FRG. If she ever has any downtime, she likes to exercise, read, write, and be with her family.  

Erica_Garvin_PhotoErica Garvin, Army Wife Talk Radio Assistant Coordinator

Erica Garvin is a published author and has earned a M.A in English Lit and Creative Writing. She finds time to write during her two-year-old’s nap time and late at night when the family has gone to sleep. She has been married for six years to SGT Mark Garvin (UAS crew chief) and has enjoyed living in Savannah, GA, Fairbanks, AK and (now) at Fort Riley, KS. As a traveling fanatic, Erica hopes one day to be stationed in Europe.

Erica loves volunteering and has enjoyed positions such as FRG leader, ESL teacher, and AWN Experience Blog Contributor. Her latest position includes AWTR Assistant Coordinator. But most of Erica’s time is spent coloring with her daughter Ava or playing at the playground, watching her daughter go down the slide belly first. Erica’s hobbies include baking, wood working, painting, writing, and reading (when she finds time).  

Debbie Cunningham, Virtual Administrative Assistant

Debbie is married to her high school sweetheart, Wayne, and has been blessed with three wonderful children.  She grew up as an Army brat until she met and married her husband in Fort Meade, Maryland.  She has been stationed with her Army husband at Fort Hood, Fort Drum, Fort Sill, and Fort Bragg.  She stood proudly by her husband as he served for 10 years as an enlisted Soldier before attending Officer Candidate School and becoming an officer for the remaining years of his service.  Her husband has recently retired and Debbie is now a proud Army mom, as her oldest son is an Infantryman stationed in Europe.  Debbie has been fortunate to amass a variety of experiences throughout the years.  She has worked as a Red Cross case worker, assistant FRG leader and FRG leader thru multiple deployments, and even as the retreat coordinator for a Christian-based camp organization in the Fort Bragg area.  For two summers, Debbie successfully coordinated the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Camp (a week long free summer camp for children of deployed servicemembers and wounded warriors).  Her passion is to give back to military families, empower the spouses, and share her knowledge and love for the military.  She loves to exercise, spend time with her family, go on road trips with her daughter, and cook fabulous meals. 

Courtney Sheppard, Special Projects Coordinator

Courtney has been an Army wife for five years (and counting) and is married to the most amazing husband in the world, SGT Cody Sheppard, active duty, and currently stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. Courtney and Cody have been together for eight years and married for six years. Courtney is a work-at-home mom of two rambunctious girls, Zoey and Haley.  She truly enjoys helping others, exercise, going to the beach, browsing Pinterest, coffee, and organization! Courtney is also an online health and wellness coach and passionate about it! She can be a real homebody but loves to be out with her husband and girls! She enjoys family trips, movie nights, and grilling with friends! Courtney’s planner is her lifeline! She’s always wanted to give back to the military community and has followed Army Wife Network during her entire time as a military spouse!

Support Team

Danilynn Black, Advertising Representative

Danilynn has been married to her formerly active now Army Reservist husband, Kyle, for 6 years.

She currently resides in Michigan where she wrangles two preschool age children and a very part time Student Ministry Assistant job.  Danilynn graduated from college with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  She has used this degree to show off her childcare and nanny skills for over 11 years.  In recent years, she has grown closer to many wonderful military spouses.  Her new life passion is to work with adults, specifically military families.

Danilynn enjoys reading, going for walks, spending time with family, traveling, rock climbing, camping, and most other outdoor activities.  She aspires to be a better cook so every meal is amazing.  

Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.

~Erma Bombeck

AWN Co-Founders

Tara

Tara Crooks, Co-Founder, Retired

Tara Crooks, co-founder of Army Wife Network, began her journey with the military in 1998 by marrying her best friend. She will admit she “checked in” to the military life completely on a whim during one of her husband’s deployments in 2005 with the creation of her first podcast “Army Wife Talk Radio.” Army Wife Talk Radio continued under Tara’s leadership through ten years of broadcasting and inspired the creation of Loving A Soldier blog, Field Problems, Field Exercise, and eventually Army Wife Network. Tara served as an avid blogger for many military organizations and has stories featured in Household Baggage Handlers and Stories Around the Table. She is a coauthor of 1001 Things To Love About Military Life.

Tara is the proud mama of Wrena and Chloe, and wife to LTC Kevin Crooks, US Army. She has been married to the military for 18 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 her 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. In December of 2015 Tara put AWN “up for adoption” by another military spouse and retired to become a full-time educator in Texas where her family will retire from their military career. 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. 

 

starStarlett “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 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 she 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.