Television viewers might think they have a sense of how difficult it is to be a military spouse thanks to the Lifetime drama series "Army Wives." But when "Married to the Army: Alaska" premieres on OWN this fall, they'll get a taste of what it's really like. In a recent exclusive interview, we talked to four of the new reality show's stars about the challenges they each face in their daily lives.
Rynn Randall has accepted that she is struggling with depression
One of the show's stars, Rynn Randall, thought she had it all under control considering that her husband Major Casey Randall's deployment last December was his fourth. She recounted, "I thought it was going to be a breeze since I've done this before, but it's just been a little more challenging that I expected."
Randall acknowledged that she's had to come to terms with the fact that she's not perfect and that it's okay to admit that. That realization has set her on a journey of self-discovery. As she admitted, "I look at my relationships with my family, with my kids, and my husband, and they seem so much richer to me now. And it's not because they've changed, I feel like I've changed. And it's because I've allowed myself to accept that I was struggling with some depression, seek help. It makes my life better."
Blair Flanagan and Lindsay Bergeron are young Army wives
Blair Flanagan is married to Staff Sergeant Brian Flanagan, whose brigade was deployed in December 2011. The new mother has been struggling to raise their child on her own since her husband shipped out. She explained, "I've been faced with the challenges that come with motherhood and a new baby, without my husband being home."
Her co-star Lindsay Bergeron is also a young bride and mom. While she seems to be managing her mom duties, she's having a more difficult time navigating the responsibilities of being the spouse of Major Casey Randall. She told her story, saying, "I'm recently married, and I'm trying to navigate my way through my role as his wife in the Army culture, and I'm being mentored my Mrs. Goins on the responsibilities that are not required but expected, that I'm dealing with right now."
Yolanda Goins is accountable for the Army spouses
Her guide, Yolanda Goins is married to Brigade Commander Colonel Morris Goins. He's responsible for the lives of 3,500 soldiers, as well as approximately 1,500 civilians, in Afghanistan.
As a result, she acts in a similar role back at the base. She revealed, "I'm pretty much accountable for the spouses and so what I do is represent the brigade. And through this process I have taken a journey to discover that it's okay if I cannot fix everything. And it's okay if I express my emotions, because I don't think it's a weakness to show emotion. So that's where I am in this journey."
And, of course, they need to face all of these issues living with the day-to-day fear that their husbands could easily be hurt, or worse, in the midst of combat. Tune in to "Married to the Army: Alaska" this fall on OWN to see how their stories unfold.
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