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Dear Tom,

I met my wife in Hawaii – I was stationed in Oahi working logistics at the Schofield barracks army base.  She, too, was in the army and i noticed her passing by.  I had to stop & pull down my aviators in slow motion – just like in the movies – because I had to check her out.  As fate would have it, we ended up on an assignment together.

We started dating but as you know, being in the military means moving around from base to base.  Uncle Sam sent us on our separate ways but then he changed his mind and we ended on another assignment together – the rest is classified.

We eventually got married and have 5 wonderful kids ranging from a 9-month-old to 16-year-old teen. Victoria taught herself how to play guitar and managed to earn her Bachelor’s degree while serving in the U.S. Army.

Earlier this month, she received orders for a one-year assignment in Kuwait.  I know she wants to go on a family vacation before she leaves…and when she gets back next may, it will be just in time for our daughter’s high school graduation and she can see her off to college.

As you can imagine, a last minute vacation with 5 kids is tight on the budget.  What she would like to do is drive down to Florida to see her parents in Tampa before she is deployed.  I think it would be a nice way to give this hard working mom the sendoff she deserves.


THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Victoria Manigault  was originally published on