Army Wives Blog

"Army Wives" Author Tayna Biank Looks Inside Episode 11

By kim_messina 09/30/2014 03:26PM GMT

Read on for guest-blogger Tanya Biank's take on the latest episode of "Army Wives" and share your thoughts!

"To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping." It's an ancient Chinese proverb that applies well to today's Army wife. But I’d jazz it up a bit: "To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time — and it might as well be the tango."

We got that message this week loud and clear from Mrs. Jean Calhoun, the spitfire senator’s widow who drove her "handlers" Claudia Joy and Denise bonkers. After her colorful stay at Fort Marshall, which included hitching a ride in a Humvee with "the boys" and partying it up at the Hump Bar, Mrs. Calhoun had this to say to Claudia Joy and Denise, who hesitated when she told them to pack their bags for a surprise spa weekend getaway: "But you can, my dear. And you must. You have to be spontaneous every now and then. Keeps the blood flowing. If you don't mind my saying, you two worry too much. Go out. Have fun. You need to grab life by the throat and tell it who's boss. Because before you know it — The parade’s gone by."

And with that Mrs. Calhoun and her big handbag bid adieu. I've thought a great deal about Mrs. Calhoun's message and how it applies to military life, which like a military ceremony, can be orchestrated and choreographed down to the minutest of details.

While Claudia Joy and Denise may worry too much in the eyes of Mrs. Calhoun, there’s plenty to stress over these days as a military wife in wartime. But there’s also much to celebrate, such as love and dedication to family, friends and country. Strength and resiliency comes in knowing your family is part of a noble and courageous effort to make the world a safer and better place.

Mrs. Calhoun’s parting words reminded me of my visit to Fort Hood, Texas, last year. I met an amazing group of Army wives in the 4th Infantry Division who reminded me it's good for the spirit to kick up your heels and have some fun. I was in town as the guest speaker for "The Denim and Diamonds Ball." But this was unlike any ball I’d ever attended. For starters, no men were present—they were deployed to Iraq. (Who says you need men as dance partners?) Instead of gowns, the women wore jeans, cowboy hats and boots. A country band kept the dance floor packed with two-steppers and the generals’ wives did an expert job riding the mechanical bull.

The evening was a celebration of spirit, strength and courage during a stressful and difficult year. All of us, civilians and military alike, can take pointers from these real life Army wives, who chose for one night to come together to dance and laugh like there's no tomorrow.

Jean Calhoun would have had a blast.

Tanya Biank is the author of "Army Wives". Her book is the basis for Lifetime's "Army Wives". Tanya serves as a show consultant for "Army Wives" and is a syndicated columnist. Read her monthly column "Intel with Tanya Biank" at and find out more about the book behind the smash-hit "Army Wives" at