Terri Barnes, a newspaper columnist and author with local ties, will be signing copies of her book “Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life,” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, at Confectionately Yours, Jouett’s Java. Books are available at the coffee and gourmet shop at 106 W. Cypress.
Terri first came to Altus as part of an Air Force family when her father, Jimmie Hurley, was stationed at Altus Air Force Base. She graduated from Altus High School and Western Oklahoma State College and still has family in the Altus area. Terri and her husband, Mark, met and married in Altus and have since traveled around the world in their military life together. They have three children.
With most of her family in southwest Oklahoma and her mom, Jane Byrd, living in Altus, Terri said she naturally wanted to launch her first book here.
She said Confectionately Yours has been a favorite place since her college days, and she has even written about visits to the shop in her column from time to time.
“When Mark and I got married, we had wedding selections at Confectionately Yours, so we go way back. It’s always nice to stop by when I’m in town, because Don and Doris know me and want to hear how my kids are doing,” Terri said. “I always see people I know, and that’s a nice feeling.”
While living in Germany in 2007, Terri began writing a weekly column for military families in Stars and Stripes, a newspaper serving the military community around the world.
Her book, “Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life,” is a collection of her favorite columns.
In her ongoing column and her new book, Terri reports and reflects on a wide range of topics, including motherhood, faith, friendship, family ties, war, current events, sacrifice, post-traumatic stress, moving, deployments and more. As a wife and mom, Terri highlights important, pivotal moments in her own family’s life as well as others’, in essays that will resonate with both military and nonmilitary families.
“A couple of years ago, I realized that the accumulated body of work in my weekly columns contained a narrative about military families during both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” Terri said. “A weekly column is transitory, and I wanted to preserve the story for my own family, but I’d also like to share it beyond my own circle in military life. A book is the perfect way to do that, and was a dream come true for me.”
Through poignant personal stories, incisive interviews, and emotive reflections, Terri’s column has created a snapshot of American and world affairs, preserving an important piece of our nation’s culture and history.
“People hear a lot about the military on the news. Usually its about combat, tragedy or scandal, but there’s so much more to military life than that,” Terri said. “Much of military life is noteworthy without being newsworthy. We live a lot of life between the big news stories. My book is about all those things.”
Terri has been a member of the Washington, DC, press corps and has contributed to several other books about military life. Her work has appeared in Air Force/Army/Navy Times, The Huffington Post, Books Make a Difference, and other newspapers, magazines, and base publications worldwide. As a WOSC student, Terri worked as a reporter for the Altus Times.
After WOSC, Terri attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she studied journalism and graduated with honors. After living in 11 states, two foreign countries, and one U.S. territory, Terri is currently based in O’Fallon, Illinois, which she estimates is her seventeenth new hometown as part of a military family. Her husband is stationed at Scott AFB.
“Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life” is published by ELVA RESA PUBLISHING LLC, an independent publisher based in St. Paul, Minnesota, whose mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Its primary imprint specializes in books for and about military families. www.ElvaResa.com, www.MilitaryFamilyBooks.com.