I am a native of Warren, Ohio. I met my husband at Fort Irwin, California when we were both in the 40th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard; we were married in Searchlight, Nevada on Valentines Day in 1984 and were fortunate to be able to honeymoon in Hawaii. Shortly after we were married he chose the Regular Army as his career so we have moved about every three years since then... actually, we have moved seventeen times in twenty-four years and we have a few years to go before we retire.
We lived in Germany (3 years in Wuerzburg and 3 years in Griesheim (near Darmstadt). We both loved Europe and would like to go back for another tour of duty before we retire.
We lived on Fort Sill, OK the longest -- from 1995 until May of '99 -- the home of field artillery. It was like coming home for me since I was the first woman in history to be assigned to a combat Field Artillery Battalion (1/144th FA in California). In May of '99 my husband was sent to Korea for a one year, "unaccompanied" tour (see poem below). I elected to go home to Henderson (a Las Vegas suburb), Nevada. Upon his return from Korea he spent three years at Fort Irwin, California and in March of 2002, we were sent back to Fort Sill until March of 2005 when we relocated to Fort Bliss, Texas. In July of 2007 my husband came down on orders for Afghanistan so we decided the time was right to consider "our" retirement, so we have bought a house in Las Vegas (our HOR). I hope you will visit my military pages... you will find the link on my main page.
I have been a journalist, photographer and/or a PR person, as a civilian and as a member of the US Army, for most of my adult life. In addition to being published in too many anthologies to mention here; in 1995 I wrote a book of free verse titled, "heartquakes" (ISBN 0-8062-5061-5). The book, which sold for only $9.95 when it was first released, is now for sale on Amazon.com as a "1st Edition hardcover, collector's edition" for $29.99. I'm flattered but I wouldn't suggest you invest in my book. You can read the same poetry here on my website for free.
I've won many writing awards over the course of my career but I'm most proud of the "Golden Poet" award because the judges were a remarkable panel of people from the arts that included Bob Hope and Helen Hayes. Winning that award helped me get listed the next year in "Who's Who" (in American poetry category).
In 1995 I went to work for a local Internet (print) magazine in Oklahoma, as the Entertainment Editor, and next thing you know, I was spending more and more time "surfing the net". It didn't take me long to decide that I loved the WWW. With encouragement from my friends and family, I began designing websites in addition to my writing. Being a life long over-achiever, it wasn't long before I was the Creator/Producer/Webmaster of a Country Music Fan Resource called 2Steppin'. I invited one of my best, and extremely talented friends, Lisa Jansen-Rees, to join me in this endeavor (she was also married to a career Army soldier). In no time we had acquired a wonderful staff of journalists across the country. We are very proud of the fact that we were the very first Internet magazine to be given media credentials by the Country Music Association (CMA) to cover Fan Fair in 1998. Our website won numerous awards and was ranked in the top 10% of all music websites on the WWW in the first year it went up. Over the past decade I have been honored to work with a lot of really cool people and a couple of them have stuck with me all these years. I'm very proud of the fact that the very first journalist that ever worked with me on 2Steppin.com, Melissa Loncaric Miller (who was fresh out of high school), is now a successful free-lance journalist and DJ in Atlanta. Both she and Christy Cowan Baker have continued to work with me as all of our "real world" careers, and lives, took quite a few interesting twists and turns as we navigated down the "information super highway."
In 1999 my health started to decline. I mention this only as a caution to anyone who -- like me -- is an over achiever and especially if you smoke. I hope this will cause you to think about what you are doing. I am a cancer survivor so I felt that I was invincible. There was no time in my busy schedule for me to be ill so I ignored all the warning signs and continued to work (and smoke) even after I collapsed from exhaustion. I pushed myself until I ended up in the hospital; diagnosed with COPD (emphysema). After major life-style adjustments, and nine hospital stays in one year, I strive to live a somewhat normal life ... or, as normal as it can be since I am on oxygen all of the time now.
I love what I do and I have been truly fortunate to meet some of the nicest people on earth; who just happen to be some of the greatest entertainers in country music. Working on the WWW is the perfect job for a military spouse since my computer is my office. Each time my husband comes down on PCS orders, I grab my suitcase pack up my "office" and I'm ready to move! Speaking of the military; I'm very proud to be able to say that my military pages received the distinguished site award from military.com.
I still work as the senior staff journalist, album reviewer and Editor for CountryStarsOnline and although I have cut my web design and PR client list out of necessity, I'm still the webmaster for T.G. Sheppard, Shelly Streeter and Kelly Lang. I occasionally handle the Internet PR for Carl Ray, Wild Horses, and John Arthur Martinez (who are now cherished friends rather than clients). I love discovering, and working, with new artists and since my very client, and first prediction for super stardom was Joe Nichols and, most recently, Chris Young, my track record is impressive. Last March I joined forces with some good friends from Texas and we launched the 3XC Music Publishing Company. Our goal is to facilitate the success of new artists when ever we can. We are very excited to be working with Crystal Sands
I enjoy golf as much as I enjoy music and am a huge fan of Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. I love to be on a golf course; any golf course, and I have never seen one that wasn't beautiful but I have to say that the old course on Fort Sill will always be one of my favorites. It has many, many walnut trees that serve as home to fearless squirrels and magnificent hawks, and there is something very cool about having to wait while a herd of dear or elk, leisurely stroll across the fairway, before you can tee off, that appeals to me. Since the base shares boundaries with the Wichita Mountain game reserve, you may even spot an occasional wild boar or bison.
In our military community, I volunteer as a DCA PR person for MWR when ever I can (where I concentrate primarily on golf and special events entertainment). In 2004 I am proud to say that I was initiated into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara; an award not often give to female soldiers.
Being a military spouse means you are always dealing with separations of some kind and one of the worst is the unaccompanied tour, or the appropriately dubbed "hardship tour", that requires you to be separated for a year. No matter how prepared you are to face a separation, it is NEVER easy to say goodbye. I wrote this poem when my husband left for Korea and I have shared it with several friends of mine who tell me that it is exactly how they felt too.
as we drove to the airport, you tried to reassure me that
the year was going to pass quickly. we had survived many
separations throughout your career, but I was not ready for this one...
in seventeen years, it hadn't gotten any easier to watch you leave.
so as you hugged me one last time, i willed all my love inside
your heart for safe-keeping, it was the only way i could think of
to remain close to you during the next twelve months,
and without you here, i wouldn't be needing it anyway.
i tried to think of something witty to say to ease the tension
and to leave you with a pleasant memory of me but
my words were washed away by the tears that were
involuntarily streaming down my face. i felt panic
grip my heart and i didn't want to let you go. as i
watched you walk away from me i wondered;
what could possibly be good about good-bye?
©Cheryl Harvey Hill
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