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Three NC Army wives saluted for service

Posted May 11, 2012

— The wives of three members of the Army living in North Carolina were recognized Friday for contributions they've made to their communities.

Rebekah Sanderlin, Malinda Cox and Catherine Woyee-Jones were honored at a ceremony at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan was among a number of service members, military families, elected officials and Fort Bragg leaders on hand for the awards presentation by Community Blueprint Network.

"If you spend five minutes with a military spouse, you see firsthand the strength and selflessness that these people possess," Hagan said. "It is you, our military spouses, who are the foundation that allows our brave warriors to complete each mission, and while your husbands and wives are deployed, you are here at home … taking care of the family."

Woyee-Jones manages two nonprofit groups, The Human Initiative, which helps fight childhood obesity through a healthy lifestyle, and The Hope Project, which helps military families in need of wellness support and financial assistance because of family crisis.

Army wife honored Army wives recognized for service

Her work is inspired by her personal experience of fighting depression and weight-gain while her husband was deployed overseas. She lost 118 pounds.

"I felt like I became an emotional eater, and through that, I decided to use my life as a message to the world," she said.

A native of Liberia in West Africa, Woyee-Jones is married to Maj. Courtney Jones and has three children, ages 15, 13 and 9.

Sanderlin conceived and spearheaded a soon-to-be-released public service announcement called "This Country Cares," which recruited dozens of country music performers to film a message of hope and support for members of the military community in crisis.

She is a writer and editor for CityView magazine and has written essays and commentaries for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Self Magazine, The Huffington Post and National Public Radio.

She and her husband, Bob Sanderlin, have three children.

Cox has been raising money to establish a monument for the 525 Lightning Brigade, based at Fort Bragg, which has lost 67 soldiers since its inception in the early 1940s.

She serves as president of the nonprofit group, Lightning Friends and Family Memorial Organization, which is working to raise $50,000 by early summer to have a monument unveiled on Veterans Day this year.

"That's my heart, and I'd really like to see that come to fruition," Cox said. "That's what I'm working toward."

Cox is married to Capt. Robert Cox. They have two children, 14-year-old twins.

"We do this as a team," she said. "Even when he's gone, it's still about teamwork – keeping the family going and taking care of the kids so that he can do his mission."

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  • muggs May 11, 2012

    This should not turn into a political debate about Hagan but a long awaited reminder that most important to any Marine or other branch of service member is who awaits them when they return home,their family,this is due to the fact there is nothing more important to them while they are in harms way as the loved ones who they may or may not ever see again,Semper Fi to all.

  • sniper May 11, 2012

    Maybe because there wasn't a group photo.

  • sunshine1040 May 11, 2012

    The wives of three members of the army were saluted why do we only see the picture of one and what did the other two do to be honored. This article is about Kay and one wife

  • Comfortably Numb May 11, 2012

    Me too Semper Fi Wife. We are a close family and always will be. My husband, son and son-in-law are all Iraqi vets. Glad to have all of my boys home. Happy Mothers Day to all. Just remember... The only thing tougher than being a Marine is being his wife. (Or mother) Semper Fi.

  • 08fjchic May 11, 2012

    This is not about politics.

    Geez. Focus people. God bless the military spouses. Those are the strongest women I know. I miss being apart of that but thankful to have my hubby home.

  • FlySwater May 11, 2012

    "Kay Hagan is another politician who needs to be sent packing next election cycle. She rubber stamps every spending bill she can find."

    Yeah...she's a lib, of course she rubber stamps spending bills. She'll be gone after November, no doubt about it. She beat a weak republican encumbant to get in right before the whole bail-out / recession mess began. She's the last of the tax & spend Mohicans.

  • Danny22 May 11, 2012

    Kay Hagan is another politician who needs to be sent packing next election cycle. She rubber stamps every spending bill she can find.

  • bettyboopr2 May 11, 2012

    God Bless all the military spouses.....I know the sacrifice they also make for this great country. I was born and raised military and saw what my mom went through every time my dad was deployed. She didn't work OUTSIDE the home but she worked hard to raise 6 children. My son is military and he going to Egypt soon and leaving a wife and newborn behind. These spouses and their husbands and wives deserve more than what they get. God Bless the USA