Army wife Michelle Cuthrell is a writer, motivational speaker and author of Behind the Blue-Star Banner: A Memoir from the Home Front.
She graduated from Ithaca College in 2004 with a degree in journalism and a penchant for the personal – but until she married a military man and moved to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, she never realized just how personal.
When her husband deployed to Iraq in August 2005, Michelle began working as a cameraperson and then a features reporter at the NBC affiliate television station in Fairbanks, KTVF Channel 11, where she reported, edited and presented feature stories involving her own military community.
Between October 2005 and December 2006, Michelle composed a weekly column titled “Until They Come Home” for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the military newspaper The Alaska Post about her personal experiences as a military wife dealing with deployment on the home front.
Letters to the editor of both papers called her columns “refreshing,” “honest” and “authentic.” One writer commented, “We need more Michelles during these hard times.”
Throughout the deployment, Michelle was interviewed on and appeared in such media as CBS Radio News, the Army Times and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, as well as various mothering and military Web sites.
After her husband returned from Iraq in December 2006, Michelle compiled her columns, commentaries, war-time letters and experiences into a book, Behind the Blue-Star Banner: A Memoir from the Home Front, and in 2008, she launched the book at the Fairbanks Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Today, five combat deployments later, Michelle uses her book as an opportunity to address various military and civilian audiences about confronting the challenges of deployment on the home front, and confronting them with joy. Since the release of her book, Michelle has appeared on Fox News Live, Great Day SA, San Antonio Living, Army Wife Talk Radio, Seattle’s Spirit 105.3 FM, and on the pages of the Army Times, The Olympian and bestselling author Ellie Kay’s most recent edition of her popular book, Heroes at Home. She’s been a regular contributor at Operation Homefront Online Magazine and Military Spouse Magazine, and her pieces occasionally appear in the Army Times. Because of her service to her Fort Knox community, in April 2011, Michelle was also featured as “Wednesday’s Woman” in the Hardin County, Kentucky, newspaper.
Michelle, her husband and their two energetic boys currently reside in the Pacific Northwest, where Michelle serves as the editor in chief of Good Catch Publishing, and Matt continues to serve as a Physician Assistant in the U.S. Army.
* Author photograph by Michelle Ocampo.