Baby It’s Cold Outside

The Bensons, Isabel and her baby, Nancy Crain and Toni Benson, and Special Wives at Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour in Pinehurst

Last week, servicemen in Chaplain Cottle’s group braved the freezing temperatures duck and swan hunting, but military wives from Chaplain Crain’s group enjoyed an afternoon tea at Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour in Pinehurst. The Women of Capital Community Church and Chaplain Chris Crain donated funds to make Saturday’s event possible.

We all know the stress that soldiers are under, but it is easy to forget about the hardships that their wives and children endure. Because they move so frequently and are often separated from their families, many military spouses struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Providing special events gives the chaplains’ wives a chance to foster mentoring relationships and build camaraderie with the ladies in their groups. Nancy Crain did an excellent job connecting all of the young mothers in the group, and she introduced them to an OR volunteer who offered a sympathetic ear and the voice of experience.

Veteran military wife, mother of 4, and grandmother of 11, Toni Benson joined our military spouses on Saturday. Her husband, Colonel (Ret.) Terry Benson, served 38 years in the U.S. Army. He began as a Green Beret in 1968, and later became an armor, artillery, signal, and aviation officer. Terry flew Apache, Blackhawk and Huey helicopters for 30 years. All of the aforementioned were in support of training and missions out of Ft. Bragg. Colonel Benson was also the State Aviation Officer for the NC National Guard and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the state as well. Colonel Benson retired in 2002. He built and directed the USO in Baghdad in 2009- 2010. As Toni put it, “He just had to do one more thing for the troops.”

We are honored that both Bensons volunteer with OR. They have been involved in multiple events since hosting a fishing trip with their son-in-law,
Dr. Scott Earp, at Atlantic Beach in 2014.

Here are Toni’s thoughts on the afternoon:

A great day! Why did I want to become involved in OR? To emotionally support the spouses of our special operations soldiers who put their lives on the line with every mission. These spouses live with that every day, and to be able to lift them up with love at a fun event, let them vent, share, and talk in a safe environment surrounded with God’s love is such a small way to give back to our military families.

What did I take away from today? How incredibly strong, smart, and productive these young women are, capable of taking care of the home front, giving the soldiers some space and peace in order to complete their missions safely without worrying about what’s happening at home.

This week we decided to feature our ladies, but we haven’t forgotten about the gentlemen. If you missed those camo pics, check out our Facebook page for pictures of tundra swan and ducks.

Kimberly McDaniel