About Us

Melissa Seligman


Before I was an army wife, or even a mother, I was Melissa. Strong and independent. I put myself through college, earning a B.A. in English, then a Master’s in Education. When my husband first entered the Army, pieces of me began to fall by the wayside until I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. Years of war, parenting by myself, and trying to remain close with a husband who was rarely there, wore on me. It was a slow process to try to find my voice. But, one step toward my friend, Christina Piper–one pleading sentence of understanding–began the fire that ignited Her War, Her Voice. Now, I stand proudly with him. But not as a wife who must always be on display. I am, first and foremost, still Melissa. I have a voice. I have talent. And I have the ability to ensure I never lose these aspects of myself again. Multiple deployments and constant separations have nearly broken me and my relationship. Our marriage has been pushed to the brink of divorce. But, yet, we thrive. After many struggles, I have finally realized: We are in charge of our marriage and I am in charge of who I am. Not the military. And certainly not a deployment. I have two children, a daughter and a son. I am still strong, still independent. Only now, all that falls under two words: military wife. As the co-founder of Her War, Her Voice, it has become my mission and my passion to ensure no military spouse ever feels alone or without her voice again.

My pain, my love, and my experiences are now in my book, The Day After He Left for Iraq.
Email Melissa: melissa@herwarhervoice.com

Links to Melissa’s Press


The Her War, Her Voice Team


I have almost always been an Army Wife.  I got married the day after I turned 18 to a soldier fresh out of Basic.  He was abusive–mentally, emotionally and physically–but feeling trapped, I stayed for seven years, bearing three children in that time.  I finally got the courage to leave and was a single mom for two years (though in reality I was a single mom the entire time).  I spent those two years trying to find myself. Later,  I fell in love with a man I had met when I was 16, and all these many years later we got married.  He was also a soldier.  This time, however, I was different.  Stronger. More sure of myself and what I wanted.   We have been together for 5 years, and we have 5 total children, a boy age 12 (going on 30), and 4 girls, ages 11, 9, 3 and 2.  Two of my children are special needs, so our journey occasionally has random tangents. All of them are home schooled, and we live on a mini farm.  We have been through deployments, transfers, injuries, happy times, and sad ones. There have been his battles on the front line, and our battles at home. There have been times we have nearly broken, but have been resilient enough to bend, though sometimes barely.   I found HWHV when I was at one of those breaking points.  Chris and Melissa opened their hearts to me and bared their souls.  I found a home in them, and learned that I was never alone.  They have been through it all, and were willing to share their journey with me to help me along.  Now I am ready to share mine with you in the hopes I can do the same for someone else.

Email: devin@herwarhervoice.com


At the beginning of this adventure, my husband and I said our vows, then he took an Oath to serve our nation in the Army in only a few days time. In our nearly fourteen years together we have experienced six duty stations, numerous separations, and battled life threatening and chronic illnesses. We have two daughters, ages 11 and 3, with ongoing complex medical and educational needs, and social impairments. We stand together and navigate this life and its challenges for them and for each other. We have spent more special days apart or at the hospital than we have celebrated. My husband has stood by us as he watched both of our daughters and myself battle death, and we stood by as we sent him off to war. We have fought on two fronts, overseas and at home. Are we battered? Yes. Am I scarred? Certainly. But never fully broken. In all of this I have learned to live “outside the box” and have found within myself the ability to draw upon creativity and resourcefulness to make things happen. In fact it was a moment of need that led me to Her War, Her Voice, where I found a community of acceptance, support, friendship and love such as I have never known. Now, I am writing my own unique definition of strength. No, I really DIDN’T know what I was getting into, but I love this wild ride called military life, so I’m pretty okay with that.



No one believes me when I tell them that I was the quiet, geeky nerd at the back of the class. I had few friends and was painfully shy. One Thanksgiving Day in 1989, I was introduced to the man that would take all that away. My Soldier introduced me to the Army life and it has never been a dull moment. I like to call it my roller coaster ride. Seven months after we were married, he left for Desert Storm with me five months pregnant. That taught me the first lesson in independence and resiliency. Among the many deployments, TDYs, NTC rotations, and Schools, we have been raising four Army Strong Brats. They embrace the challenges of growing up Army (the PCS moves, making new friends, sending Dad off on deployments) and fear them all at the same time.  Especially the months that Mother Army takes Dad away.      My Army experience is vast and complex. I grew up with a Dad that served two tours in Viet Nam. PTSD was a living, breathing being in my house. Not just my Dad’s, but also my own. I have been a PTSD victim/survivor for 30 years and finding new ways to make PTSD known and easier to deal with is my passion. I grew up in an Army town. I married a man that grew up an Army Brat and has served 24 years of Active Duty with no wish to retire any time soon. I was volunteered in Germany before the days of internet and cell phones to take care of the Families of our unit. I have served as a Family Support Group Leader, Family Readiness Group Leader (and yes there is a huge difference between the two), and everything in between including the job that I do today that allows me to take care of Soldiers and Families every day. The Army has cured my shyness and given me the strength and knowledge that lets me stand up and say loud and proud: “Hello Friends, my name is Tricia and I can’t wait to get to know you.”

email: tricia@herwarhervoice.com



Her War, Her Voice Press

All About A Heart Apart:

See what Military Avenue has to say about us.

Check out Channel 13 television interview about A Heart Apart and Her War, Her Voice

Read all about the first donation of A Heart Apart:

More about A Heart Apart:

A Heart Apart in Army news:

Our inspiration for A Heart Apart:

Listen to the AWN about A Heart Apart:

Another Army article about A Heart Apart:

Interviews with Chris and Melissa:

Read more about why we started this on Mom of Brats

Check out Chris and Melissa’s interview on Army Wife Talk Radio

Read about Her War at Department of Defense

Read about why we started Her War, Her Voice here.

Both Melissa and Chris are featured in the Heart of a Military Woman book!

H of MilitaryWomanSmall

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12 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Great website Melissa and Chris. And such a wonderful voice you both have about your particular personal “war”. I can empathize as every time my son goes to ‘work’ at MSC, I know he his working as a support to the military and …well I’ll just say I breathe better when he comes home. My best wishes for you both and your families. May your individual strengths keep you focused on enjoying all you have that is wonderful.

  2. Thank you so much, Barb. I know exactly what you mean about breathing better. It seems I let out a deep sigh every time I have a chance to hug him again. Thanks for your support.

  3. I was curious.. you did a frg meeting for my wifes company about a month ago at fort riley ks. it was for 1at stb. i was the one of two male spouses there. I was just curious why everything that was mentioned had to deal with only wives? i understand that there are more wives then husbands. but we deal with the same issues the wives do and get no assistance or any kind of recognition for being a army husband.. I was just curious as to why it is that army wives of deployed soldiers get all this info about how to deal and groups to join but as a army husband i get ignored and basically pushed aside simply because i am a man.

  4. Jeff,

    I am sure Melissa will responded as well. All the information we give is for both husbands and wives of our service members. We do have more wives and that is why that term is used. We do a few husbands in our ranks here and surly on our facebook that are pretty active with our group. You are more than welcome to take what info you want or need and join the conversation.

    Just like I had to deal with blanket terms when I was in the Army and had to adapt it to my gender, unfortunately it is the same for you guys on this end. We mean nothing by it. We even have husband shirts at our store. :)

    I hope you find a place to feel welcome here, and if you need info or a place to talk feel free to ask.


  5. Hi, Jeff,

    First of all, I am so happy to see you here! And I was very happy to see you there at the FRG meeting.

    I do apologize for slipping and saying “he” for a lot of the meeting. While looking at you, I tried to say “spouse” as many times as possible in order to let you know how much we truly want you to be a part of us. In fact….if you noticed me stumbling at all, it was because I was trying so very hard to NOT say “he” but to replace it with “spouse.” I admit it openly that I didn’t catch it like I should. And I saw your frustration then. So I am very happy to have you here, talking to me about it! That is how you, as a male spouse, can make such a difference–by speaking out about it.

    And to be very honest, too, it was hard to not single you out and applaud you for being there when you are in the minority. Often, because it is mainly women, men will skip the FRG. So kudos to you!

    Chris is totally correct in that you are very, very welcome here, and we do in fact have a few very active husbands on our site as well.

  6. I would like to say thank you to you both. And I understand that it I am the minority at FRG meetings. I was not really frustrated at you for saying he instead of spouse. I was more frustrated at a FRG leader. She kept interrupting me when I was introducing myself to the other FRG leaders as a spouse. I am a proud spouse .. I am also a Vet. I support my wife in all her endeavors. I have joined the group on facebook and would not mind letting others out there know what male spouses go through along side them. Or to get in touch with other male spouses..

  7. Hi Melissa and Christine,
    I love your blog and FB posts! But I need your help, a dear friend of mine and I were talking last night that there is no real support for wives of retired military. Both of our DH’s are dealing with Post-Mil stresses and issues. And it seems that there is no where to get support for the spouses of those who served for many years (27 and 28 years respectively). Do you know of any blogs, boards, etc. where we can go to get some support?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

  8. Hi Margaret,

    The one thing that is coming to my mind is the VFW or the American Legion Auxiliaries. Also, I have heard that helping with Jr. ROTC or something of the like really helps with the transition. I will keep my ear to the ground for anything more and get back to you with it. This is a definite hole in support.


  9. Christina,
    Thank you so much for getting back to me. For my DH at least, VFW is out. He does not wish to hang about listening to old guys tell war stories, he has enough of those himself. What he needs is support that places value of post military work. These guys do not see the value in what they do now, compared to what they did in the military. They still peer through the eyes of the military. Perhaps it is harder for those that retire after 20 years as it has been their life for so very long. I appreciate you keeping an ear open.


  10. I googled “a blog site for wives of retired soldiers” and have read all of this initial site down to MEWolf’s comment of March 23, 2011 at 7:29 am. I was just about to close it out because none of it seemed relevant. I was going to discount this site until I saw her comment “These guys do not see the value in what they do now, compared to what they did in the military. They still peer through the eyes of the military.” My husband retired in 1994 and we are still dealing with such issues today. We have an up and down relationship, all seemingly stemming from his view of himself in the “civilian” world and of me as a someone he should be able to “tell” what to do. I don’t know if any of the issues discussed will be helpful to me (not him, because I am not to talk about him to anyone) or if I can be helpful to anyone else, but I will continue to check in. By the way, I have an Doctorate and have analyzed him, me, and everything in our lives and though I can see reasons for actions, it doesn’t help in dealing with them.

  11. Trish,

    I am glad you found us and hope that you can find some understanding here. I do understand not being able to let go of the Soldier title especially when you have identified so much with it. A lot of us deal with that issue in ourselves and our spouses. ~Chris

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