Lauren and Christie were friends long before they became a couple. Lauren hails from Plymouth Massachusetts, while Christie was an Air Force brat from Virginia. They met at a coffee shop where Lauren worked and Christie frequented while stationed at Hanscom AFB. After moving down to Virginia as roomates, Christie went to law school through the Air Force Excess Leave Program and Lauren finished her BA at Lynchburg College.
Currently, Lauren lives in San Diego, finishing her MA in American Literature and Christie is stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. Christie is a captain and cross-trained from an acquisitions officer into the JAG corps last year. Lauren feels lucky to be able to spend many weekends, breaks, and the entire summer with Christie in Tuscon, but is preparing for Christie’s first deployment to Afghanistan. Asked how she feels about the upcoming deployment, Lauren said, “Extremely proud and extremely nervous”.
Due to the implications of DOMA, Lauren and Christie are also not immune to the impacts this has upon their daily lives. “If the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was repealed, and/or we were federally recognized as a couple, Christie and I would have a very different life in small and large ways. I could meet her for lunch on base without prior planning. I could go grocery shopping at the commissary or get things for the house at the BX. Christie wouldn’t have to worry about my safety (as much) because I would have health insurance. We could start a family and know that the kids were also covered without having to go through extraordinary, burdensome measures. That family would be a part of the USAF community in which Christie was raised.” Lauren explains.
As AMPA has reached out to hundreds of same-sex military couples, Lauren and Christie enjoy the new found joys of having other partners to talk with, share stories, ask questions, and celebrate in each other’s victories as well as sorrows. Lauren has been able to meet with some of the AMPA members face-to-face and looks forward to many more introductions. “There is an unspoken (and often spoken) understanding between all members, regardless of sex or branch. I am so grateful that AMPA found me.”
In sharing about her family, Lauren concludes: “I have a true partnership with my best friend. We encourage each other, we challenge each other, and we teach each other. I laugh harder with Christie than with anyone else. We are avid Red Sox fans and love to brew and taste beers. We are both so excited to find where we’ll be stationed next so that we can plan the next phase of our lives…that will, regardless of location, include a wine cellar and brewing forum!”