Tiffany Olson is the hostess of Storm Politics on WYLN
. I was her guest on the show
last December which inexplicably is not available online. Being a veteran I can relate to her worries.
Wife Of Decorated Spec Ops Soldier
Writes Sleeping with Dog Tags, A
Memoir About Deployment From The Spouse’s Perspective
In 2011 while most were going about
their normal daily routine, Tiffany Cloud Olson of Conyngham, PA was thinking
of her husband, SSG Erik Olson, a decorated Special Operations combat veteran
serving outside the wire in eastern Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush near Pakistan. Based upon insurgent activity in the region, a
high probability existed that he would be injured or worse. Olson was not naive
to battle, as prior to Afghanistan, he served two year-long tours with Special Operations
in Iraq where he was awarded numerous commendations, among them, three bronze
stars, including the bronze star for valor. But despite being a seasoned combat
veteran, the risks for him were real, and the fears for her, palpable.
As self-imposed therapy, Cloud
Olson began to write about her experiences as a military spouse lacking sleep, worrying
daily, checking the casualty report incessantly, & coping sometimes well (often
horribly) while her husband was at war. Her writing evolved into a book
entitled Sleeping with Dog Tags,
which released this month and is available in major bookstores, Amazon.com, Barnes
& Noble/NOOK, Kindle, eBooks etc.
Sleeping with Dog Tags tracks the
emotional rollercoaster of a military spouse’s year at home while her husband
is deployed in Afghanistan. Central to her narrative is the conviction that
while war is hell for the soldiers, it is also hell for family members manning
the home front, and there are few supports for those left behind.
But the story is also a love story. A story about two people meeting
later in life after divorces and discovering they are soul mates—despite their
very different backgrounds. And it is the wisdom garnered from a life of
experiences that feeds a very poignant, yet very self-aware reflection on the
challenges of dealing with the ever-present specter of death, the “my way or
the highway” nature of the military, and the missteps of a strong woman
treading the unchartered path of the military spouse. But, her humor and
passion elevate the narrative. This is not a bitter or whiny piece of
writing—angry at times, yes, sad too, and funny as well—but her objective is
not to complain. Rather, she strives to offer some perspective on her
experiences in the hopes that other military spouses will take some courage and
confidence from the heartfelt reminiscences of a woman who got really tired of
She does not only wish to raise
awareness of the military family experience with this book, she also wishes to
raise money for an organization benefiting her community. Cloud Olson intends
to donate a portion of the profits from Sleeping
with Dog Tags to The Rolling Angels for Armed Forces, a motorcycle
group that supports military and their families in multiple ways—soldier send
offs, return home celebrations, presence at military funerals, and gifts for
military children during the holidays, among the many things they do. Amy Crego, Founder of The Rolling Angels,
authored the book’s foreword.
SSG Olson returned from his
Afghanistan tour earlier this year, recipient of The Purple Heart. He is
currently recovering from injuries at a military base near Washington D.C.
where he is in The Wounded Warrior Program.