By: Janice Malone
OWN’s new show, “Married to the Army: Alaska,” tells the stories of strength and resilience of a group of women who suddenly had to become “single parents” when their husbands were shipped half way around the world to be placed harm’s way.
Two of the show’s leading ladies are Yolanda Goins and Rynn Randall. Yolanda is married to Colonel Morris Goins; the Brigade Commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division and Rynn’s husband is Major Casey Randall, who’s now serving as the Executive Officer (XO) of the 2-377 PFAR Battalion at Fort Richardson, Alaska. As military wives, both ladies have lived throughout the world but they each have southern roots. Yolanda obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from Kentucky State University. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of Mississippi. Like her friend Yolanda, Rynn’s southern roots run deep too, as she was born and raised in Texas City, TX near Houston. Braving the arctic cold of Alaska and its lifestyle has certainly been an adjustment for them and their families.
”Right now my husband is with me, so it’s not that big of a deal,” says Yolanda. “But when a spouse is away, you add in the extreme cold; the several weeks of darkness and yes, life can be difficult for many wives.” Rynn readily agrees. She says, “We’ve had many deployments and they’re never easy. But when you add in the weather of Alaska plus, we now have two teens, it makes life even more interesting.”
Rynn and her husband recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in Alaska. Fortunately for them it was during the summer months.
Married to the Army: Alaska is the first time the Pentagon has given permission for cameras to enter in the homes of real Army families for an inside look at the lives of these brave women who are left alone in cold, snowy Alaska while their husbands are deployed to Afghanistan. The producers interviewed numerous military wives. Yolanda and Rynn say they’re very proud to have been selected for the final cast of seven.
“I just knew this show was something I had to do,” says Yolanda. “It was important to let the public see what the spouses of military personnel experience while serving their country.”
Rynn adds, “I never dreamed that I’d be selected. But I was interested in doing the show because it gives a realistic view of what military wives and families experience.”
Married to the Army: Alaska airs Sunday nights 8 -9pm on the OWN Network. Get more information on the show’s homepage: http://www.oprah.com/own-married-to-the-army-alaska/married-to-the-army-bios.html