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U.S. Army Sgt. Julie Oliver
U.S. Army Spc. Joe Oliver
Spouses Serve in Combat Zone
By Spc. Karly Cooper
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office
CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Feb. 12, 2007 — When people think of soldiers coming over to the combat zone, they often think of the family they leave behind. Spouses, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and especially children come to mind.

However, now it is very common to find spouses serving in combat with their better half.

Such is the case with Sgt. Julie Oliver and her husband Spc. Joe Oliver, both with the 15th Sustainment Brigade.

Julie, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, grew up with four sisters, all tomboys. They would go down the street and play "war" with the neighbor boys (five brothers). So naturally when she graduated high school, what better way to start a new chapter in her life than by serving in the Army.

"When it came time to do something after high school, the Army seemed like the best choice." she said.

Her sister had been active Army for a year by the time Julie enlisted and left for basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C. She went in on the Delayed Entry Program and left for basic in August 2005. After basic and advanced individual training she was sent to B Company 27th Main Support Battalion.

"I started getting to know my husband two days before we deployed," said Julie.

Her first deployment brought her to Camp Taji with her soon-to-be-husband. They both worked in the motor pool.

"The first date that my husband took me on was to a smoothie shop that used to be here and he picked me up in a Humvee," said Julie with a big smile.

They were married on April 12, 2005, after they returned from deployment.

"I don't know how I'd survive over here without him," she added.

Joe, a native of Texarkana, Texas, said he decided to join the Army after school. His father served in the Navy and his grandfather served in the Army.

"Joining the Army after school sounded like a good idea." said the specialist.

Joe said he wanted a better job and to get out of the town that he grew up in. In July 2000, he left for basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C. His first duty station was Fort Hood, Texas. By 2004 he was headed to Taji, Iraq.

"My first deployment was exciting, there was so much going on and it was all new," said Joe.

He went out on convoy missions. He got to know his future wife and serve in that first deployment with her.

"It's fun having Julie here with me and it definitely makes it more enjoyable," he added.

Currently he is a driver for the brigade.

The couples' families support their careers and are proud that they are serving over here together.

"I am most definitely making a career out of being in the Army." said Joe.

The couple plans on starting a family once they settle back into Army life at Fort Hood, Texas.

Last Updated:
02/12/2007, Eastern Daylight Time
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