Good morning, Hearties! Happy Memorial Day to all of us in the U.S.A! I hope you are doing something fun with the day, and taking time to remember those that gave their lives for us, in all our countries.
As it is Memorial Day, I wanted to do something special. Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen warriors. Since I cannot spotlight any of them, I thought the next best thing would be to get to know a Heartie currently or formerly in the military; and I also missed Veterans’ Day in 2017 because I started the blog the week of Thanksgiving. In my search for the right candidate, I found a remarkable story of not 1, but 2! Two sisters, both in the military! And what a story they had to tell! But I will let them say it to you themselves, in their own words. Introducing Laura Driessen and Sami Lynn Miller!
- Where are you from? If you’re living elsewhere, where are you living now?
- L: I live in Emporia Kansas, but I’m from Missouri/Louisiana. I was adopted when I was 7 in Missouri. When I was 9, we moved to Louisiana, as my adopted mom’s mom (Granny) had cancer. When I turned 18, I signed up for the Air Force. We moved to Missouri in 2007 after I graduated High School. The following year, 2008, I worked at a daycare after my 19th birthday. I joined the Air Force June 25, 2008, when I would turn 20 that year.
- S: I’m from Alaska, but stationed in Tennessee.
- Tell us about your family.
- L: In my adopted family, I am third generation military. I have an older sister, married to a Navy man, an older brother, Air Force Reserve, and then me. In my biological family, I am first generation military. I have my older sister, myself, my younger sister who is active duty Army, (you’ll get to read about her,) and my younger brother, who tried to serve but was medically discharged. I got married in 2011 to a wonderful man; we have a 5-year-old, and a 3-year-old. My 5-year-old just graduated Kindergarten, and will be in first grade next year. She is a #Heartie as well. She turns 6 the DAY (Aug 20) school starts. My youngest will be 4 in Nov.
- S: I come from a family of 17 kids. I’m adopted, and have 5 siblings on my biological side.
- What are your hobbies? What are you studying/did you study in school?
- L: My hobbies include: reading, horseback riding, writing, WCTH (duh! lol), Girl Scouts, and crocheting. I am going back to school this fall to begin my BSN-RN Journey. I have previously studied Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Medication Aide.
- S: My hobbies are: I design wedding dresses and write books. I went to school for acting and modeling, and I currently own my own acting and modeling studio.
- How did you find/discover WCTH?
- L: My discovery of When Calls the Heart is actually kind of funny. I was flipping through channels the year before last on my TV. I caught an episode, but wasn’t “that into it”. I got on Netflix, and found a show called “When Calls the Heart”; and my thought was “Elizabeth and Wynn”. So I binge watched Seasons 1-3 before realizing it WAS NOT Elizabeth and Wynn…But another Elizabeth: her niece. Then last year I watched Season 4 and became a #HookedHeartie.
- S: I happened upon WCTH on accident. I love Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn, Love Comes Softly, Emma, and Ever After…etc…so this fit right in.
- What is your favorite episode? Season?
- L: This one is very hard for me to answer. Season 5 is very hard on military or prior military families. My favorite episode, I’d have to say, is a toss up between the Wedding of the Century, AND the last episode. Erin’s acting was so…poignant, so real and relatable. But the wedding was breathtaking! I was able to watch ALMOST every episode with my #Heartielittlegirl and #HeartiesisterSamiLynnMiller.
- S: My favorite episode and season is 1 and 1. I know how it feels to move to a new town, to not know anyone, and be judged.
- Who is your favorite character? Star of the show?
- L: Elizabeth and Erin Krakow hands down. But Ava Grace Cooper (Opal) would be my FAVORITE child.
- S: My favorite charater on the show is Rosemary. I’m a lot like her in life, so I can relate the most to her.
- Why are you a Heartie? Why do you love the show?
- L: I am a Heartie because I can relate to a lot of the characters. I have been there for the ups and downs of Jack and Elizabeth’s romance. I have been there through Rosemary trying to take him, and through Charles trying to take her. When Calls the Heart GAVE me something to believe in. Then S5 hit…and it reminded me WHY I love When Calls the Heart. It’s the community of Hope Valley. It’s the call to follow the Calling of your heart; which I am proud to say I have done this year. It’s the cultivation of the desire to follow your dreams. And my dream, my bio mom’s dream, was to be a nurse. I have answered the call to go back to school and I am following that dream.
- S: I am a Heartie because it’s great to have people around who like the same stuff as me, and who support each other. And I like relating to the characters like me. In my agency, we are a sisterhood, so here as #Hearties, we are a family. I love the show because I feel like it gives a good sense of family and friendship atmosphere.
- Anything else you enjoy, or anything you’d like to add?
- L: The Season 5 Finale was very hard on me because I lost my mom in October. I had seen Hope Valley as that…a place of hope in the midst of despair. And when I first saw that episode…It transported me back to the phone call with my aunt. The day my mom died, I felt my heart rip open again. And like Elizabeth with her beloved, I felt “cheated”. I was taken away when I was VERY young (3). I was in foster care until I was 6. My biological mom and I started talking when I was 18. We didn’t start to get super close until 2 years ago. Then she had gastric bypass surgery, and was in ICU on life support for 3 months. She came out, and I thought, “Ok great. We can continue to bond”. Then my aunt called me, and my heart just plummeted. I wish I had more time, I wish I had spoken my heart. My mom’s wish was to become an RN. She NEVER got to see that dream come true. I am living it for her. For my husband and my kids.
- S: I’m a pretty laid back person. I recently got discovered thru my agency for an acting job, but I unfortunately had to turn it down since it didn’t work with my military career. I’m hoping someday soon to be able to get another chance. I would love to meet Papa Heartie and the rest of the cast in a sit down, and just have some good laughs and talk about acting…
Thank you, SO MUCH, ladies! It was wonderful to hear your stories, and we are all deeply grateful for your service. Well, everyone, time for me to push off. Have a fabulous rest of your holiday weekend, and please remember to give a thought to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to enable us to enjoy our freedoms. See you Wednesday! (I’m getting the hang of this four-children thing now! 😉 ) So long!