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Steilacoom author Joan Brown discusses life as a military wife

"Move - And Other Four Letter Words" chronicles 21 military moves

Joan Brown will answer questions about and sign copies of her prize-winning memoir Move ??" And Other Four Letter Words at the Lakewood History Museum Feb. 7. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Joan Brown writes with a lyrical touch about the challenges and triumphs she faced as a military wife.

Move - And Other Four Letter Words is a prize-winning memoir of Brown's life as her Air Force husband moved from assignment to assignment.

A memoir about Brown's mobile marriage, the book presents fascinating, fun and philosophical glimpses into her emotional and geographic journey of her husband's 32-year career and the 21 moves she orchestrated.

"Moving around teaches you a lot," Brown said with a smile as we sat in a Lakewood coffee shop.

The lessons she writes about encapsulates her family's military adventures from the 1950s to the 1980s and the moves - overseas and domestic - she and her family faced.

At the heart of those adventures is the welcomes she received from other spouses during those moves that always presented the challenge making a new and temporary home.

"I couldn't change the fact that we were going to be moving, but I could and did change my attitude about it," she added.

To that end, she welcomed other people into her life, and when she felt unwelcomed, she extended herself into the community she found herself in.

"Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a very welcoming community to military families," she added.

"This book is for anybody who has to adapt; take whatever lessons you wish from it.

During the two decades that Brown spent in compiling and shaping the stories that comprise Move - And Other Four Letter Words, Brown also fashioned a highly respected career as a freelance writer and columnist by penning more than 200 articles on travel, personalities, the arts and family issues.

"I'm naturally curious about things," she said with a smile that could melt ice.

Now she wants to share the results of her curiosity and book with the community.

Brown will be on-hand to talk about and sign copies of Move - And Other Four Letter Words at the Lakewood History Museum, 6211 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW, from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7.

Half of all proceeds will go to the Lakewood Historical Society.

The event coincides with the museum's major exhibit, "Home of the Free Because of the Brave: Lakewood Military Neighbors."

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