CAMP TAJI, Iraq – 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. But these days, not everyon leaves their families behind. Today, it is very common to find spouses serving in combat with their better half.
This is the case with Sgt. Julie Oliver and her husband Spc. Joe Oliver, both with the 15th Sustainment Brigade.
Julie grew up with four sisters, all tomboys. They would go down the street and play with the neighbor boys who had five brothers, playing war. 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 that she enlisted in the Army and left for Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, S.C. She went in on the Delayed Entry Program and left for BCT in August 2005. After BCT and AIT, she was sent to Co. B 27th Main Support Battalion.
“I started getting to know my husband two days before we deployed,” Julie said.
Her first deployment brought her to Camp Taji with her soon to be husband. They both worked in the motor pool doing their MOS as 63B- light weight wheel mechanic.
“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,” Julie said 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,” Julie said.
Joe decided after school to join the Army. His father served in the Navy and grandfather served in the Army.
“Joining the Army after school sounded like a good idea,” 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. By 2004 he was headed to Taji, Iraq.
“My first deployment was exciting, there was so much going on and it was all new,” Joe said.
He went out on convoy missions driving HETs. 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,” Joe said.
Currently he is a driver for Brigade.
The couple’s families support the careers that they have made out of the Army and are proud that they are serving over here together.
“I am most definitely making a career out of being in the Army,” Joe said.
The couple plans on starting a family once they return home and settle back into Army life back at Fort Hood.