In this episode, Katie had the privilege of interviewing Debbie Johnson and her daughter, Lauren Halloran. Debbie is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served as a nurse in the Gulf War, when Lauren was just a little girl. Lauren is a former Air Force lieutenant who served in Afghanistan. Both mother and daughter talk about the difficulties not only of deploying to a war zone, but of reintegrating into civilian life upon their return. They touch on the stigma surrounding mental illness in the military, the experience of being women in male-dominated environments (both the military and the Middle Eastern countries they deployed to), how little we talk about the struggle of coming home from war, and how sharing their experiences with one another brought them closer together and helped them both heal from the traumas of war. The beautiful, heartfelt, and often tearful interview, which lasted about 90 minutes, is a powerful testament to the bond between mothers and daughters, and to the healing power of sharing our stories, no matter how difficult.
And scroll on for great pictures of Lauren and Debbie's military experiences (including a super cute pic you don't wanna miss of Debbie returning home to her three small kiddos).