Army Mom’s Safe Haven

Christina

ARMY MOM: AN INTERVIEW

‘Army Mom’ supports troops with Web site
By Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune

Christina “ArmyMom” SharikFor Christina Sharik, affectionately known as “ArmyMom,” the Internet has become the perfect way for her to welcome home all America’s soldiers the only way she knows how – through her poetry.

The Web site at http://armymomhaven.com/ is a way for the new Ironton resident to express her emotions and thank all those individuals who make personal sacrifices for their country. Sharik shares countless poems, photos, stories and links, most of which have a military theme.

“Basically, the Web site is a support thing,” she said. “And it is a way to say thank you to all the soldiers past, present and future.”

Sharik’s 34-year-old son, Staff Sgt. Michael Ream, is a career Army soldier who is two years short of two decades of service to his country. Ream has served in Somalia, Korea, Germany and Bosnia over the years.

Overall, military life is nothing new to Sharik. In addition to several other family members including her first husband who was a Vietnam veteran, Sharik’s father was honored with a Bronze Star for his service during World War II. The war had such an effect on her Dad that Sharik “grew up thinking that everyone’s father had nightmares.”

This part of her personal background helped motivate her to start the Web site.

“It fueled my desire to support the soldiers and thank them for what they do,” she said. “The Web site and the poems are about what is going on now and what may be. There will always be military people and they all have parents and family that care about them.”

These emotions led Sharik to the Internet about six years ago. She was “awe struck” by the support she received. She sent some veterans her poems and was amazed at the overwhelming responses she received. So she decided to start her own “safe haven” support sight.

With a little help from a friend, she upgraded her site about three years ago and continues to write poems for all those who serve.

“I have had Vietnam veterans say that I was the first person to say ‘Welcome home,’ she said. “I think that is pretty sad.”

Though it has been tough on her at times, she is proud that her son has served his country.

“I think it was great for him,” she said. “But in my mind he is still the young Michael. You are always a Mom. He is still your little boy. You always kind of worry.”

The Ironton Tribune: January 16, 2004