Odds are you won’t find this ad on a single website; ‘Wanted: A woman to move often, able to handle all household matters for long periods of time and be willing to accept that oftentimes, our county will come before you.’
But each year many women take on the job when they marry young men in the United States military. Women like Estelle Mullins, who was working as a waitress in downtown Jenkins.
Estelle’s friend wanted her to go out of town with her on a date. Estelle said that she would go if her friend would get her a date with the ‘cute Vanover boy’ at the counter who was just discharged from the Army Air Corps at 17 years old.
They were married May 31, 1947 in Jenkins.
Estelle’s husband reenlisted in the Air Force when he could not find work in Letcher County, and they were assigned to many bases in the United States, then off to their first overseas base in the Far East.
It was a long way from where Estelle grew up in Bold Camp, Va. Not only did she have to learn to adapt to the military lifestyle, she had to make her way in a new culture.
Because of all the top secrets her husband worked on, Estelle and their children did not always go with her husband on some far off assignments. She stayed with Everett’s parents in Cane Branch until he returned stateside. Estelle went overseas two of her husband’s five tours.
Everett retired from the Pentagon after 27 years of military service, and they returned to California where he had a job waiting for him. Throughout their marriage, they have been blessed with eight children.
Estelle and Everett would have been married 65 years on May 31, 2012. She passed away in April 2007.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfi eld, Calif.