Army wife wins trip to S.C.

Published 7:31 am Sunday, January 15, 2012

A local Army wife won a contest Wednesday through the state’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group.

Tammy Estes, wife of Thomas Estes, of Northwood, Iowa, won a trip to South Carolina to the set of “Army Wives,” a show on Lifetime Network.

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To win the contest wives of any deployed Minnesota soldier could submit a video to the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group’s Facebook page. The videos with the most “likes” would win. Tammy came in third with 584 votes for her video.

“I’m excited,” Tammy said. “I’ve never been on a TV set and for it to be ‘Army Wives’ is even cooler.”

Tammy didn’t think she’d win the contest and had taken her kids to an afternoon movie Wednesday. When she got home her mom told her Thomas was waiting up to talk with her over video chat. She didn’t think he’d still be awake since it was after midnight in Kuwait, where Thomas is deployed with Albert Lea’s Delta Company of the Minnesota National Guard.

She said he was excited to tell her that she had won the contest, and she liked being able to find out about winning from her husband. She enjoyed seeing who voted for her video on Facebook and said many people she hasn’t talked to in years took the time to vote for her video.

“It’s kind of amazing how many votes I got,” Tammy said.

She said she made the video to show that she and others rely on friends and other Army wives to get through deployments. She said they laugh, cry and raise their children together while their spouses are deployed with the military.

Tammy and the other two finalists won round-trip airfare from Minnesota to South Carolina where they will stay in Charleston for two nights. They will visit the set of “Army Wives” during a day of filming for the show’s sixth season.

Thomas and Tammy have been married for 10 years and are going through their fourth deployment. Tammy has three children, Cole, Blake and Hannah, who attend Northwood-Kensett Elementary School. Tammy is also the Family Readiness Group leader in Albert Lea.

The second-place winner was Samantha Koktan with 589 votes, and the first-place winner was Andrea Curley with 700 votes. More than 5,000 votes were received and 17 videos were submitted.