It all started when an American girl fell in love with a German boy.
In the summer of 2001, Julie Weckerlein started a website for friends and family to follow her wedding plans. At the time, she was a U.S. Air Force airman at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and her fiancé, Martin, was a tank commander in the German Army. (They had met two years before, when Julie was a high school foreign exchange student in Nuremberg.)
But then the terrorist attacks on 9/11 happened, and her wedding-planning site took on a new role as friends and family wanted to stay connected to the couple as their respective militaries responded to the tragedy. As Germany-based combat operations began in Afghanistan, Julie earned several awards for her writing and public affairs work alongside major national and international media outlets such as The Today Show, MTV, Late Show with David Letterman, the Associated Press, and Reuters. Meanwhile, Martin worked alongside the U.S. Army at their Germany installations to provide extra security.
Despite the change of pace, Martin and Julie were married in the German countryside in April 2002, and they haven’t slowed down since. Over the past 12 years, Julie and Martin have continued to share their lives on the blog as they moved to Italy, and then the United States, welcomed their daughters, traveled, juggled careers and education, and embraced the small and large day-to-day adventures of a multicultural family.
These days, Julie works in public affairs for the federal government in Washington DC. Before then, she further contributed to the internet as a web content manager and blogger for the Department of Defense, where she was the team leader for Armed with Science, the DOD's official, award-winning science and technology blog linking scientists and engineers to the public. She just recently wrapped up 13.5 years of service -- four years as an Air Force Reserve and 9.5 years active duty -- as a public affairs non-commissioned officer with assignments in Germany, Italy and the Pentagon (where she was one of the first bloggers for the official Air Force Live) and a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat correspondent for the Air Force News Service.
Her award-winning writing and photography have been featured in various military and civilian publications and websites, I Am Modern magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Stars and Stripes, the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Kentucky Post and more. She and Martin have also shared their military family and deployment experiences with various publications, such as CNN, NBC News, Associated Press, and to include blogs such as the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Army Wives Lives, .
Now living in the Washington DC area with two daughters and son, Julie and Martin continue to document their lives on www.julieandmartin.com, which earned the 2011 Parents Magazine Readers Choice Award for Best All-Around Mom Blog. She's also spoken about social media and blogging for organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America National Chapter, BlogHer, the United Nations, the US Air Force, the Defense Information School, Harvard University, and more.
You can visit her BlogHer profile HERE.
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