Military service is the thread that weaves Bobby and Alexia Fields’ family life together. He’s on active duty at Fort Bragg, she serves in the Army Reserve. Together, they balance the demands of the Army with the responsibility of raising three young children.
For Bobby, who works in logistics, sorting out the family’s complex schedules is just the sort of problem- solving exercise he appreciates.
“It’s the raising, the rearing, and the transportation, feeding, clothing and educating of three children,” he said. “That’s it. It just requires a little bit of work and coordination.”
“He says it’s not hard, that’s from his perspective,” countered Alexia. “I say it’s the most difficult, challenging, awe-inspiring thing that we live and operate in this chaos. We thrive in it. But sometimes it’s tough.”
As a Reserve soldier, Alexia can often plan ahead for her absences, but Bobby’s work is less predictable.
“Being married to an active duty soldier, when he says he’s gone, then he’s gone,” said Alexia. “There’s some great strength in both of our characters to pick up the pieces and keep the family moving forward in those times. I have the utmost respect for being married to an active duty soldier.”
Both say they would be proud to see their children continue the tradition of military service.
“I hope that they see what we’ve done and the reasons that we’ve done it,” said Alexia, “and that they would choose to follow in our footsteps, but to blaze their own path in that journey.”
Ft. Bragg Stories is a collaboration between the Fayetteville Observer and WUNC's American Homefront Project to commemorate a century of history at Fort Bragg through personal narratives. You can hear other stories in the series here.