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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Army wives win trip to Army Wives studio

If you're a fan of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's Facebook page, you certainly took note of� the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA)� "Minnesota Wives to Army Wives" contest� Seventeen videos were� submitted, and� more than 5,000 votes were cast� to send three military spouses to the set of Lifetime's "Army Wives" in South Carolina The final votes have been tallied, and the winners are Andrea Curley, Samantha Koktan� and Tammy Estes

"The General John W Vessey Jr chapter of AUSA is glad to have the opportunity to send three Minnesota Army wives on this great trip," said Curt S Cooper, president of the Minnesota chapter "The military family, and particularly the military spouse, is the backbone of our nation's military We owe them a debt of thanks"

Andrea, one of the last contestants to enter the contest, was our top vote-getter Receiving 700� votes in less than three days, Andrea and her husband, Sgt Nik Curley, live in Farmington He is deployed to Kuwait with the Minnesota National Guard's 1/34 Brigade Special Troops Battalion headquarters, 34th Infantry Division He's been in the service� for 11 years and recently re-enlisted for another six Andrea's favorite TV show, ever, is "Army Wives"� 

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Samantha came in second with 589 votes She is married to� Sgt Joe Koktan, and the two� have been married for two years Their child, Jerrica, is five months old Joe is in the Army Reserves, part of the 364th Public Affairs Operations Center at Fort Snelling, and� is deployed with the� 980th Engineer Battalion headquarters� to Afghanistan Samantha has fought and survived pituitary tumors and Hodgkin's lymphoma She's looking forward to a break

The final top-vote getter, with 584 votes, was Tammy She� and Sgt Thomas Estes, married for nearly 10 years, are a seasoned military-family, undergoing their fourth deployment Thomas is with the Minnesota National Guard's� Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, and is deployed to Kuwait With three kids, Tammy's friends, other "Army Wives," are the ones she depends on

The contest was very close The fourth and fifth place finishers, Savahna Sperle and Cindy Sabatke, were less than 50 votes away from the top three spots

To be eligible for the "Minnesota Wives to Army Wives" contest, entrants had to have a spouse currently on deployment, and they had to live in Minnesota or the Servicemember had to belong to a Minnesota unit

"To each and every military spouse in Minnesota and our neighbor states, thanks for your service - especially the brave ladies that shared their videos and made the "Minnesota Wives to Army Wives" contest a smashing success" said a member of the Deployment Cycle Support team

11 Jan, 2012
By 2nd Lt Melanie Nelson
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

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