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Couple witnessing building of a dream
After almost 30 years of married and military life, two Army colonels are giddy with excitement as they get ready for the first home of their own

 In three decades of military service, Kari and Michael Everett always lived in rental or military housing. Now they are watching their first home be built at the Amelia Square development in Fredericksburg.
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Date published: 12/2/2012


Michael and Kari Everett have lived around the world during their decades in the Army, but never experienced the American dream of owning their own home.

After 29 years of married and military life--including nine overseas tours and 17 moves--that's about to change. The two are preparing to put down roots, in the new Amelia Square development in Fredericksburg.

"It's been a great life for both of us, to serve," Kari said, "but I've been waiting my whole life to say, 'I'm home forever.'"

The Everetts' enthusiasm about owning their first home has spilled over to bankers and builders, real estate agents and anyone else who has seen them sitting in plastic chairs at the construction site and watching their dreams take shape.

"They've worked all their lives for this, that's what's so special," said Robin Huddle, senior vice president at Virginia Partners Bank, which is financing their mortgage.

She recalled a time when they came by the bank to sign paperwork. Tellers watched as the couple walked up the hall from Huddle's office, grinning at everyone.

"Then they went outside and embraced and gave each other the biggest kiss, right there on the street," Huddle said. "How often do you see somebody embrace in front of a bank building? All the tellers got teary-eyed."

Huddle said the Everetts are so excited to be a part of the Fredericksburg community that they're as giddy as kids.

That's an unusual description for two Army colonels who have specialized in operational plans (he) and signal corps (she) during their careers.

They've done nine tours in Asia, Europe and the Pacific islands and moved 17 times, often from one continent to another. He has been deployed to four combat zones; she has gone to three.

They've lived apart for about 10 years of their time in uniform, "which isn't bad for the Army," said Kari, whose name is pronounced Car-ee.

There have been times her unit was leaving while his was returning, and the two waved to each other on the airfield. Once, as she came back from Korea and he headed to the Philippines, a senior officer in her unit realized the situation and delayed her flight.

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