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Mom writes award-winning blog.

Readers of a national parenting magazine recognized an Air Force Reservist stationed in Ohio for producing one of the nation's best blogs.

More than 33,900 people voted in the contest sponsored by Parents magazine. Tech. Sgt. Julie Weckerlein of the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base received the award for producing the Best All-Around Mom Blog. She writes the blog, www.julieandmartin.com, with the help of her husband, Martin.

These days, the influence of a blog, especially a blog written by and for parents, is undeniable, according to the editors of Parents magazine in a statement about the contest.

A total of 1,213 blogs were nominated in 12 parenting-related categories. Once nominated, blogs competed for Readers' Choice and Editors' Pick awards in each category. Winners of the Readers' Choice awards were those blogs that received the most votes from fans, friends and family members, while the Editors' Pick winning blogs were chosen by the editors of Parents magazine and the editors and bloggers of Parents.com.

"We were really amazed by the outpouring of support that came in for our blog, especially from our Air Force family," Weckerlein said.

She started the blog in June 2001 while stationed in Germany as a way for her stateside family to follow her wedding plans.

"When we learned we were nominated, I posted a note about it online, and word spread fast, especially within our Air Force network," Weckerlein said.

At the time she started the blog, Weckerlein was an airman stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, while Martin was a tank commander in the German Army. Initially, she only posted about wedding-related content, but after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11,2001, she started writing in-depth about her and Martin's role in the military response. She has continued writing for the past decade, gathering a loyal following along the way.

While she regularly posts about life with her family just outside Washington D.C, Weckerlein said the blog really proved its worth during her deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007. During that time, she wrote about her experiences in the Middle East, while Martin posted about life at home with their daughter. She said it was the best way to stay involved in each other's lives.

"For our readers, I think people really gained an interesting perspective about what a deployment is like for a family," Weckerlein said. "Only a small percentage of Americans ever serve in the military, and I think it's fair to say most don't realize that moms deploy, too, and that dads are totally capable of holding down the home front by themselves. So our blog was able to offer a glimpse as to what that's like." (445th AWpublic affairs)
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Title Annotation:ROUND THE RESERVE
Publication:Citizen Airman
Date:Feb 1, 2012
Words:458
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