JAG spouse makes impact through music

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jack Gardner
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- A Wright-Patterson Air Force Base spouse who’s studied traditional piano for much of her life has found a rhythm that speaks to her community.

Rose writes, produces and performs vocals for her own music. In early September, she released a debut album called “See You Again,” which explores many of the issues she dealt with during her husband’s deployment to Qatar in 2015.

“People forget how tough life can get when your spouse is gone,” she said. “During that time, there was so much going on in our lives and I felt the pressure to be this superhuman for my children. Luckily, I had my music and it was just a phenomenal way to have myself feel more on track and just better about my situation. ”

Rose lives in Beavercreek with her husband, Lt. Col. Alex Rose, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center deputy staff judge advocate, and their three children — Jake, 15, and twins Max and Miriam, 12.

At first glance, she would seem as a down-to-earth woman who prides herself on being the best mom and wife she can be. But get to know her, and you will find a talented musician.

Through her lyrics, there are heavy themes about mental health, creativity, finding yourself and your own voice, and gratitude for past experiences.

When her husband deployed, Rose spent some time thinking about what was going to be next for her. She said she dealt with constant depression, not only in the wake of the deployment, but throughout her entire life.  

Her oldest son, Jake, has autism. She says those who have children with it know it requires significant attention and times got stressful, which only added to her longtime depression.

While she admitted it wasn’t easy, putting her thoughts in her music and reaching those also affected by significant stress and depression became important to her. She wanted to let people know she understands their situation.

Rose said it was always an ongoing challenge for her to maintain a “regular” music career, and along with it, a sense of stability. She managed to pick up new piano students, some university gigs along the way and start her music studio from scratch with each Air Force family move — a “studio on the go.”

Ultimately, she decided to do it her own way and began focusing on singing, songwriting and producing “See You Again.”

“I wrote about everything I was feeling, and a lot of that has always followed me no matter what. Mental health is so important and I knew I needed to share with other so they can feel they have a voice,” she said.

Rose gradually gained production knowledge the more she dove into the project. However, she wasn’t able to get into much of a rhythm for too long.

She worked on and lived with these songs over a period of three years, from Mount Vernon, Virginia, to Dayton, due to the ever-so-familiar hopping from place to place when involved in the military life.

“There were moments where I couldn’t spend the time I wish I could losing myself in my craft, knowing I had a responsibility to be a mother, but the more I was able to write, the more I felt like this was just me chasing my dreams,” she said.

Although moves presented their own challenges, Rose remained determined and said the inspiration from her husband’s deployment years earlier kept her motivated to release this independently made album.

“I’m incredibly proud of all the hard work she put into this particular project,” Alex Rose said. “After two deployments in our career, and some of the struggles she has had, she definitely had a message that she needed to say, that I think will resonate with a lot of people. I have always encouraged her to push her message out.

“I really believe it can help some people who might be struggling with similar issues. It is very powerful to know we are not alone in our struggles.”

She believes there was a voice missing from the military community. So many women and men have to sacrifice their significant others to deployments on a regular basis without much warning, she says, but the mission also hits home.

“We’ve all heard the saying: ‘Music is the best medicine,’” she said. “Well, I suppose that I’m at the right place, at the right time. I hope this album serves as a bridge stretching out to others who may be struggling, too.”

Rose said she knows the road ahead will likely change once more. The family expects to relocate again next summer.

Having her music to fall back on remains comforting and also presents creative opportunities, she added.

“I have no idea where my music might take me, but in the end, my music is essentially a piece of me and I would like to think it always will come from what I’m feeling,” she said. “If I can touch just one heart, or make one person see that they aren’t the only ones who have had to find a way to cope with their stresses that life throws at them, I will have had a successful career.”