Master Sergeant Sonya Couture

Tara and I first met in Air Advisor Course in Ft. Dix, N.J. I liked her right away and loved her “sassy” style. Tara had a way of standing out from others; her personality absolutely lit up a room and made it sparkle. She was very excited about two things; her recent marriage and her upcoming deployment. She and several of us ladies in the course had bonded and formed a small group. Our Dari language instructor, Reema, invited us to have dinner with her and her family. Tara was so excited and infatuated with Reema’s beautiful clothing that Reema loaned her some of her clothes for the evening. After dinner, we were taught how to dance “Afghan style,” with Tara leading the pack.

Several months later, when deployed to Kabul, I was so happy to see Tara and I were not only at the same base, but worked and lived close to each other. Tara continued to keep me laughing.

Someone started calling her “brown sugar” because she was so sweet, so several of us started calling her that too. If I hadn’t seen her for a few days, I would tell her I needed her to walk with me because I needed my brown sugar! She got up very early every day to work out and she kept asking me to go with her. Regretfully, I never did.

Tara was one of the founding members for “Thai Tuesday”, where every Tuesday a group of ladies would meet at the Thai restaurant on base for food, fun and discussion. We all looked forward to Tuesdays, for sometimes was the only real “fun” we would have all week.

It was extremely hard on everyone our first Tuesday back after losing Tara. However, we honored her memory that night. The restaurant managers brought out one of Tara’s favorite dishes, her last meal there, and placed it at the seat she last sat in. They also had a plaque made with her name as well as the other eight. I designed a patch in memory of Tara for the “club.”

Tara will truly be missed. Her personality, compassion, and drive are hard to find these days. For those that knew her and loved her, you know what I’m talking about. Tara, I appreciate every minute of our friendship and I’m glad I had the opportunity, however brief, to have you in my life.