Kristine Schellhaas is a Marine wife, mother, and founder of USMC Life. She wrote “Living for Griffin,” her personal story of her young son’s death, in Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life.
She says, “This passage was immensely difficult to share, but I was compelled to share our story because so many military families are effected by loss. Dealing with an unexpected death can be crippling and many don’t know where to turn or how to cope with it. This is simply my story and how I came to terms with the sudden death of our son, but also how I used it as a catalyst to do something greater than myself to help others.”
Kristine founded USMC Life in 2009 as a way to help inspire, connect, and educate Marine Corps families. As a public speaker, she created the “Live, Laugh, Learn” military seminars and speaks regularly about her experiences as a Marine spouse, and about military family culture and recovery from loss. She is currently writing a memoir of her family’s story, one that she hopes will encourage and uplift other military families suffering from the effects of war.
Kristine has been recognized as a finalist for Marine Corps Spouse of the Year and has received two military base Spouse of the Year awards. She recently served on Military Officer Association of America’s (MOAA) Spouse Advisory Panel, where she is a champion for children who have been drafted into the military lifestyle. She has dedicated more than 10,000 volunteer hours serving military families.
Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, she holds a master’s degree in leadership from Gonzaga University and has been published by several national media outlets. She currently lives in San Clemente, California, with her husband, daughter, and son. She says, “We all love animals, and my husband is thankful for military housing restrictions, which prevent us from adopting all cute and needy animals that come across our paths.”