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Lieutenant Colonel Laura Hankins DiSilverio ’83, USAF RET
Wife, Mother, Writer – Spy

By Donna Parker

“I herd the children off to school and sit down in my home office to write,” says retired Air Force intelligence officer Laura Hankins DiSilverio ’83.

“I write five days a week – at least 2,000 words each day,” affirms this Colorado wife and mother who’s so disciplined about her craft that she’s seldom tempted to leave the keyboard and tackle house cleaning, joking, “…only if the Board of Health is pounding on my door!”

She writes of what she knows – the intelligence business, still maintaining her security clearance which requires submitting her manuscripts through an Air Force security clearing process. Ask her about past assignments and positions such as Intelligence Officer at the National Reconnaissance Office emerge. Pretty heady stuff, but to coin an old literary phrase…

‘Once upon a time,’ this AF officer with 18 years of service, who had just been promoted to Colonel, was standing in a Seattle bookstore, when the proverbial lightning bolt hit.

“I had the strongest feeling I was meant to be writing and felt a calling to be with my family and raise my girls,” says this dedicated mom of two daughters; Lilly, 8 and Ellen, 6, “but it was difficult for me to get out of the Air Force. Many people questioned what I was doing.”

There are days when even she questions what she’s doing, but she seldom regrets her decision to become a writer and at-home parent, after years of playing gypsy in the Air Force.

“My children are the most important thing in my life and I’m raising them to be good citizens with strong consciences.”

Earning her bachelor’s degree in English from Trinity, Laura cites Trinity’s own Bob Flynn, former writer-in-residence and professor of creative writing, as a crucial influence and she even penned her first book – a romance novel – in college. It didn’t sell, but the young author was in love with the writing process. Fast forward 22 years and Laura has finished her first novel, Honor Bound, and is currently penning the sequel.

Simply put, and rather tongue-in-cheek, “I’m grateful every day when I wake up to have completely reinvented myself at the age of 40 – it doesn’t get any better than that!”