“Nothing Tougher Than An Army Wife”: Reflecting On Three Generations Of A West Point Family

Kathy (Costa) Boylan


Kathy (Costa) Boylan grew up in Detroit, Michigan, in a very patriotic and service-oriented family. Her father was a World War I veteran, and her four older brothers volunteered during World War II. After graduating high school, she went to work and attended night school at the University of Detroit before moving east to live with her brother, who was teaching at West Point, and attend Ladycliff College. Through a blind date for the homecoming dance, she met her future husband, Peter Boylan. They were married on July 1, 1961, and began a life together that included moves to Georgia, Germany, Kentucky, Michigan, West Point, and Fort Bragg, among other places. In this interview, she talks about her childhood, the sense of service inculcated during her youth, living with her brother’s family at West Point, and courting her husband. She describes her experiences moving around the country (and world) as an Army Spouse, including flying with a newborn to Germany in the 60s and fending for herself during her husband’s two deployments to Vietnam. She discusses developing Family Support Groups during the invasion of Grenada, and contrasts those efforts with the lack of support families received during the Vietnam War. Finally, she addresses the highlights and challenges of being an Army Spouse, and explains what West Point means to her as a wife, sister, mother, and grandmother of West Point Cadets and Graduates.


conflicts Vietnam War Invasion of Grenada
topics West Point History Military Families USMA 1961
interviewer David Siry
date 02 February 2018


name Kathy (Costa) Boylan
institution Ladycliff
specialty Army Spouse