CIA Director David Petraeus and his wife, Holly, at a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., last August. She’s a strong advocate for military families
Mark Humphrey, Associated Press
Holly Petraeus is consummate military spouse
- Article by: IAN SHAPIRA
- Washington Post
- November 12, 2012 - 8:43 PM
WASHINGTON - The mother and father of the bride were glowing.
After 38 years of marriage, retired Gen. David Petraeus and his wife, Holly, were presiding over their daughter's wedding last month in Berryville, Va., at the stunning Rosemont Manor. Anne Petraeus, 30, slim and beautiful, wore a white V-neck lace dress.
The Petraeus family projected unity and love, but they were just days away from revelations of infidelity that would shatter the CIA director's career and taint his marriage. On Anne Petraeus' wedding day, however, everyone was joyful.
"When dinner was over, Holly and Dave were both beaming throughout their evening," said retired Gen. Jack Keane, a longtime mentor who attended the nuptials. "They made their own way around the room saying hello to their friends and relatives."
Since Petraeus' abrupt resignation Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair, the focus has been on him and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he is accused of having an affair. But the fallout from the scandal has engulfed Holly Petraeus, who met her husband in 1973 when he was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and her father was the superintendent. They were married in July 1974 at the West Point chapel. Holly always dismissed suggestions that Petraeus married her to advance his career.
"I'm not stupid. I wouldn't have married someone on the make," she told journalist Linda Robinson, whose 2008 book "Tell Me How This Ends" describes the Petraeuses' courtship. "We got married because we fell in love."
The daughter of a four-star general who can trace her family's military service to the Civil War, Holly endured long separations from her husband during his repeated deployments overseas. During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Holly emerged as one of the country's most visible advocates for military families.
She is considered a fierce lobbyist with serious credibility on Capitol Hill. As the assistant director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she monitors and investigates consumer complaints from U.S. service members.
Now, those who know her professionally and personally are watching with sympathy.
Gen. Keane, who has communicated with Petraeus since the news broke, said Holly will get through this test. "Holly is a remarkably strong woman, and she's bearing up under these circumstances about as well as anyone could expect."
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