Inside the Gates: Military family posts daily vlogs
One Alaska family is making reality TV a real life part of their daily routine. The Cassells, a military family stationed at Fort Wainwright, post daily video blogs, or vlogs, on YouTube.
“The first year I was like, extremely nervous,” said mom and U.S. Army wife Kiara Cassell.
Her days usually start with coffee, cooking and the camera. Whatever she’s doing, she sets up her trusty tripod and hits record. It started when she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old son.
“At first it was just my pregnancy and then I saw we were gaining an audience and then I would record big events from there,” she said. “One day I was just like, ‘you know what? Let’s try to do this every single day.’ We did that and then we started growing after that.”
They started with just a couple views. They now get a couple thousand every day. For her husband, the daily videos are a way to stay connected with family far away.
“They get to watch and chime in and see about how our family is doing and they love that,” Desmond Cassell said.
The videos have also become a tool for other military families, looking ahead at what their life at Fort Wainwright will be like.
“I’ve gotten phone calls, emails, people around the world that watch and have questions,” Desmond Cassell said. “A lot of comments that we get are people coming to Alaska and they don’t know what to expect. That’s how we were.”
Kiara Cassell usually starts recording in the morning and wraps in the evening. She records anything she wants, from her thoughts to the antics of her two young sons, DeCorey and Jerocho, and her husband’s service. She edits the videos herself as well, working into the early morning hours to get the daily 8 a.m. post ready.
“I talk to the audience every single day,” Kiara Cassell said. “They’re like family to me.”
Beyond connecting with their audience, the Cassells also see the vlogs as a memory bank.
“It’s just something for us to look back on,” said Desmond Cassell. “I believe that’s why we first started — not for the fans or for the money, for the memories. We can always go back and it’s right there.”
Those memories may soon be all they have left of their time in Alaska. This will likely be their last year here.
“I know I’m going to look back at it when we leave Alaska and I’m going to miss it,” Kiara Cassell said.
Daily vlogs might not be for everyone, but it works for this family. It’s a tradition they hope to continue wherever they go next.
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