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Growing Up Army – Salvation Army, That Is

The Salvation Army is known around the world. They’ve earned a sterling reputation and generate goodwill wherever they go. But who are these people? What are they like? What motivates them?

Bette Dowdell’s book On We March: A memoir of growing up in The Salvation Army opens the windows and lets us see inside. Her loving, laugh-out-loud memoir describes Salvation Army life and introduces a cast of characters you’ll want to meet.

You start with big, handsome, prodigiously talented Daddy. Add British-born Mother, always ready to take any hill. Stir in five energetic kids, all sharing the family DNA for forging ahead. Season with almost no money, move them every year or so and see what commitment and optimism can do in a life and circumstances like no other. Then add all the people whose lives they touched.

Difficulties bring some people down, but thanks to the creative optimism and grit of Dowdell’s parents, she and her siblings had love to spare and a big leg up on the future. Despite their trials, they lived with exuberance, which made all the difference in how their story plays out in these pages.

If you want optimism, laughter, love and everyday miracles–plus a good look inside The Salvation Army–read On We March: A memoir of growing up in The Salvation Army.

Barnes & Noble,, Amazon, etc. carry the book. Publisher Confident Faith Institute offers signed copies at At 320-pages, the indexed soft-cover book lists for $19.95.

Bette Dowdell, a former IBM Systems Engineer, small company consultant and software company owner, also wrote How to be a Christian Without Being Annoying. She lives in the Phoenix area. Read more about her at

The book’s stories–and Dowdell life–took place in the following locations (among others):
Athens OH
Belmar NJ
Beverly OH
Bogota NJ
Buffalo NY
Cleveland OH
Dover NJ
Downend near Bristol, England
East Springfield OH
Englewood NJ
Findlay OH
Hayesville OH
Huntington Beach CA
Jersey City NJ
Lima OH
Malvern OH
Milton PA
Mount Vernon NY
New Haven CT
New York City (Four of the five boroughs)
Scranton PA
St. Albans NY
Toledo OH
Trenton NJ
Tucson AZ
Tyrone PA

Download pictures of book and author at

“Bette” has two syllables. “Dowdell” rhymes with “cowbell.”