Further, we believe that understanding military life is really important when it comes to making sense of issues—like spousal employment and education—that impact military families. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry—they all have the ability to help us make sense out of our shared experiences.
If you are looking for a few titles to add to your reading list, check out these titles:
Waiting Wives: The Story of Schilling Manor-Vietnam, Home Front to the Vietnam War by Donna Moreau
This true story is told through the eyes of a military child during the Vietnam war. She describes her life at Schilling Manor in Kanas, a home for wives and children of deployed service members. Author Donna Moreau details this tragic time when the American people turned their backs on the US military because of their views on the unpopular war. Service members’ wives were expected sit quietly waiting with little communication and absolutely no empathy from the outside world. “Waiting Wives” reminds us we can support the military and their families regardless of our political views and opinions.
In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing by Lee and Bob Woodruff
Many may not remember when ABC World News Tonight’s anchor Bob Woodruff was injured while embedded with the military in Iraq. He suffered a severe brain injury and probably would have died if not for the soldiers at his side. I read this book during my husband’s second tour in Iraq, I know that seems crazy, but it was not just about his injury, this book was co-written by Bob’s wife and describes their love affair before the incident and how that love helped them survive a terrible time. When faced with this horrific event Lee Woodruff drew from her strength and adapted to a new normal, we as military spouses can relate to her story.
This series follows six brothers serving in different branches of the military. The first in the series follows a recently widowed Ethan Kelly as he tries to cope with guilt over his wife’s death. He soon discovers she is alive and uses his Navy SEAL training to save her, but survival means facing a dark secret. The series probably won’t give insight into the real lives of military spouses, but it’s a good escape for those who love a romance novel featuring a sexy man in uniform.
Permanent Change of Station by Lisa Stice
Lisa Stice uses poetry to bring life to the daily experiences of a military spouse. She gives levity to mundane household chores and a voice to the family dog who must leave his well-marked yard for places unknown. This is a great choice when you need a little humor to get through the day.
Found Art: Discovering Art in Foreign Places by Leeana Tankersley
This a memoir of a military spouse living in the Middle East with her Navy Seal husband during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her story is told through seemly common place items but Leeana uses them to highlight the beauty and art she discovered along her journey.
You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
In the height of the Iraq war, entire divisions would deploy. I can remember the ghost town Ft Stewart became when all the soldiers were gone. You Know When the Men are Gone is fiction, however it could easily be based on real spouses. This story follows several military spouses living on base at Ft Hood as their husbands are at war and describes what is it like for those left to keep the home fires burning.
If these books leave you with the desire to begin writing your own story, I have one more suggestion:
Veterans in the Media: Creatives Military by Justin Sloan
This book gives advice on how to transition to a creative career, and the best part the advice comes from military veterans who not only transitioned out of the military but transformed their lives by following their passion. If you are thinking about pursuing a creative career this book is for you! Once you’ve finished reading it stop by MSCCN.org to register and we can help you transform your career.