I became a Navy wife at the same time I was released from the Army. My new husband and I were transferred to a remote duty station, with the nearest military installation being almost three hours away. I felt lost and alone and misunderstood, and felt that I had nowhere to turn. Life as a Navy wife was far different than life as a soldier. My husband worked long hours, and his co-workers and their spouses were less than friendly, which led to me feeling even more isolated.
After 7 years of marriage and another remote duty station, we were finally transferred to a military installation this past fall. Over the last seven years, I turned to books about how to survive as a military wife, to help cope with my feelings of isolation and abandonment.
If you are new to military life, you are probably feeling like I was, especially if your husband is on a remote tour. Likewise, if you are a veteran military spouse, you may be looking to expand your knowledge of the inner workings of the military. I have written a three-part series, where I will review some of the books I have read during the last seven years that may be beneficial to you. I have written this with the military wife in mind, but military husbands may find this information helpful as well. You can find these books at your local library, or purchase them online, to help make your life as a military wife a little eaiser. Because, as we all know, most military wives may not be actually serving in uniform, but we are as much a part of the military life as the servicemen we support.
In this third installment, I have reviewed books that pertain to all aspects of military life, and are good resources for military wives in all stages of life.
Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul: Stories to Touch the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit by Jack Kanfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Charles Preston, and Cindy Pedersen. Another volume in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, this book contains stories written by soldier’s wives, and women in uniform. The stories contained will offer comfort and support to military wives, and celebrate their unique service to their nation, as they support their man in uniform.
Medals Above My Heart: The Rewards of Being a Military Wife by Brenda Pace and Carol McGlothlin. This book is an inspiring devotional for military wives, and includes prayers at the end of each chapter. A must-have for the Christian military wife in any stage of marriage.
Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military – For Better or Worse by Karen Houppert. This book is a study on the lives of four Army wives from Fort Drum, NY. This book does put a slight negative spin on military life, but may help those wives who want to see both sides of the story. The author seems to be biased against the military, and appears to have written the book as more of a political statement, than a helpful resource for those wanting to learn more about the military. To me, the book seemed dis-jointed, and the writing didn’t flow well – the author jumped from anecdotes from her childhood to political rants to tales of the four women she was following, all in the span of a few pages. I don’t recommend this for new military spouses, but it may be an interesting read for veteran spouses.
Going Overboard: The Misadventures of a Military Wife by Sarah Smiley. This book contains the author’s memoirs of being a wife of a deployed sailor left behind at home to raise two very small children alone. With a touch of humor, and a touch of self-pity, this book will have readers falling in love with the author, or throwing the book away out of disgust.
Hope for the Home Front: God’s Timeless Encouragement for Today’s Military Wife by Marshele Carter Waddell. Written by the wife of a sailor, this book is another great resource for the Christian military wife, especially those who are currently dealing with a deployment, or facing an upcoming deployment. It offers scriptural experiences, and personal anecdotes from the author, to help buoy the spirits of military wives, as they deal with the emotional and spiritual challenges of military life.
Household Baggage: The Moving Life of a Soldier’s Wife by Marna A. Krajeski. Written by a former Army helicopter pilot, and current Army wife, this book is an uplifting view into the writer’s life, describing all aspects of social life in the military. While written from an Army point of view, both military spouses and military members from all branches of the service can find something uplifting and encouraging from the stories contained within. This book is a must-have addition to any military wife’s library.
That Military House: Move it, Organize it & Decorate It by Sandee Payne. This book takes the guesswork out of military moves. The author addresses everything from the time the military member receives orders directing them to a new duty station, through the moving process, and all the way to the actual move, and getting settled in and unpacked.
The Treasure of Staying Connected for Military Couples by Janel Lange. This multi-denominational book addresses the effect that separations have on military marriages, and how to keep your relationship strong and healthy. While it focuses on deployments, this book is also helpful for those wives who are physically with their spouse, and includes personal stories from the author and others.
Homefront Club: The Hardheaded Woman’s Guide to Raising a Military Family by Jacey Eckhart. This book is written from a Navy wife’s perspective, and is somewhat geared toward stay-at-home mothers and wives, but does have a bit of advice on finding jobs while moving from place to place. While this book doesn’t offer information on how to decifer ‘military speak,’ like some of the other books on my list, it does offer a humorous life at the social issues wives face, and most military spouses will come away with something from its pages.
Help! I’m a Military Spouse…I Get A Life Too! How to Craft a Life for You As You Move With the Military, Second Edition, by Kathie Hightower and Holly Scherer. This book concentrates solely on YOU, the military spouse, and what you want to do with your life. While you do have some restrictions by being the wife of a servicemember, you have the abililty to take charge of your own destiny, and the author gives you tips for doing that. This book also includes exercises to help you figure out what direction you want your life to go. This is another must-have for any military spouse who wants to ‘do her own thing’ while supporting her husband.
Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank. Written by an Army brat and Army wife, this book takes a look into the lives of four women at Fort Bragg who face the challenges of Army life. There is a lot of heartache in this book, but the author tells how each wife dealt with the cards her life dealt her. I would not recommend this to new military wives, simply because a few of the stories deal with death, and can be pretty hard for some wives to read, depending on what they are dealing with in their own lives.
I hope the information in this series has helped you. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact me.