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Adapting to military life can be difficult, but you are never alone. Whether you are a long-time or new military spouse, this book list contains stories that will inspire, make you fall in love, and can help you overcome the trials that come with being a military spouse.
Fly Safe by Vicki Cody
Due to the chain reaction of events in 1990 that eventually led to the Gulf War, Vicki Cody’s husband was deployed to Saudi Arabia as the Apache battalion commander. Over the next nine months, Vicki and Dick had to rely on written letters in order to keep in touch, especially since, during this time, not many people had personal computers. Readers get a chance to see Dick’s viewpoint and feelings while in combat through the letters he sent to his wife. In Fly Safe, Vicki recounts these months of loneliness, stress and resilience that any army spouse can relate to.
Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses by Lizann Lightfoot
Written as a set of letters to encourage military spouses through life’s milestones, surviving an unfamiliar challenge, or feeling unheard, you are not alone. This author knows what it’s like to be making new friends—again and again, finding strength to support other spouses in the community, preparing to leave active duty, and many other military life moments in between. This collection of Open When letters is meant to deliver that special message from a friend who understands, whenever you need reassurance, helpful ideas, or a simple reminder of your own strength.
Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage by Corie Weathers
Invited as the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, Corie Weathers eagerly joined US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and his team on a one-week overseas trip. “Sacred Spaces,” or significant moments that Corie and her husband experienced independently during his deployment, had impacted their marriage heavily, and Corie joined the trip to further understand his experiences. While there, Corie not only understands her husband, but she also discovers another part of herself, her military marriage, and how to strengthen their relationship.
In A Book Club Far Away: A Novel by Tif Marcelo
Army wives Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden became inseparable due to their shared experiences and their book club. When an act of betrayal destroys their friendship, they don’t speak for eight years until Adelaide calls for help. While her husband is abroad and no close relations near her, Adelaide has no one to watch her daughter as she undergoes emergency surgery. Regina and Sophie put aside their differences in order to help Adelaide’s daughter and start on their path towards forgiveness and rekindled friendships.
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Through three short stories, Phil Klay takes readers to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan to express the brutality, isolation, guilt and survival that comes with being an active soldier. Follow these characters as they try to adapt to domestic life, hold strong to their religion, and attempt to teach Iraqis how to play baseball. Phil reveals the difficulties as well as the relief that comes with homecomings, the horror on the frontlines, and interesting tasks while at war.
Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat: A Guide to Self-Perseverance Within the Military Spouse Life Cycle by Dr. Kendra Lowe
After being a cadet in the Air Force Academy, an active soldier, and an army spouse, Dr. Kendra Lowe dedicated ten years to research military spouse stress. Through her research, she found that military spouses experience higher levels of stress than normal—yet pass off this anxiety as normal. In her book, Dr. Kendra provides an excellent guide on how to manage stress, social-emotional setbacks, and the difficulties that come with military marriage life. She provides personal stories, research studies and more in order to help you improve your social and emotional health.
Beautifully Broken: An Unlikely Journey of Faith by Paige and Josh Wetzel
Paige Wetzel received a call she hoped to never get, informing her that her husband’s survival was uncertain after he stepped on an improvised explosive device while patrolling in Afghanistan and losing both legs. This incident led to an inspiring story about a military wife who fought to save her family and her marriage. Paige recounts her physical, emotional and spiritual struggles as she stood beside her husband, and how they overcame this traumatic experience together.
Dear Taylor by Eija Jimenez
American History teacher Daniella Melo has decided to challenge her students by having them write letters to soldiers fighting overseas. When she notices that there’s one name left and one student short, Daniella decides to write to this person herself. She ends up being assigned to Private Taylor Phillips, a woman who enlisted after personally watching the Twin Towers fall. The two women exchange letters for two years about their daily and personal lives, and their relationship starts to form into something more than a friendship.
Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life by more than 40 military family writers
Through these multiple stories, readers will feel as if they are sharing a table with these writers, exchanging their personal stories about being in a military family. Spouses, children, parents and service members tell their own stories and feelings in this inspiring collection. The true experiences span from PTSD, friendship, romance, caring for special needs children in a mobile lifestyle, faith, career challenges and more.
Back to You by Jess Mastorakos
Spencer believes that he doesn’t have time for girls or relationships while he is training to be a Marine. The only exception for his belief is his childhood best friend, Ellie. But one kiss changes everything, and the two must fight for their chance at a relationship. Spencer isn’t ready to settle while Ellie dreams of having a family, but Spencer is willing to prove that they are meant to be.
Secret Service by Zsa Zsa Gershick
Through the true stories of men and women in retired or active duty, Zsa Zsa Gershick highlights the lives of military life, as well as the life of LGBTQ members of the military. These soldiers create fake boyfriends, conceal their identities, and more in order to serve their country without the fear of discharge and discrimination. Readers get a chance to look into military life and read about actual soldiers’ personal experiences of hiding—or being openly out—while in service.
In Jen McDonald’s self-help book, she strives to remind military spouses that they are not alone in their struggle and adaption to military life. Through her experience of being an army spouse for three decades, Jen provides a shoulder to lean on, advice, and personal stories for new and long-time military partners. With her daily readings, tips, Scripture and journal prompts, military spouses, will find themselves more secure and less alone.