An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Homefront Club Military Wife Advice Book (Review and Contest)

The homefront club=The Homefront Club: The Hardheaded Woman's Guide to Raising a Military Family is essentially a much needed pep talk for Military Wives.

Author Jacey Eckhardt provides a way of looking at the life, not as a burden, not as a paradise, but simply as it is. Military Life, just like any other, has its ups and downs and its pros and cons, although the service does seem to heighten the highs and the lows.

The key to a happy life, military or otherwise, is how you view it. There are plenty of guides out there that will tell you what to do as a military spouse, but The Homefront Club shares some ideas about why.

Another guide book may tell you all about TRICARE and teas and coffees, which is useful information, but quirky variations between branches and posts and sudden changes of policy can quickly render any authoritative statement obsolete. So, instead of trying to take the place of a good Family Readiness Group, Eckhardt helps the reader put herself in the right frame of mind to make the most of her husband's military career.

Don't worry, though, this isn't a rah, rah, Stepford Wife, rose-colored glasses kind of book. The book acknowledges all of the sacrifices inherent in military life. Assuming your husband is worth those sacrifices (and Eckhardt says he absolutely has to be for things to work), how can you accept and even embrace these challenges?

You don't have to fall in love with the military, but if you are in love with your husband, isn't it better to celebrate your life, rather than to wallow in misery?

After providing this food for thought, Eckhardt gets down to advice for military wives about finding a job, moving, and raising a family. She provides some excellent resources and ideas. The strength of the book lies in helping the reader be open to these suggestions.

We've all met the person who just wants to complain. You try to offer some help, but for every idea, she has a reason why it just won't work. Eckhardt first tries to adjust that perception, then provides the strategies.

In addition to a philosophy of Military living and lots of tips, the book also has plenty of laugh out loud anecdotes about our warriors, our children, and ourselves.

Like many first editions, the book could use a little more editing--there are some minor errors and sometimes the train of thought gets a bit muddled.

Overall, though, The Homefront Club is an excellent read for a military wife at any stage of her "career." Newcomers will get a helpful introduction that could save them years of bitterness. Wives a few years in will find a friendly voice to guide them in redirecting their thoughts towards happiness. And old timers will get a friendly reminder about why they continue to choose this life.

WANT IT: BUY The Homefront Club ($13.57)

WIN IT: I have a gently used copy (I read it once for the purposes of the review and the back cover has a crease from our latest move) up for grabs for anyone who would like this book for themselves or someone they know. Just leave a comment here with a helpful tip or a few words of encouragement for military spouses by February 1, 2008, 8PM EST. I'll choose the winner at random and will ship to any US (including US Military addresses that count as US shipping) or Canadian address. This contest is part of the fabulous Bloggy Giveaways. Check out the other contests, but be sure to first leave your comment on this post if you want to be eligible to win this book. Good luck!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Best Military Spouse Advice Book (Poll Results)

A very nice military mom (and future military mother in law) asked for some advice about a good book for a new military spouse. I responded and also asked my readers for their suggestions, too. On Monday, I'll have a review and giveaway of The Homefront Club: The Hardheaded Woman's Guide to Raising a Military Family.

Here are the results of the reader poll (with 22 votes):

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