Campfollowing: A History of the Military Wife

Campfollowing: A History of the Military Wife

Campfollowing: A History of the Military Wife

Campfollowing: A History of the Military Wife

Synopsis

"We know that a supportive family is the key to a person's success. It is fascinating to read a history of military wives that begins to give them the credit they deserve for service to their country and their families." Patricia Schroeder U.S. Representative, Colorado "Campfollowing opens an important page in history for the military and for the role of women in the military. The women described in this book were not only devoted wives and mothers who brought a few of the comforts of home to forlorn military outposts, but they were also nurses who cared for the sick and wounded, as well as soldiers who fought bravely next to their soldier-husbands. They served their country with great love, dignity, and honor, and they deserve this long overdue recognition. I believe this book will be both an inspiration and a model for present military spouses as they follow their loved ones throughout the world or wait patiently at home for them when they are apart." Timothy E. Wirth U.S. Senator, Colorado "Campfollowers" themselves, the authors of this volume have collected published and unpublished memoirs, diaries, and letters, and have conducted personal interviews to present a comprehensive history of the military wife from the Revolutionary War through the post-Vietnam years. Second in line to their husband's career and often the object of indifference from the military establishment, these women demonstrate the strength of their commitment in this unique book.

Excerpt

You know it takes something special in a woman to live in a situation where she knows time and time again that she and the children are number two.

Maureen Mylander, quoting a general in The Generals

In the cool dampness of a tree-lined military graveyard in a century-old fort in Washington State lie buried men who have served their country well. Interspersed among their graves are remains of some military wives. On the tombstones are engraved only the wives' first names and the ranks of their husbands. In death, so little is known about these women who gave up so much -- families and friends -- to take up campfollowing for most of their married lives.

These anonymous women are our unsung heroines who for more than 200 years braved wars to tend to their husbands, trekked the great American deserts and plains of the West, crossed the roiling waters of the Pacific, and survived violent political upheavals worldwide. When the great or small wars took their husbands overseas, each followed as far as she could, then set about to keep the home fires burning. Today, more than ever, the military wife is a pioneer who travels to strange lands, rears her family under nomadic and often inhospitable conditions, and, many times copes with the stress of surviving on her own.

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