Magazine article Army

Chronicles of Army Spouses: 3 Wives Document the Challenges of Military Marriage

Magazine article Army

Chronicles of Army Spouses: 3 Wives Document the Challenges of Military Marriage

Article excerpt

The list of books that portray life in the military from the perspective of soldiers and commanders is long. Much shorter is the list of books that realistically and accurately convey the rhythms, nuances, intricacies and rewards of military life from the perspective of military spouses.

That catalog is now a little thicker with the arrival of three new books by Army spouses. Each author had slightly different intentions, and their works vary in tone and delivery. But that diversity only serves to artfully capture and reflect the diversity of Army spouses themselves.

'Army Wife'

Vicki Cody, author of Army Wife: A Story of Love and Family in the Heart of the Army, began her writing career with another book directed toward parents of soldiers: Your Soldier, Your Army: A Parents' Guide. The wife of retired Gen. Richard Cody, whom she followed to many duty stations before settling in Washington, D.C., turned her stress and fears into that parents' guide while both of her sons were deployed to Iraq in 2003-04.

While penning her thoughts on parenting soldiers, Cody realized she had more stories to tell. Her new work covers the story of her life as an Army wife, from dating to marriage to parenthood, experienced by her husband's side from his commissioning through his years of service and into retirement.

"I love the feeling I get from writing and sharing personal stories," she said.

She said she welcomed assistance from her husband, whom she called "my best reader and biggest supporter and cheerleader, reading every chapter, multiple times if I asked him to. It was his approval that I wanted the most, and he loved everything I wrote and how I wrote it."

Mindful of the nuances of military life, she said she took particular care in sharing information about her sons, who are still on active duty.

'No Man's War'

Angela Ricketts had a lifelong dream of being an author. "After 9/11, with three young children and a husband who was deployed constantly, I knew that history was happening, and I needed to keep track of our lives," she said. "I'd kept an immaculately detailed journal for years and throughout each of my husband's eight long combat deployments."

That journal was the genesis of her book, No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions ofan Infantry Wife. Reliving the memories that make her book so poignant was difficult at times, but the motivation to help vocalize the struggles of other spouses kept her going, she said.

Ricketts has been married to Darrin Ricketts, now a retired Army infantry officer, for 25 years. When she undertook her book project, she intended her account to be raw and honest, she said, to include discussion of her resentment and emotional difficulties related to her husband's frequent deployments.

Military spouses generally keep quiet about such topics, and Ricketts said when her book was published, she and her husband mentally braced for a potential backlash.

But that backlash never came. "That sense of solidarity and acceptance from the military community was another unexpected blessing," Ricketts said.

While her husband works for the federal government in Chicago, Ricketts and her three children live in Bloomington, Ill. She is taking a short sabbatical from writing to care for her children, one of whom had brain surgery in 2016. Her goal continues to be advocating on behalf of women and veterans.

'Sacred Spaces'

Corie Weathers, the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, eagerly jumped into writing a book. As a chaplain's spouse and licensed professional counselor, Weathers and her husband of 17 years, Capt. Matt Weathers, have worked together to support service members and their families from their home in Charlottesville, Va., where they live with their two boys, ages 12 and 9.

Effective communication was the only way she and her husband have been able to balance their respective careers, especially while she was writing, she said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.