Home front loved ones
More daily encouragement for military wives
Authors: Jocelyn Green, Copyright @ 2011
Includes a bonus section of devotions written for and by Blue Star Moms.
Practical insights in caring for the home front
Faith Under Fire
An army chaplain's memoir
Authors: Roger Benimoff, Eve Conant, Copyright @ 2009
Unable to make sense of the senseless, Benimoff turned to his journal. What did it mean to believe in a God who would allow the utter horror and injustice of war? Did He want these brave young men and women to die? In his darkest moment, Benimoff wrote: Why am I so angry? I do not want anything to do with God. I am sick of religion. It is a crutch for the weak.
Benimoff’s spiritual crisis heightened upon his return home to Fort Carson, Colorado. He withdrew emotionally from wife and sons, creating tensions that threatened to shatter the family. He was assigned to work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he counseled returning soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder–until he was diagnosed himself with PTSD.
Finding himself in the role of patient rather than caregiver, connecting as an equal with his fellow sufferers, and revisiting scriptural readings that once again rang with meaning and truth, he began his most decisive battle: for the love of his family and for the chance to once again open his heart to the healing grace of God.
Intimate and powerful, drawing on Benimoff’s and his wife’s journals, Faith Under Fire chronicles a spiritual struggle through war, loss, and the hard process of learning to believe again.
Rule Number Two
Lessons I learned in a combat hospital
Author: Dr. Heidi Kraft, Copyright @ 2007
Some Marines, Kraft realized, and even some of their doctors, would be damaged by war in the ways that she couldn't repair. And sometimes, people were repaired in ways she never expected. Rule Number Two is a powerful firsthand account of providing comfort amid the chaos of war, and of what it takes to endure.
The War at Home
One family's fight against PTSD
Author: Shawn J. Gourley, Copyright @ 2011
In February 2003, Shawn Gourley's husband, Justin, returned home from his tour in the Middle East where his ship was deployed to assist Operation Enduring Freedom. Cracks were already showing in his personality, cracks that would widen dramatically into full-on fractures by the time he returned home in June 2004 from his third tour that marked the end of his military career. For the next 4 1/2 years their relationship was very difficult, and at times, downright terrifying for her and the children. It wasn't until January 2009 that Justin was able to get treatment. He was finally diagnosed with PTSD in August 2009. Those are the broad strokes of their story, but the details of how Shawn fought to save her family will leave you transfixed until the end.
Practical insights in caring for families coping with Post-Traumatic Stress and TBI
Article - After Iraq: A story of love, war, and faith
Blog - Marine Wife Unplugged
Fact Sheets - United States Department of Veterans Affairs
FAQ - Army Behavioral Health
Traumatic brain injury
In An Instant
A family's journey of love and healing
Authors: Lee and Bob Woodruff, Copyright @ 2008
Learning to Stay
Author: Erin Celello, Copyright 2013
Note that this is a work of fiction, but carefully researched to portray the "invisible war" that exists in the homes (and minds) of some returning service men and women. For more information, Operation We Are Here recommends this review by Stars and Stripes' Spouse Calls columnist, Terri Barnes - LINK.
Beyond the Battlefield
The war goes on for the severely wounded
Author: David Wood, Copyright @ 2011
Wood, who has covered wars in Africa, Central America and the Middle East, has made nine reporting trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he has accompanied soldiers and Marines on numerous combat operations. A former correspondent for Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service and the Baltimore Sun, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting.
As Wood's work revealed, one of the enduring legacies of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the young Americans who have come home severely, catastrophically wounded. They come home not to parades and honor guards and flags, but with terribly burned faces, amputated limbs, traumatic brain injury and other psychological wounds. And once home, veterans and their loved ones are often left alone to deal with years of recovery and the lingering effects of those injuries. And yet that is the good news, Wood said. A decade ago most of them would have died on the battlefield. They are now being saved, thanks to fast-paced improvements in military trauma medicine. Yet the long-term quality of life for them is uncertain, and the costs of lifetime care can be staggering. There are more than 16,000 of them, and while many Americans are eager to know them and to offer help where it's needed, they are largely without voice, invisible and unknown to most of us.
Beyond the Battlefield changes that.
The story of the U.S. Army's first blind active-duty officer
Author: Captain Scotty Smiley with Doug Crandall, Copyright @ 2010
Blindness became Captain Scotty Smiley’s journey of
supreme testing. As he lay helpless in the hospital, he
resented the theft of his dreams—becoming a CEO, a Delta
Force operator, or a four-star general.
With his wife Tiffany’s love and the support of his family and
friends, Scotty’s response became God’s transforming
moment. The injury only intensified his indomitable spirit.
Since the moment he jumped out of a hospital bed and
forced his way through nurses and cords to take a simple
shower, Captain Scotty Smiley has climbed Mount Rainier,
won an ESPY as Best Outdoor Athlete, surfed, skydived,
become a father, earned an MBA from Duke, taught
leadership at West Point, commanded an army company, and won the MacArthur Leadership Award.
Scotty and Tiffany Smiley have lived out a faith so real that it will inspire you to question your own doubts, push you to serve something bigger than yourself, and encourage you to cling to a Hope Unseen.
Refined by Fire
A family's triumph of love and faith
Authors: LTC (RET) Brian Birdwell, Mel Birdwell, Ginger Kolbaba, Copyright @ 2004
Practical insights in caring for wounded warrior families
The War Within: One More Step at a Time
Author: G. B. Trudeau
Loss of a loved one
A young widow's journey through brokenness and back
Author: Jennifer Silvera, Copyright @ 2009
Heart of a Hawk
One family's sacrifice and journey toward healing
Author: Deborah H. Tainsh, Copyright @ 2006
Bringing Home the Fallen
Honoring our nation's fallen and their families (movie)
Emergent Films, Directed by Cliff Springs, Copyright @ 2014
When one falls, another brings him home (movie)
Writer: Michael Strobl, Actor: Kevin Bacon, Copyright @ 2009
Practical insights in caring for loved ones of the fallen
A Good Friend for Bad Times: Helping others through grief
Authors: Deborah E. Bowen, Susan L. Strickler
Military Widow: A Survival Guide
Authors: Joanne M. Steen, M. Regina Asaro
Surviving the Folded Flag: Parents of war share stories of coping, courage, and faith
Author: Deborah H. Tainsh
The Art of Helping: What to say and do when someone is hurting
Author: Lauren Littauer Briggs
Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Understanding Life after a Loved One's Death & Understanding How to Help the Bereaved Around Us
Author: Kimberly Rose Carolan