A Year of Absence: Six Women's Stories of Courage, Hope, and Love
by: Jessica Redmond
Published by: Elva Resa Publishing
Buy From Amazon.com
Reviewed by Connie Anderson
The author Jessica Redmond is a military wife whose husband Jon was deployed to Iraq from their hone base in Baumholder, Germany.
The Year of Absence was researched during his absence. She wanted to better understand what was gong on around her as families lived this year as "single parents," surrounded by the fear, stress and uncertainty.
Work opportunities for the wives were scarce, and many returned home to find support among extended family members. But many stayed in Germany.
The women she interviewed were Beth, Kristina, Diane, Teresa, Jena and Tasha. The husbands of the last three belong to the same company.
As I was reading I was struck by the tremendous need for support that these woman sometimes found among the other wives--but how many also turned to family members back home. One woman watched CNN every morning, and when she saw a bombing in the Iraq area where her husband was, she freaked. Calling her mother back in the states, her mother didn't answer. "Pick up," she screamed into the telephone. Then her little daughter took the phone and cried, "Grammy, pick up, Mommy needs you."
Each of these six women found ways to handle the stress--often by helping others, new arrivals, etc. to adjust and adapt as they all marked off the days on the calendar.
What gives one person the ability to handle the stress while others turned to inappropriate ways to handle their stress of an absent spouse: drugs, alcohol, being unfaithful? Redmond's up close and personal with these six women was affirming the strength of these military wives.
Most women talked about their faith in God, that He would watch over their soldier...but the days like the CNN morning announcement of a soldier's death tested their faith in God and the military.
I was moved by the family dynamics when the soldiers received a two-week R&R to return home. How great it was to see him, but how hard to know it was so short. How do you explain that to little children?
Armchair Interviews says: This is a powerful book of real women with real life situations while their husbands are serving our country, doing what they have to do. It would be a great book to put into your church library or give to a military family.
From our armchair to yours...