As anyone with a spouse in uniform knows, the military offers families neither geographical stability nor guarantees of life under one roof. Those conditions make it tough to keep a marriage together, raise good kids, and maintain some semblance of normalcy, but help is on the way. Jacey Eckhart's new guide navigates readers through military life on the homefront. Aiming her advice at the wife—male spouses, she says, need their own book—she covers issues from the first day in the "fortress" to the last day the husband is piped ashore with humor and encouragement. An Air Force brat herself, Eckhart swore she would never enter the military, but married the first Navy man she dated and over the past seventeen years has raised three children, moved thirteen times, and tackled five deployments. She argues that being able to manage military life is not a secret some wives know and others don't, but rather a set of skills to be acquired.
Eckhart presents the realities and then offers some solutions for the married-but-single parent, starting out on the bottom rung of the career ladder with each move, and worrying if military life is hurting the kids. She helps newlyweds and long-marrieds alike better understand the people who are drawn to military service and find ways to fit into the military community without losing a sense of self. Her guide offers helpful ideas about managing the demands of a teenager during a move, finding playmates for toddlers in new neighborhoods, and even telling mothers-in-law why they shouldn't be at the homecoming. She also lists methods of finding full and part-time work. From pre-deployment work-ups through Christmas blues and post-deployment problems, Eckhart and her guide are at the homefront ready to help.