Guest Author - Marie Indyk
Heroes at Home is a source of support and information for military families. The book is written by Ellie Kay, a "military brat" (term for children raised in the military), long time Air Force spouse, mother of five, author, financial expert, and motivational speaker. How she found the time to become so accomplished is admirable in itself, and she shares this wealth of experience and knowledge in the recent third edition release of Heroes at Home.
In need of a little inspiration after enduring five months of separation from my Army husband and dealing with the stress of an upcoming overseas PCS move, I brought this book home from the library. I was neither paid nor offered any "perks" for this review.
The book includes valuable information for new military families, from preparing for deployments, military customs and culture, to adjusting to a new base. Although some of the information such as moving and budgeting advice tended to be more generic and could apply to anyone in the civilian world, topics like military acronyms, avoiding scams aimed at military members, and preparing for and enduring deployments outweighed the more general information.
The long time military families who have already likely endured several moves and deployments can still find value in the author's own humorous stories and in the personal portraits into the lives of other military family members. Readers are able to identify with others facing with the same struggles and may even find new ways to manage their own difficulties. Military spouses are expected to leave their lives behind them every two to three years and follow their husband or wife wherever their career takes them. They often feel lonely, lost, and unappreciated. This book validates the great accomplishments of military spouses and proves that they can have their own lives too!
Finally, the book offers some creative, fun ideas for celebrating the holidays and staying in touch with loved ones. For example, create a Thanksgiving tree and mail the leaves to extended family members. When the leaves come back, attach to the tree and mention what that loved one is thankful for at Thanksgiving dinner. Take plenty of "happy memory" videos of loved ones before deployments and PCS moves and play these videos during the holidays you cannot be together. The author stresses the importance of staying connected with family and also relying on friends and resources in the military community.
Overall, Heroes at Home is an informative and inspirational resource for military families. The most important message conveyed by the book is that military members are not the only ones making sacrifices for their country. The heroes are also those families behind the scenes who are supporting their service member, holding back the tears as they wave good-bye, and giving their loved ones something to fight for.