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The Commissary Roadblock
Time is a dressmaker specialized in alterations.
It was just another harried Wednesday afternoon trip to the commissary. My husband was off teaching young men to fly. My daughters went about their daily activities knowing I would return to them at the appointed time, bearing among other things, their favorite fruit snacks,frozen pizza, and all the little extras that never had to be written down on a grocery list. My grocery list, by the way, was in my 16-month-old daughter's mouth, and I was lamenting the fact that the next four aisles of needed items would have to come from memory.
I was turning onto the hygiene/baby aisle while extracting the last of my list out of my daughter's mouth when I nearly ran over an old man. He clearly had no appreciation for the fact that I had forty-five minutes left to finish the grocery shopping, pick up my four-year-old from tumbling class, and get to school, where my twelve-year- old and her carpool mates would be waiting.
The man was standing in front of the soap selection, staring blankly as if he'd never had to choose a bar of soap in his life. I was ready to bark an order at him when I realized there was a tear on his face. Instantly, this grocery aisle roadblock transformed into a human.
“Can I help you find something?” I asked. He hesitated, and then told me he was looking for soap.
“Any one in particular?” I continued.
“Well, I'm trying to find my wife's brand of soap.”I was about to loan him my cell phone so he could call her when
he said, “She died a year ago, and I just want to smell her again.”
Chills ran down my spine. I don't think the 22,000-pound mother of all bombs could have had the same impact. As tears welled up in my eyes, my half-eaten grocery list didn't seem so important. Neither did fruit snacks or frozen pizza. I spent the remainder of my time in the commissary that day listening to a man tell the story of how important his wife was to him—and how she took care of their children while he fought for our country.
My life was forever changed that day. Sometimes the monotony of laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping and taxi driving leave military wives feeling empty—the kind of emptiness that is rarely fulfilled when our husbands don't want to or can't talk about work. We need to be reminded, at times, of the important role we fill for our family and for our country. Every time
my husband comes home too late or leaves before the crack of dawn, I try to remember the sense of importance I felt in the commissary.
Even a retired, decorated World War II pilot who served in missions to protect Americans needed the protection of the woman who served him at home.
¬2005. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Charles Preston and Cindy Pedersen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street,
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
1 Red, White and Blue
The Commissary Roadblock Paige Anderson Swiney 2
God Bless America… and Remember Italy, Too! Stacy Smith Kirchheiner 4
A Quiet Road Sara Rosett 7
The Call Home C. Boggs 10
Pregnancy Michele Putman 12
My Nurse Angel Lisa Cobb 14
The Calm During the Storm Kathy Oberhaus 17
Miracle Wallet Lisa Cobb 19
A Soldier, Someone's Child Elizabeth Martin, R.N. 22
All in a Day's Work Liz Rae 26
2 I Miss You So
A Navy Wife's Prayer Sue Groseclose-Combs 30
Picture the Waiting Candace Carteen 31
Letters of Hope Shelley McEwan 36
A Chain of Love Tammy C. Logan 39
Deployed Naomi Stanton 41
Silent Survivors of the Vietnam War Sally B. Griffis 44
The Phone Call Jodie Smith 47
Hello, Beautiful Jane Garvey 50
Free Mail Jill Cottrell 52
Mercy Evangeline Dionisio as told to Shelly Mecum 55
Navy Pilot's Wife Sarah Monagle 58
The Unseen Veteran Amanda Legg 61
3 Raising Military Brats
The Cost of War in Cheerios Mary C. Chace 64
Can't Let Go Julie Angelo 67
Strains of Freedom Tracey L. Sherman 69
In the Arms of a Soldier Mary D. Jackson 73
Hi Daddy Jessica Blankenbecler 76
Doubting Thomas Leah Tucker 80
My House Is a War Zone Melissa M. Baumann 84
Baby's First Words Sarah Monagle 88
All in a Day's Duty Tracey L. Sherman 90
War Is Not a Game Michael J. Jett 93
Daddy's Angels Tammy Ross 97
You Are on Speaker Phone Angela Keane 99
4 Holidays-Military Style
Red, White and Blue Christmas Roxanne Chase 102
Our Matchbox Christmas Alice Smith 103
Spouse of a Soldier Denise J. Hunnell 108
Angels Shop at Wal-Mart Jilleen Kesler 110
A Military Family Terry Hurley 112
A Simple Act of Kindness Jennifer Minor 114
An Extra Chair Susanna H. Bartee 116
Christmas-Military-Family Style Marjorie H. Lewis 118
The 25 Days of Christmas Chanda Stelter 121
5 Honey, We've Got Orders
Keep the House Jennifer Oscar 124
Honorable Gift Marilyn Pate 127
Part of the Navy Means Saying Good-Bye Sarah Smiley 131
Discomboobled Military Mate Jan Hornung 135
The Difference a Year Makes Megan Armstrong 138
Saying Good-Bye Kelli Kirwan 140
The Line Ends Back There Bill Blankfield, Col, USAF (Ret.) 143
Our National Anthem Gail Gross 146
My Home Benjamin Pigsley 148
The Angel Book Dianne Collier 150
6 No Life Like It
The Difference Col. Steven A. Arrington 154
Wow Amy Hollingsworth 157
The Delivery of Finding Strength Kimberly L. Shaffer 160
Operation Enduring Freedom Heidi Boortz 163
Hair Humor Laura C. Fitch 166
Footsteps at the Door Gwen C. Rollings 169
Only Joking Vicki A Vadala-Cummings 172
Thank You Kristin Spurlock 175
The Cookie Lady Linda Voile 177
The Honeymoon Is Over Gary Luerding 179
It'll Be Okay Tom Phillips 183
7 United We Stand
Sacrifices Amy J. Fetzer 186
Dreams and Doubts Sophia Shell, as told to Cindy Shell Pedersen 189
Bluegrass Parkway Kim Riley 193
Terrorist Brownies Amie Clark 197
Destination: Military Wife Bethany Watkins 200
Newfound Heroes Carol Howard 204
The Angel at the Olive Garden Diane L. Flowers 207
You Didn't Tell Me Donna Porter 209
Hooah Theresa Doss 211
8 An Officer at the Door
His Name Was John Mary Catherine Carwile 216
Anticipation Judith Hodge Andrews Dennis as told to Marjorie Kramer 219
Accepting the Folded Flag Saundra L. Butts 223
A Widow's Salvation Lora Vivas 226
A Little Thing Jodi Chappel 230
Somebody Knew Gene Sara Rosett 233
The Christmas Tree Joanne Danna 236
A Bittersweet Photograph Amy Naegeli 239
A Family Like No Other Ann Hail Norris 242
War-A Widow's Weeds, a Widow's Words Patricia Barbee 246
I'll Be There with You Tracy Atkins 250
9 Beyond the Call of Duty
Happiness Was Born a Twin Mary E. Dess 252
Combat Boots to Keds Debbie Koharik 256
Welcome Home! DeEtta Woffinden Anderson as told to Dahlynn McKowen 261
A Colorful Experience Nancy Hall 264
Patriotic Women Bake Cookies Denise J. Hunnell 267
Something to Be Proud Of Joyce Stark 270
The Wedding Krystee Kott 273
Angel in the Air Ramiah Johnson 277
It Took a War Jan Hornung 279
10 Living Your Dream
Change of Perspective Sonja R. Ragaller 282
Identity: A Time of Transition Twink DeWitt 284
If I Return Sharon C. Stephens Trippe 288
Lollipops Diane Proulx 290
Military Family Shawni Sticca 293
Mail Call-God's Provision for Intimacy Martha Pope Gorris 297
Grandma's Wisdom Rachel E. Twenter 301
A Trip to Washington, D.C. Abigail L. Hammond 303
Standing Tall Margaret Buchwald 305
Who Is Jack Canfield? 309
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 310
Who Is Cindy Pedersen? 311
Who Is Charles Preston? 312
I simply love the Chicken Soup series of books. They are worth every moment spent reading each page. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," another great book, which takes an eye opening look at forgiveness. Given the chance, it will change your life. It did that for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2009
Posted December 4, 2008
I've always liked the Chicken Soup serious anyway, Its nice to see that someone took the heart felt time to want to compile a book for us!!! As we can have a tendancy to be in the silent rankings,this book helps us share EVERYTHING, including how much the we do sacrifice our loved ones,support him/her so they can continue to be there for our country. It isn't just about 'free' medical care,'free' housing and PX. Oh! How the 'outside' world so thinks we get.. *smirk* If they really only lived our shoes for 1 day.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2008
Posted January 10, 2008
As you can tell from previous postings, this book is amazing. I cried after the first story and just knew I had to keep reading! What an encouraging, touching book! It really emphasizes the importance of military wives and all they sacrifice while their men are away. LOVED it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 8, 2007
Posted July 24, 2006
I am currently going through my first deployment while my husband is serving in Afghanistan. This book really helped me to realize that we are not alone and that there are thousands of others in the same shoes as us.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 27, 2006
I recently went through my first deployment with my husband, and another Navy Wife recommended the book since she was currently reading it. Once I started reading I could not put it down. Really made the whole deployment worth it when reading about people who have gone through and currently going through the same thing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2006
I read this book in about a week it was soo good. I am about to buy it for my friend who is also a military spouse, and has been for several year. This book is very heartwarming and some of them even were similar to what i was going through, which i what i think as military wives we can all relate to. THis book will will really help you to cope, especially if your husband is on tdy or deployment. Mine was in Iraq when i read this and the book was definitely a comfort since i didnt know what he was doing or where he was at!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2006
I received this book for Christmas and love it. My husband is currently deployed on an 18 month deployment (we are 1/3 done) and it is nice to know that I am not the only one who has the problems or fears that I do. It is a real tear jerker especially when your soldier is away.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2005
My husband who is active duty Navy bought this book for me. I couldn't put it down and was disappointed to find that I reached the end of it. The stories within tell timeless tales of courage, honor and commitment from the heros that keep this side of the world working while our spouses work on the other side.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 22, 2005
I received this book from my mother as a birthday gift while my husband was deployed. I read the entire book in two nights- It made me cry (a lot), but it was inspiring and uplifting! Great for any military spouse, or anyone who knows one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 19, 2005
I got this book recently and can't put it down. My husband is a Marine and is about to deploy to Iraq for the first time and this has really helped and gave me ideas on how to deal and help him deal. Thanks for the great book!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 27, 2005
I have not been able to put this book down! I am fresh into the military lifestyle and 2,000 miles away from what I used to call home. My husband is an active duty Marine, and will deploy in February. This book has given me reassurance that there are thousands of women just like myself, having what seems to be the hardest job of the military: a military WIFE. I highly recommend this book to ANY military spouse! -A Proud USMC Wife!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2005
I got this book the day it arrived. I am a Marine wife and read the whole book in 2 days. I couldn't put it down. Keep some tissue next to you! This is a wonderful book and its so nice to see a Chicken Soup book just for the military wives.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2005
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