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The voices of three women convey the dilemmas faced by many young families in the armed services.
At the center of this book are the personal stories of three junior enlisted spouses, told in their own voices and selected to emphasize the dilemmas numerous enlisted families face. The stories provide insight into the experiences and attitudes of some junior enlisted families. Those who live a military lifestyle-at any pay grade-will find these stories both useful and engaging. Some junior enlisted personnel and their spouses will recognize themselves in these stories, and others in the military community will gain a better understanding of problems they may have seen. Additionally, these insights help provide some human context for official statistics and should be of interest to the military leadership; personnel managers; analysts; and policymakers involved in the recruiting, retention, and management of junior enlisted personnel and their families, as well as to Congress and the media.
These stories were excerpted from a long series of interviews conducted during research for a dissertation that addressed the roles and experiences of Army spouses. This research included 105 recorded and transcribed interviews with military spouses, as well as less formal interviews and discussions with military personnel, spouses, and other individuals in the military community. The author also spoke with numerous other spouses and soldiers during Enlisted Spouses Club meetings, Officers' Spouses Club meetings, visits to Army Community Services facilities, and various other gatherings. This research also included an extensive review of the archives of local military and civilian newspapers.
The dissertation research was supported in part by the University of Virginia's Center for Children, Families, and the Law; the National Science Foundation; RAND; and the Forces and Resources Policy Center of RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, and the defense agencies. While the research was not part of a RAND project and was not funded through the Department of Defense, the Army officially acknowledged it and enabled it to occur. At each of the research locations, the author was formally acknowledged by the local military leadership and was approved for interviews and discussions with military personnel, civilian Department of Defense employees, and military dependents. While the research was not part of a RAND project and was not funded through the Department of Defense, the Army facilitated the interviews and discussions with military personnel, civilian Department of Defense employees, and military dependents.
Excerpted from Invisible Women by Margaret C. Harrell Copyright © 2001 by Margaret C. Harrell. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted February 25, 2008
I am an army wife of an enlisted soldier and I must say that in no way can I identify with this book whatsoever. The author did terrible research and only told the negative side of a small percentage of wives! The book was mostly complaining and all around depressing. I married my husband right out of basic, I was 18 and he was 19. We both had high school diplomas and that was it! Straight out of basic he was stationed in Korea for a year while I gave birth to our first child (a son) alone. My husband has been in the army now for 5 years and we have 3 beautiful children. We have been though the ranks and now he is at Staff Sgt. I've never had trouble feeding my children and I always had enough to pay the bills even at e2 pay. You have to learn not to spend your money frivolously, run up your credit cards, and run to wal-mart which is what the women in the book did! The army has wonderful resources and you HAVE to use them! Enlisted wives are wonderful, intelligent down to earth people who deserve respect. When we stand in front of god on judgment day I guarantee he won't has you what your husband's rank was.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2004
The only purpose that this book serves is to make all enlisted spouses look incompetent,unintelligent and needy. Then again, what would you expect? The author is the daughter and wife of (military) officers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 19, 2002
First off, I am a military wife. I will say that these women have valid concerns, and that what they experienced is not always uncommon- however- they chose not use the hundreds of military resources that are available to us each and every day. The military knows about these concerns- this book has unmasked nothing. What it has done, is to further foster the society imposed sterotype that military wives are unintelliegent, unemployed baby factories with little to no problem solving skills. Three women HARDLY represent the whole- out of all she interviewed she specifically chose three gals who had it rough, and did not thrive. What about the privates wife who held a job, went to school, had a child, and eventually became a teacher for the Army? Why is SHE not in this book? People believe what they read- and for this author to come in and say she did extensive research, and the best she could find were these three women, then go to lable the book an all encompassing 'junior enlisted wives'--well, she may have claimed that the book's goal was to make the government aware of our strife- but madame, let me tell you, all you have truly done, is to set back all the hard work we have done, and put us back to facing the public as so called 'poor military wives.' By the way- I am that Private's wife mentioned above. On little money, I managed to pay the rent, and have food on the table while my husband was gone to Saudi. I worked part time, and went to school, and gave birth to my first child mid semester. I completed school with child in tow, and now teach in military schools. There are many more like me out there- perhaps you would like to write another book?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2001
This book is not about the sterotypical wives of military men. My husband is in the Army, and I can tell you that I did not sit around complaining about how bad I had it. Yes, our men and women in uniform get paid a pittance, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices. These women did not make any sacrifices as far as I could tell. The author also did not show any positive women in her book. She did not show the positive side of being a military wife.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.