Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War

Overview

More than two million U.S. service members have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in the last decade.   More and more of these veterans are writing about their wartime experience, but few military spouses have shared the truth about what it’s like when a loved one leaves for battle. Standing By is Alison Buckholtz’s candid account of her family’s struggles during her husband’s eight-month deployment on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom and a subsequent ...

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Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War

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Overview

More than two million U.S. service members have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in the last decade.   More and more of these veterans are writing about their wartime experience, but few military spouses have shared the truth about what it’s like when a loved one leaves for battle. Standing By is Alison Buckholtz’s candid account of her family’s struggles during her husband’s eight-month deployment on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom and a subsequent year-long deployment to Iraq. With insight and humor she describes trying to keep life as normal as possible for the couple’s two young children while transitioning into the unfamiliar – and at times unwelcome –role of military wife. Throughout both deployments, a remarkable and surprising series of events challenges her long-held assumptions about the military, motherhood, and even the nature of American citizenship.
 
A rare and intimate portrait of a family that represents America’s fast-growing population of service members and veterans, Standing By is a window into what matters for families everywhere.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Standing By is a hysterically funny, deeply moving, and ultimately breathtaking book. Any husband or wife will draw inspiration and wisdom from this extraordinary story.” 
—Andrew Carroll, New York Times-bestselling author of War Letters and Behind the Lines

"A universal story of friendship, family, and endurance in the post-9/11 world. Standing By is sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always a beautiful, honest book about the toil and triumph of modern military life."
—Siobhan Fallon, author ofYou Know When the Men Are Gone
  “Alison Buckholtz has penned the reality of military marriage.... Buckholtz also provides us with historical depth and insight into Navy traditions and practices, making the book educational for even the most seasoned military spouse. Standing By is both honest and compelling reading. With her civilian roots and candidly naive perspective of military life, Buckholtz evolves into an admittedly proud Navy wife on its pages. Her book will make veteran military spouses nod their heads in agreement and will mesmerize many civilian readers who want to learn more about the sacrifices, upheavals, and surprising pleasures in the daily life of the naval aviator's spouse.”
—Proceedings Magazine,U.S. Naval Institute

“This memoir by a Washingtonian about adjusting to life as a military wife is a touching account of giving up preconceptions and reaching out to others.”
—Washingtonian Magazine

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399163791
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/2/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Buckholtz wrote Slate.com’s “Deployment Diary” column, and her essays have been published in the New York Times, Real Simple, and many other publications.  She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, an active-duty Naval officer, and two children.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2009

    A touching must-read

    I highly recommend Standing By by Alison Buckholtz. It is a beautifully written and moving memoir about a devoted military mother and Navy wife.

    Her thoroughly researched book pays homage to military traditions and their contributions to our country, and unveils the experiences of military families for the civilian reader.

    Buckholtz writes both eloquently and simply as she describes people, events, and very private moments.

    I read this book straight through and alternated between stiffling laughs and wiping away tears. I loved this book.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    HONEST, MOVING PORTRAIT; FUNNY, LIVELY READ

    This is a gripping, beautifully written first-person account of a military family struggling to balance duty to country with the pressing tests and at times overwhelming demands of raising two small children. Alison Buckholtz leaves nothing out: her admiration for the other military families she comes to know in the course of her husband's assignment to a faraway military base and eventual 8-month deployment to Iraq, shines through as much as the at times desperate struggle to maintain a basic personal boundaries and familial calm. She conveys the everyday grind with brutal, self-effacing honest, at the same time punctuating it with great bursts of the inevitable situation comedy that comes from having two small children. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK STRONGLY ENOUGH.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2009

    A love story

    Standing By was a quick read for me because it's so well written and engaging. Buckholtz gives the story a unique perspective because her point of view is pro-military but also decidedly anti-war. I had no idea what the strain on military families was like and I learned a lot about the sacrifices these families make - especially the kids.

    This book is essentially a story about one family and their love.

    I highly reccomend it.

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