Less than 1% of our nation will ever serve in our armed forces, leaving many to wonder what life is really like for military families.
He answers the call of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Pacific; she keeps the home fires burning. Worlds apart, and in the face of indescribable grief, their relationship is pushed to the limits.
15 Years of War: How the Longest War in U.S. History Affected a Military Family in Love, Loss, and the Cost Of Service provides a unique he said/she said perspective on coping with war in modern-day America. It reveals a true account of how a dedicated Marine and his equally committed spouse faced unfathomable challenges and achieved triumph, from the days just before 9/11 through 15 years of training workups, deployments, and other separations.
This story of faith, love, and resilience offers insight into how a decade and a half of war has redefined what it means to be a military family.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)|
About the Author
She and her recently retired Marine reside in the Pacific Northwest with their two children and their dogs. Kristine enjoys reading, good red wine with friends, and celebrating life.
To book Kristine for speaking or to discover more about her, please visit KristineSpeaks.com, or connect with her on social media.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Off to Great Places
Reality Check 9
Back to his Roots 11
Waiting is the Hardest Part 14
The Adventure Begins 20
Sun on My Face, Song in My Heart 26
He Put a Ring on It 36
The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Marines 38
Going to the Chapel 56
Go Forth Boldly 59
Part 2 If You Can't Be Safe, Be Deadly
This is War 67
Freedom Isn't Free 85
Down With the Sickness 91
Going Back to Cali 93
Keep Calm and Aloha On 104
Together is a Wonderful Place to Be 109
Creating a New Destiny 114
A Beautiful Gift 120
Into the Fire 127
Seeds of Friendship 136
Weeds in the Garden 142
Calling in Reinforcements 145
Darkest Before the Dawn 158
Happiness is Homemade 164
Pain is Baby Leaving the Body 167
Back to the Grind 174
Double the Diapers, Double the Fun 180
In a Van Down by the River 187
Part 3 Discovering Rock Bottom Stranded in the Desert 197
The Cost of Imperfection 207
Broken Crayons Still Color 214
No Distance is Too Far 218
War Torn Afghanistan and the Taliban 224
The Best Way Out is Through 234
War Pigs 242
Let Go or Be Dragged 252
Every Picture Tells a Story 267
"They Sicken of the Calm, Who Knew the Storm" 274
Part 4 Turning the Page Girl: A Giggle with Glitter on It 281
Smile Because it Happened 283
Grab a Straw-Because You Suck 292
Hey I Just Met You and This is Crazy. But She's My Momma and I'm Your Baby 303
Be Brave Enough to Start a Conversation that Matters 306
Don't Look Back-You're Not Going That Way 310
Create the Thing That You Wish Existed 314
Let the Wild Rumpus Begin 317
Let's Meet in our Dreams 322
These Sweatpants are the Only Thing That Fit Me Now 329
The Girl Who Smiles When Her Heart is Broken 336
A Rainbow of Chaos 344
Run Wild My Child 349
Part 5 Hold the Vision, Trust the Process
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started 355
Courage, Dear Heart 360
Be the Voice for Those Who Cannot Speak 364
Purpose and a Plan 366
There's No Education like Adversity 371
Author's Note 375
Honor the Fallen 382
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have had the pleasure of knowing Kristine for 14 years now... and am constantly impressed by her drive, determination and dedication. I could not wait to get my hands on this book, ordered it through the kickstarter fundraiser, and the day I received it, I did not put it down until I finished it. I lived through the beginning of this book with Kristine. I was that fiancee in 2002 that was not completely embraced and welcomed by the current spouses; we fought to be brought into the loop and recognized as being just as important to our Marine as those who had that piece of paper. I always thought of Kristine as brave, standing up and becoming the key volunteer for our entire unit while they deployed into harm's way. Little did I know about her personal struggles - and how she was able to keep everything together and present a strong presence in the face of such tragedy and adversity. I don't know another person who would have handled it with such grace and dignity. Thank you Kristine for documenting those years of war that I lived through with you.. gave me amazing insight into what was happening during the March Up and then Fallujah in 2004. Seems like an eternity ago... It will be nice to share with my first born who joined us 3 weeks before the unit deployed to Fallujah for a harrowing 8 months- to explain where her daddy was and why. A Marine Corps spouse is a unique creature.. there is the long standing joke: if the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife they would issue one; but truly, certain women are just cut out to meet and exceed that challenge, and Kristine is one of the few, and I am so proud to call her my friend. If you are a fiancee, read this book. If you are a new spouse, read this book, if you lived through the events beginning in 2002-2005, read this book. If you have no military affiliation and would like amazing insight into war, life and love, read this book.
I am a military wife who has also lived through these last 15 years of war. I absolutely loved this book and applaud the Kristine Schellhaas for her authenticity. I laughed and cried throughout the book because it was so easy to identify with Kristine. This memoir was spot on in it's descriptions of military family life, and brutally honest about all of the trials that go with it. Even though many of Kristine and Ross' losses, challenges, and triumphs were different from my own, it was eerily similar to my journey. Their story has become a catalyst for conversation between my Marine and myself, as he rarely, if ever, talked about what happened when he was deployed at war. It was eye opening to me, a Marine wife, to read Ross' war experiences and how he was feeling while deployed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeks to understand the military life, or someone who just wants to read an inspirational story of love, and overcoming an undescribable loss.
I looked forward to reading this autobiography of the life of a Marine Corps officer and his activist wife. They creatively tell the story of their marriage and his military service with back-and-forth sections and chapters from both of their perspectives. This is highlighted with the inclusion of their correspondence through the segments of time they were separated from each other due to his training and deployments. The first part of the book is a love story between two starry-eyed lovers. It almost feels like you are reading a Captain America movie script with his girlfriend, Betsy Ross, who became the superheroine Golden Girl. But this isn’t a movie script and neither of these authors are superheroes. Tragedy enters their story, not as a plot point, but as a life-altering reality. How they walked through the threats to their lives, marriage, and military commitment is inspiring and challenging. There is no sugar-coating in this book. Both Kristine and Ross Schellhaas pull no punches as they describe the realities of military life, deployments, loss of life, family drama, each other, and themselves. There are things for all readers to reflect on after reading this memoir - whether it be about personal relationships, family and military life, and the cost of war. I hope that many people will take the time to engage in this family’s story. The Department of Defense conducted a security review of this book and approved it for release.