15 Years of War
Kristine Schellhaas, author
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.
First-time author Schellhaas presents a moving memoir of her life with her husband, Ross, whom she met while he was in the Marine Reserves; they married after he became an active-duty Marine in 2001. This detailed "glimpse into military family life" starts after Ross is deployed to Iraq after the events of 9/11. She not only captures the struggles of a military spouse—"I had to get used to eating alone, sleeping alone, and managing pretty much everything without him"—but also the shared troubles of her extended military family: "There was nothing worse for us than seeing on television the hardships our husbands were dealing with, knowing we couldn't do a single thing about any of it." The couple experience the joy of childbirth as well as the accidental death of one of their young sons, about which Schellhaas is brutally honest: "Going forward, I would have to choose either forgiveness or resentment and anger. It would be a decision I'd need to make every single day." The success of their marriage over time—as well as her founding of the USMC Life website to "inspire, connect, and educate" other military families—gives this heartfelt memoir a happy ending. (BookLife)