Military Family

10 Books Every Military Spouse Should Read

10 Books Every Military Spouse Should Read

contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer

There’s no way around it. While incredibly rewarding and often exciting, the life of a military spouse is not easy. It can be easy for military spouses to get lost in the shuffle between the logistics of constant change and helping children manage deployments and homecomings, adjust to unfamiliar surroundings, and cope with missing a deployed parent. 

This is why it’s so important to provide resources that help military spouses navigate their own feelings, emotions, and experiences, as well as those of their families. For anyone married to the military, books can provide support, camaraderie, and even an escape when needed. Here are 10 books for military spouses that hit the mark!

1. 15 Years of War

This Memoir reveals a true account of how a dedicated Marine and his spouse faced unfathomable challenges and achieved triumph in the first fifteen years, post 9/11. With an overwhelming amount of insight into what it means to be a military family, 15 Years of War is a story of resilience, love, and faith. It’s the perfect deployment book for couples.


2. You Know When the Men are Gone

At the Army Base in Fort Hood, Texas, soldiers prepare to fight, and their families are forced to cope while they are gone. Although they are not real army wives’ stories, the collection of linked narratives in You Know When the Men Are Gone speaks to their experiences in a touching manner and provides advice for army wives in the process. The book provides readers a glimpse into the lives of military spouses and the impact of war on those left behind.


3. Stories Around the Table

In Stories Around the Table, over 40 U.S. Military spouses, parents, children, and service members share touching personal stories from their lives of service. They capture nearly every topic imaginable from friendship, to raising children, to career challenges, to reconnecting after deployment.


4. We Were Soldiers Once…and Young

Although this story isn’t about the journey of a military wife, books like We Were Soldiers Once… and Young don’t come around very often, and years later this one remains one of the best military books to read. It’s a touching minute by minute, person by person account of the battle at Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. Written by Hal Moore – who commanded the nearly 450 troops forced to preserve and sacrifice during the three-day battle, and Joseph Galloway – the only journalist present for the events, this book is a must for anyone searching to better understand the realities of war from the perspective of the front lines. 


5. Behind the Blue Star Banner

One of the most poignant books for Army spouses is this memoir, which tells the story of a young woman raising her first two children, on her own, in Fairbanks, Alaska. When her husband’s tour is extended again, just ten days shy of his much-anticipated return home, Michelle falls apart. And then she puts herself back together with the help of her tribe. Behind the Blue Star Banner is a story of survival and friendship that reminds military spouses just how strong they really are.


6. No Mans War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife

This is the blunt, hilarious, encouraging book every soldier’s wife needs to read. In No Man’s War, Author Angela Ricketts pulls back the curtain on the military lifestyle and celebrates the “secret sisterhood” she found within it.


7. 5 Love Languages – Military Edition

In this updated version of the 5 Love Languages, author Gary Chapman partners with a former military wife in an effort to connect with military couples. The 5 Love Languages – Military Edition is the perfect military marriage book as it includes stories from every branch of service and speaks specifically to expressing love while apart or reconnecting after deployments.


8. Journey Through Deployment

Written by a young Air Force wife, Journey Through Deployment stands out among books for military wives. It offers insight into the joys and challenges of military life as well as practical tips for managing deployments with confidence and handling reconnection with grace.


9. Dinner with The Smileys

Hands down, one of the best books for military spouses! When her husband deployed, military mom, Sarah Smiley, decided to invite a different guest to her dinner table each week while he was away. She hoped this would be a way to help fill a void in her sons’ lives while their dad was gone, but it turned into so much more. Each dinner guest taught them something new and left a lasting impression in the process. Of all the books written by military wives, Dinner with The Smileys is a favorite and a must-read for any Milspouse.


10. Modern Military Spouse

In this guide for new military spouses and significant others, Modern Military Spouse is a practical guide to surviving all that military life can throw your way – from PCS moves, to homecomings, to military lingo, and everything in between. And while it’s intended as a practical guide, don’t be surprised if it leaves you feeling less alone and stronger than ever before.


More Support for Military Families & Children

Military children are a special group of American heroes who deserve recognition and often require extra support during difficult times. Check out our list of books to help military children with deployment and our tips for assisting the entire family navigate the emotional stress of a PCS move. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Military Blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss another post. 


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