From the Inside Flap
Front flap copy:
Michelle Keener and her husband Paul left many things unspoken in the days leading up to his deployment in Iraq. He had written his will and had given her power of attorney; the thought of him being killed was on both their minds the night before he left. Michelle watched him carry their daughter Emily to her bedroom, wondering if these were perhaps the last few moments with his daughter on earth. The saddest thought of all: would their daughter even remember him and how much he loved her?
Such scenes have been played out countless times in military families facing a spouse’s long deployment overseas. It is never easy, but knowing there are others out there who face the same hardships and sacrifice, knowing you are not alone, makes it easier to cope. The coming together as one community, sharing the struggles, the pride, the grief, and the joy is what Shared Courage is all about.
What if he dies? What if he’s paralyzed? What if he comes home a changed man? Michelle Keener reveals how military spouses help each other cope through frustration, burnout, and exhaustion. She writes openly and honestly about struggling to stay connected during a spouse’s remote assignment or deployment, how when direct communication is all but impossible, care packages, photographs, children’s drawings, a sample of his favorite flavored coffee, and even his favorite kind of Pop Tart do more than provide material comfort, but immeasurably build a spouse’s morale by maintaining that special connection to home and family.
With this poignant book, Michelle gives a voice to all military wives, those who receive little notice and no medals, and yet sacrifice in countless ways.
continued on back flap
Back flap copy:
IN SHARED COURAGE, Michelle Keener describes the trials and triumphs of being the wife of a Marine officer and keeping a military family together, from her wedding, to her husband’s assignment to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines (the famous “McCoy’s Marines”), to the birth of their daughter in the base hospital. She brings to life the uncertainty she and other Marine wives experienced:
To paraphrase the words of poet John Milton, cited by the author in her introduction as an inspiration to other military wives: even as they stand and wait, they also serve.
From the Back Cover
“This book is a must for anyone preparing to send a loved one to war, and a must for any commander leading Americans in harm’s way.”
—from the foreword by Colonel Bryan McCoy, Commanding Officer
of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment from May 2002 through July 2004
War on the Homefront—a Story of Service and Strength
The husbands went to war in Iraq; the wives went to war in their living rooms. Shared Courage tells of one woman’s experience as the wife of a Marine officer serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A colorful, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring account of how the invasion and occupation of Iraq affected one Marine Corps family, it is also the story of an entire military community. From the first news that their men would be going to war, the wives of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment began to bond together. Little did they know how important this would prove to be in the days to come when overwhelming fear and loneliness threatened them at every turn. Marine wife Michelle Keener’s personal story of keeping it together in the face of potentially overwhelming adversity makes for moving and inspiring reading.