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Shared Courage: A Marine Wife's Story of Strength and Service Hardcover – April 15, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

Shared Courage

“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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; 1st edition (April 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760329966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760329962
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a Marine officer who deployed in support of OIF I and II, it was very difficult to read this book. As Marines, we follow orders and leave the family at home to deal with everything, assuming that all will be well. I had no idea how difficult the deployments must have been for my wife. As a husband, I realize that it is a grave injustice to not recognize these brave women, most of whom had no idea the limits to which they and their families would be tested when they married into the Marine Corps. What Mrs. Keener has done is try to right that injustice and give voice to the many wives who otherwise would receive no recognition, just another request to serve silently, while their spouse deploys into harm's way. Thank you Mrs. Keener for helping me to see my wife for the wonderful person she truly is and has been all these years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For any military wife going through a deployment, or entering their life in the service through teher spouse, this book is perfect. The author gave me some great laughs and tears but helped me to better understand what I was going through. She also gave me great ideas for my husband who is about to go on his first deployment and how to cope while he's away. I recommend this book whole heartedly.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was given to me by my husband. I ended up reading large portions of it right back to him, much like I used to do with my mother while reading Erma Bombeck books growing up. The author displays a deft and rare form of female humor that fearlessly navigates the sometimes 'verboten' waters of the frustrations of motherhood, being a wife, putting all personal plans on hold indefinitely for a greater cause, and becoming an expert through trial and error and trial again..and again...and again. I gained a much deeper appreciation of the challenges that confront military wives, mothers and organizational volunteers through her vivid retelling of the experience. Her book is a honest, behind-the-scenes, hilariously funny and sometimes devastatingly agonizing account of what brave military wives and moms around the world selflessly sacrifice, so that so many others may continue to sleep in peace.
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Format: Hardcover
My husband of a year and a half left for his third tour...second to Iraq. This has been so difficult and I really feel like I have no where to turn. My husband's grandparents bought me this book and sent it to me from Virginia; where they saw the newspaper article about Mrs. Keener. I couldn't put the book down. I'd read it at night with a flash light while our baby was asleep. I cried through an entire chapter and finished in just a few weeks. I really wish there were more books like this because I've got 4 more months and I need something good to read!
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Format: Hardcover
Once I turned the first page, I couldn't put it down. I laughed, I cried, I nodded my head in agreement and I felt like Michelle Keener perfectly put on paper the range of emotions that were in my head and heart.

She gives a voice to all military wives, regardless of their husband's branch of service or rank, and even speaks for those who send their husband's away to do work in the civilian world. Shared Courage is the best book that I have read in years. Those who have walked in the same shoes will identify with it personally and those who haven't, can gain an honest insight into the complex and often overlooked and misunderstood, but also rewarding beyond words, job of those who wait, yet still serve. Bravo, Mrs. Keener for having the courage to share that which is your story, but is also the story of many of us.
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Format: Hardcover
Courage takes many forms and this is one of them! Michelle illustrates and highlights the daily acts of courage demonstrated by those "left behind" as they face everyday challenges armed with only love and hope. Each story is an example of courage in the face of fear; fortitude in the face of trepidation. These women act despite their fears and show strength when they feel weak. They face alone what most couples face together while supporting each other at home and loved ones half-a-world away. Michelle's courage and skill in writing this book, openly and honestly, is to be applauded and commended.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was refered to me by a marine corps spouse. As an army spouse myself, I really feel Mrs. Keener has penned a book that allows those outside the military community an honest insight as to what military families endure, no matter what their branch of service. I applaud Mrs. Keener's courage to share her experience, warts and all.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the best books I have ever read. An inspiration to people of all ages and a testament of courage and love that nearly reaches the limits of endurance. Whether you have a relative in the military or not, you cannot help becoming involved in one of the most trying experiences through which a loved one can go. The joy, the tears, the pain, the sorrow, the happiness, the pride, the strength - the true SHARED COURAGE.
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