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Book Give-away: Heroes at Home

by Jocelyn on March 8, 2012

Heroes at Home: Help and Hope for America's Military Families, Updated and Revised, Third EditionThanks to Ellie Kay for donating a signed copy of her newly revised book, Heroes at Home: Help and Hope for America’s Military Families. When I was dating my military man, this was the first book he gave me to prepare for the life I’d have ahead of me if we got married. (Obviously, we did.) And now, the book is in its third edition and I’m actually in it (Hidden Hero Profile, p. 130)!

This updated edition of Heroes at Home reflects today’s reality of dangerous missions, deployments, reentry into family life, and long work hours—whether active duty, reserve, or the National Guard. Ellie Kay, a veteran military spouse and mother, addresses all your concerns about preparing for and enduring separations, making family moves, stretching a dollar, communicating long-distance, and so much more.

I asked Ellie what was different about this book compared to the one I read about ten years ago, and here’s what she told me:

There is about 30% new material in this updated version. I’ve included an expanded section on how to get your child into a military academy or get a military based education (enlisted bonuses, ROTC, etc). There is more info included for military parents (since I now am one!) that was not there before. There’s also an expanded section on Reservist programs such as the Yellow Ribbon program. Plus, all the websites and other information have been updated and is current.

Heroes at Home is an upbeat, positive look at military life. Just a few of the chapters include:
• Creating memories and managing holidays
• Tips to surviving military moves
• Using humor to lighten the load
• Stress busters
• Hospitality check
• Easy ways to save money on everything
• Creative coping during military separations
• Facing fear with faith

It’s an easy to read book, broken up by helpful subheads and peppered with valuable lists., such as the one below.

Top Twelve Don’t for Deployment

1. Don’t have a negative attitude; it will hurt you, your kids, and everyone who is unfortunate enough to be around you!
2. Don’t spend time alone with people of the opposite sex; establish boundaries during this particularly vulnerable time.
3. Don’t listen to your favorite love songs or romantic movies if it makes you nostalgic for your mate. Instead, watch a comedy with a friend.
4. Don’t buy big-ticket items without your spouse’s approval—no matter how depressed you are.
5. Don’t give in to impulse buying on the smaller-ticket items either; they will surely add up to big debts!
6. Don’t clean out your spouse’s “stuff,” even if he never does listen to those old CDs!
7. Don’t stay home alone—especially if you have little ones. Join a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in your area. For more information on attending or starting a MOPS group in your area, go to or call 1-888-910-MOPS.
8. Don’t turn down offers for help. Take people up on their offers to take you to lunch, come over for dinner, baby-sit your kids (if you trust them), and even bring you a casserole. Now is the time to accept help!
9. Don’t overdose on news shows, especially when your spouse is involved in a “hot news” conflict. Don’t let your kids hear much (if any) of the news involving your spouse’s deployment. Madeline Brazell says, “Andrew, who was only two when Duane went to war, started to exhibit disturbing behavior during the first days of the war when we kept the news on almost all day.”
10. Don’t overdo it on TV in general—too much of it makes your brain turn to mush and your morals turn maudlin.
11. Don’t use TV, DVDs, computers, or game systems as a babysitter. Limit their use to one show or one hour a day and your child will have a better outlook on life.
12. Don’t list your physical address in the phone book or on any registration information. When a Stealth went down in Kosovo, and they didn’t know who the pilot was, CNN was standing curbside at every pilot’s house listed in the phone book!

To enter the drawing for a signed copy of Heroes at Home, please leave a comment telling us about one hero at home (a military family member) you admire. A winner will be selected at random on March 15.

Update: And the winner is…Krysta Heath!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Richardson March 8, 2012 at 8:46 am

I am an army wife of 5 years. My husband is in the National Guard and Army wives are hard to come by around here. Our FRG is 2 hours away and my husband is 8000 miles away serving is second tour in Afghanistan. People tell me that if there husband left they would die, but I am not going to die. I will stand behind my hero in the choices God has given him to make. We stared out with nothing 5 years ago and the military changed us and our marriage. It has also matured us in ways and put us in situations that neither could have imagined. I love my husband and am proud he put a ring on it.


Amber Weaver March 8, 2012 at 8:54 am

My husband, Jasan is my hero! He is an amazing soldier, serving 15 years and 3 deployments. Jasan goes above and beyond for his fellow soldiers as well as our family. The first book he gave me when we were dating was “Military Wives” to make sure I was in it for the long haul with him! We’ve been married 8 years now!


Christi McKeen March 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

My 15 year old son is my hero. He has gone through all 8 deployments with me, about to be 9. He is strong and sweet at the same time. He has a heart of gold. He has always helped me physically and emotionally while DH is gone. He’s leaving again in 3 weeks and we have a newborn that my son adores and I don’t think I’d get through this deployment without him.


Eileen Sanzone March 8, 2012 at 9:13 am

My hero would be my best friend, my husband Cyle. He is in the U.S. Navy. He has to be the most thoughtful person I know. He is always putting others needs in front of his on. Not just while he is at work but when he is off duty too. He is such a wonderful role model for just in our family but in our community. Thank you to everyone for your service!


Eileen Sanzone March 8, 2012 at 9:14 am



Eileen Sanzone March 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

For not just in our family* sorry the auto spell check on my phone does this a lot.


Krysta Heath March 8, 2012 at 9:45 am

My Hero is my husband Michael, that is prior service Navy and now an Army officer! I am so proud of him, he makes everyone he is around a much better person and makes the best out of everything! He helps with young sea cadets and gives up his weekends just to be there for them and is a role model to many of the children!! I also am proud of my big brother Scott that is in the Army! He has overcame so much and to be living one of his dreams to be in the military is just amazing! These to men in my life are extraordinary young Army men that I love so dearly and would give anything for them as they would for me! :)


Vicki March 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

No matter how many times my husband is away, when he gets home he always seems to be able to stay awake long enough to talk to the kids about what he did and where he has been…………..
It’s exciting for them to hear his stories. And when he is away he never forgets to send a card for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. My favorites are the ones he crosses out words and adds his own to make them appropriate for the reason he’s sending the card. THe kids share those with friends and we all laugh at some of the funniest he sends home. These are just some of the reasons we feel he is a Hero at Home!


Melissa March 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

My husband to be is my hero. He is a medic in the Army who loves serving the Lord by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of those around him. He works so hard to make sure that we will have everything we need to make a good start.


Leanne Miller March 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

My Navy Seabee, Dave Miller, is my hero! He faithfully serves God in uniform, mentoring his guys and guys to have a strong work ethic and showing them what it means to have a relationship with God while being in the military. I hope the kingdom of God grows because of the seeds he plants wherever we are stationed. I wish this book could be given to every new miltiary girlfriend, fiance, and wife….to equip them to be a military wife in these tough times.


Leanne Miller March 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

guys..and girls, typo!


Jackie March 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I several heroes at home: from my mum who is retired Army Wife who was around before FRGs and Flaterate boxes. Then there’s my dads, who both served 20+ years in the Army. And then there’s our sons, our preschooler who has been through 24 months of deployments in 4years and our 11 month old son who has 6 months. They each have taught me the value of making memories and making the most of every.single.moment.


Sarah M March 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

My Hero at Home is my husband Randy who is a Ssgt in the Air Force. We dated for about five years mostly long distance (starting with basic training) we were blessed to be able to get married in April of 2011. I had already had a taste of what military life was to offer. We had made it though basic training, tech school, assignments in Turkey and Germany and a deployment to Afghanistan. We were engaged in 2009. He has always been the Godly man and the support that I needed. We were married in April of 2011 and found out that he would deploy to Iraq 18 days later. Meanwhile I moved across the country from my childhood home in Michigan to his base in New Mexico. I left a life I knew for a life I had no idea what was to come. I learned how to be a wife without a physical husband. The first six months of our marriage were hard while he was gone, but well worth every moment. I wouldn’t change anything about this life that my husband has choose. I am proud to be Randy’s wife. He is such a patient, giving, and self-less man. I couldn’t have asked the Lord for a better husband. He will always be my love and my life.


Jamie G March 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

My Hero is my husband, PO EN1 , who just retired after 20 years in the Navy, I spent probably 5 years of that alone /with kids and was injured on a deployment at the start of this war , like many of us there are days I didnt leave house and I kept waiting for a call ,well, the day I go out, I have 20 messages and calls from his Chief and CO. Not the call I wanted. He had lost 3 fingers , however the ship DR. was able to save 2 of them. He has aways been a superior Sailor /husband and father. However , he would say I was the hero as he nominated me for the Flagship Newspaper HEROES At Home Military Spouse Of The Year Award last year and I was a top 10 finalist for this honored award. We have so much respect for our military and their families! They deserve so much more appreciation and pay ! Stay busy and Volunteer / get involved with other spouses and find what you are good at and help others! Get involved with Non profit groups that help our deployed and injured/ FRG’s ( and no, they all arent run as smooth and perfectly as Claudia Joy and Army Wives make them look) .God Bless and hope you all enjoy being a part of the Military community as I have. Jamie G/Hampton Virginia


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