A permanent book section in all the military exchanges and libraries for military families is finally happening!!
I’ve shared this challenge many times over the years, during our workshops/articles and blogs. There are amazing books written by military spouses for military spouses and military children, well over 100 books fall into this category. But where can you find these terrific books? Item #378
Wouldn’t it make sense if you are a military spouses looking for resources about how to navigate through this life, that you would be able to find them right there in your own military community. Just like the Professional Reading Sections for the military service member.
For years we have had to tell military spouses the only place to search for them were at places like Amazon.com. But, when we spend our money at our local military exchanges portions of those monies go right back into our military communities to support our family programs and other MWR programs. It’s a win-win.
Over the past few years, some exchanges have provided a few of the military spouse books, but those books are from publishers who have a relationship with the big distributors that deal with the exchanges. If you are a military spouse author and your book publisher does not have a relationship with one of these big distributors then your book will not be able to be included. And when the books on the shelves are sold they are not automatically restocked, like they would be in the Professional Reading Sections for the service member.
Well FINALLY, things are changing. Mrs. Bonnie Amos, the wife of the Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. James Amos, has turned this “well DUH? Of course we should have books written by and for military spouses and their families in the military exchanges and military libraries” into a reality.
The First Lady of the Marine Corps Recommended Reading List was unveiled last week in all the Marine Corps Exchanges, MC Libraries as well as the Marine Corp Association stores (and the MCA online store). And our book, 1001 THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT THE MILITARY and Kathie’s and Holly’s book Help! I’m A Military Spouse~I Get A Life Too. How to Craft a Life for You As You Move With the Military are on the list! Many of the books on the reading list are written by military spouses and it contains books for new spouses as well as more seasoned military spouses.
“Books on Mrs. Amos’ reading list provide both advice and comfort, offering coping skills, humor and a profound reassurance military spouses are not alone,” said Kimberlee Gorry, spouse of the commanding general for Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea, and it will help spouses to understand they’re not alone; there are other people who go through all the things they go through during difficult times of separation,” said Mrs. Gorry. “I wish I had a list like this when my children were younger and my husband was deployed.”
“I think that the new list is terrific; it gives our USMC spouses a one-stop shop for finding books that are relevant to being a USMC spouse and family,” said Kathleen Smith, the spouse of the Combat Center’s Commanding General. “The most effective Marine is one whose family is well taken care of. This includes providing knowledge and skill building on family and spouse resiliency and coping mechanisms. The Corps is well served by any program that accomplishes this fact.
“It’s absolutely fabulous that the Corps has recognized this and is doing its best to meet the need here,” Smith said. “There has been a lot of careful consideration in choosing the books represented here.”
At this point, the Marine Corps Exchange is only providing a small section for 15 books, and in some bigger stores 20 books. In order to cut the 100+ books down to 15/20, Mrs. Amos’ committee focused on the areas of military life skills and resiliency. Mrs. Amos’ goal is for this reading list to be a “living list” where titles are reviewed on a continual basis.
In the meantime, since the Marine Corps Exchanges is the first branch of service to embrace this new initiative they want to see if there is even a desire/need out there for Marine families to purchase books. The biggest thing you can do right now is to tell everyone you know who lives near a Marine Corps base to go to the MCX, library or the MCA store and check out the new reading section, purchase books and have them start asking for even more titles – bigger section.
But we also need help from all military spouses from all branches of service, we need a grass roots effort for everyone to speak up and tell their Army, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard Exchanges- “we want a permanent military family book section too!”
So please help us spread the word that there is a need for military spouse books and books for military children in our exchanges and in our military libraries. We are grateful Mrs. Amos has also seen this need and was willing to begin the process. Our greater hope is Marine Corps families will love this idea and be willing to support it, and then other branches of the military will jump on the band wagon and this whole idea will continue to grow.
- Separated by Duty, United in Love by Shellie Vandevoorde
- 1001 Things to Love about Military Life by Tara Crooks, Starlett Henderson, Kathie Hightower and Holly Scherer
- Help! I’m a Military Spouse–I Get a Life Too! by Kathie Hightower and Holly Scherer
- Confessions of a Military Wife by Mollie Gross
- The Military Spouse’s Employment Guide:
- Smart Job Choices for Mobile Lifestyles by Janet I. Farley
- The Road Home Again: Smoothing the Transition Back from Deployment by Elaine Gray Dumler
- Transformation: The Mindset You Need. The Body You Want. The Life You Deserve by Bill Phillips
- Faith Deployed…Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives by Jocelyn Green
- Courage After Fire:
- Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families by Keith Armstrong, Dr. Suzanne Best, Dr. Paula Domenici and Bob Dole
- Wounded Warrior, Wounded Home: Hope and Healing for Families Living with PTSD and TBI by Marshele Carter Waddell and Kelly K. Orr
- The 17 Day Diet by Mike Moreno
- Service Etiquette, 5th Edition by Cherlynn Conetsco and Anna Hart
- A Families Guide to the Military for Dummies by Sheryl Garrett and Sue Hoppin
- The Day After He Left for Iraq: A Story of Love, Family, and Reunion by Melissa Seligman
- Eating for Life by Bill Phillips
- The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
- Heroes at Home: Help and Hope for America’s Military Families by Ellie Kay
- Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops by Jill Biden
- A Salute to Our Heroes: The U.S. Marines (A Marine Corps children’s book) by Brandon W. Barnett
- Our Daddy Is Invincible! by Shannon Maxwell
- Big Boss Brain: Learning About Traumatic Brain Injuries by Shannon Maxwell
- Uncle Sam’s Kids: Moving Again Mom by Angela Sportelli-Rehak