A Year of Absence: Six Women's Stories of Courage, Hope, and Love

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9780965748315: A Year of Absence: Six Women's Stories of Courage, Hope, and Love
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A Year of Absence follows the lives of six women whose husbands, all members of the U.S. Army’s First Armored Division based in Germany, deploy to Iraq in April 2003.

A young lieutenant’s wife comes dangerously close to alcoholism. Marriages are pushed to the breaking point by the constant strain of fifteen months apart. Each morning the women anxiously scan the headlines, wondering if they still have a husband, if their children still have a father. Some form friendships that become their lifeline. Others somehow find courage despite their isolation.

Through tearful goodbyes, long-awaited communication from the front, and joyful yet troubled reunions, A Year of Absence captures what life is like for many families of deployed soldiers: the ever-present fear of death, the pressures of single-parenthood, and the strength and comfort that come with the support of close friends

Jena was strolling home from walking the dog when she noticed an official U.S. Army car carrying two soldiers in Class A uniforms heading toward her street. She felt her pulse quicken and, without meaning to, she started doing the math. If the soldiers stopped at her building, there was a one-in-twenty-four chance that Adam was dead. If they stopped at her stairwell, it was one-in-eight. Don’t come down here, she prayed silently. Please let it be somebody else...

Military Writers Society of America – Gold Medal, Best Nonfiction

Midwest Book Awards – First Place, Current Events

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From the Back Cover:

"In A Year of Absence, Redmond skillfully parades out a cast of six endearing characters stationed at Baumholder, Germany, whose husbands deployed to Iraq in 2003.... Redmond’s deft narration and always telling insights cause us to cheer for them all, including Redmond, who casually reveals in the author’s notes that her own husband was deployed as she researched and wrote the book. As the daughter of a soldier-killed-in-action, I know the pain of war doesn’t stop when the bombing ends. No slumber is ever again as peaceful. No peace is ever again as restful. Death on the battlefield may be the ultimate sacrifice, but it isn’t the only costly one demanded of our nation’s military families. Redmond allows readers to see that life on the homefront is often an equally savage battle. – Karen Spears Zacharias, author of Hero Mama

"These are stories that need to be told. A Year of Absence finally gives voice to the very intimate and private struggles of military wives. Their great sacrifice for our country has far too often been overlooked. It’s hard not to cry as you read through these stories of wives fighting to keep sane as their husbands fight in the Iraq War. Their stories of battles with alcoholism and depression, marital strife, struggles to raise young children alone, and the constant worry that their husbands would be killed during their 15-month deployment are heartbreaking." – Yvonne Latty, author of We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans from World War II to the War in Iraq

From the Inside Flap:

In April 2003, during their first year of marriage, Jessica Redmond's husband was sent to Iraq as part of the U.S. Army's First Armored Division, based in Baumholder, Germany. As the first months of the deployment dragged on, Jessica set out to discover how other wives were coping with the strain. Her first book, A Year of Absence, tells the stories of six very different women who find a way to guide themselves and their families through the most difficult fifteen months of their lives.Through tearful goodbyes, long-awaited letters and phone calls from the front, and joyful yet troubled reunions, A Year of Absence captures what life is truly like for many families of deployed soldiers: the ever-present fear of death, the pressures of single parenthood, and the strength and comfort that come with the support of close friends.

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