If you could leave your readers with one piece of wisdom, what would you want it to be?
Stay close to your military family, for they truly need you!
What is the purpose of your book “Closing the Gap: Understanding Your Service(wo)man?
The book’s title is “Closing The Gap: Understanding Your Serviceman” (woman). Its principal purpose is to reconnect military families with their non-military friends and family members. It is meant to help civilians learn more about the life within the military to better understand their own service member.
Fact is that there currently is a big divide between those who protect our freedoms and those who are being protected.
The book is meant to be part of a much bigger plan or picture: While I obviously do not have any high-profile impact on any decision makers, I do have access to everyday citizens. I believe that the key approach in closing this gap should be to utilize and strengthen the connections that ALREADY exist between the military and civilian worlds: the connections between military families and their OWN extended non-military families and non-military friends; which, in turn, might extend to a better understanding within the entire population.
Are there really differences between Military Families and Civilian Families?
I have seen and read through a L-O-T of forums that were trying to answer this very question. People get really passionate when it comes to defining themselves.
I personally believe that we, as military families, ARE different from non-military families, whether this difference is acknowledged or not. Different in many aspects, but mainly in the burdens we carry and the sacrifices we make as an entity, and we are simply different in the way we live.
Why is it important that others know/understand military families?
A very good question. You know, we love our own non-military friends and extended families. And BECAUSE we love them, we want them to be part of our lives. So it’s only understandable and natural that we also want them to UNDERSTAND our way of life.
BECAUSE the military is such a relatively small body right now, the more or less only remaining substantial connection that currently exists between the military and the rest of the American society is the one found between military members and their civilian families and friends. And that’s why we have to nourish this connection. And I believe we can do this best by helping them to learn more about us.
As for understanding from outside our own circles of friends and families, I believe knowing more about military families is important in that people only seem to support what they believe in and what they understand.
People need to understand the stresses military life imposes on the entire military family, not because we want pity, but because we want to instill a sense of shared sacrifice and share the emotional price we have to pay during difficult years.
It is all too easy to ask others to make certain sacrifices known only to military families, if the consequences of such are not understood. Adequate support needs to be provided, veteran benefits protected, military pay maintained, and retirement benefits upheld. All this is only possible with the public’s understanding.
So, understanding is especially important in times like this, where budget cuts need to be decided upon and implemented. Without the American citizens’ understanding of what their military is doing and sacrificing, it is much easier for them to support military budget cuts.
It is for those reasons that Americans’ support and understanding are more important than ever before. The level of understanding won’t ever truly be complete, of course. But, in my mind, even a tiny trace of understanding, a hint (if you will), is worth the effort (to try to promote understanding).
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Genre – Military Family
Rating – G
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