More than two million U.S. service members have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in the last decade. More and more of these veterans are writing about their wartime experience, but few military spouses have shared the truth about what it’s like when a loved one leaves for battle. Standing By is Alison Buckholtz’s candid account of her family’s struggles during her husband’s eight-month deployment on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom and a subsequent year-long deployment to Iraq. With insight and humor she describes trying to keep life as normal as possible for the couple’s two young children while transitioning into the unfamiliar – and at times unwelcome –role of military wife. Throughout both deployments, a remarkable and surprising series of events challenges her long-held assumptions about the military, motherhood, and even the nature of American citizenship.
A rare and intimate portrait of a family that represents America’s fast-growing population of service members and veterans, Standing By is a window into what matters for families everywhere.