Author: Lizann Lightfoot

There’s a new book for military spouses, and it’s making waves in the milspouse community! Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses released September 21st from Elva Resa Publishing of Military Family Books.

The book is a collection of short letters for military spouses and significant others to “open when” they face common military life challenges. There are topics for every stage of the military life journey—from basic training to retirement! Some cover significant life changes like PCS moves or deployments. Other letters address smaller stressful situations, like “Open When It Feels Like You Have No Friends,” “When You Celebrate Your Birthday Alone,” or “You’re Searching for Your Identity.”

I started writing this book several years ago, during my husband’s 7th deployment. While encouraging military spouses in our Marine Corps unit and through my FB group for deployment support, I realized many people faced similar stressful situations. Things like missing holidays with family, explaining a PCS move to children, or feeling jealous of civilian couples never become easy for military spouses—even if they go through it again and again. But because they are small and somewhat common challenges, they aren’t discussed much in the military community. I knew my fellow military spouses would appreciate finding thoughtful and encouraging advice that spoke directly to them in whatever specific challenge they faced.

Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses has so much potential to help our community!

This is an excellent book to gift to a new military spouse or significant other at the beginning of their relationship. The warm, friendly messages are something they will return to again and again throughout military life. It is also a wonderful book for more “seasoned spouses” because it does not focus on the typical “Military 101” topics. Instead, it is the reassuring voice of an old friend who understands their journey. The concluding section contains letters written specifically to more experienced spouses, who have older children, larger career choices, or are nearing the end of military life.

I wrote the book to connect military spouses and help them realize that no matter what they are going through—personal stress, relationship struggles, anger at the military, impatience to have a meaningful job—they don’t have to go through it alone. All of it is more common and “normal” than they think in the milspouse community. Knowing that thousands of other military spouses have already faced similar challenges and found a way through stressful situations can provide inspiration and strength when it is needed most!

I hope the book will build community connections and meaningful friendships by helping military spouses discuss their shared challenges. It makes an excellent book club selection for a unit or base spouse club. And there will be a virtual book club coming soon, where military spouses can gather online and meet others going through similar challenges.

About the Author:


Lizann Lightfoot is the “Seasoned Spouse,” a professional writer and the voice of the Seasoned Spouse blog. She is a Marine Corps wife, mom of 5 kids, and author of 3 books. After two decades with her service member, they have been through 7 deployments, 6 PCS moves and spent 3 years overseas. They are currently stationed in Gulfport, Mississippi, but hope to someday retire to Pennsylvania.

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