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The Day After He Left For Iraq
Cover of The Day After He Left For Iraq
The Day After He Left For Iraq
A Story of Love, Family & Reunion
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Melissa Seligman is something rare in the world of military families—a military wife who is also a beautiful writer. Here she describes her feelings as she watches her husband walk away from her and her newborn, knowing full well that he might not return from the war in Iraq. She experiences saying goodbye twice—both times he left when their children were still infants. While he's away from home again, Melissa struggles to remember the goodness of her husband and the joy of their life together. Working hard to raise a baby and a four-year old, Melissa tells of the heartbreak and desperation she experiences at home. She watches her daughter clutch a G.I. Joe doll she's named "Little Daddy," and wonders if the family will make it through. Hers is a story of sadness and strength, desperation and hope, displacement and unity. It's a story that anyone left behind (and we have all been left behind) will respond to, one that, unfortunately, is becoming more and more common as the war in Iraq continues. This is a work of timely and powerful non-fiction by a significant new author.

Melissa Seligman is something rare in the world of military families—a military wife who is also a beautiful writer. Here she describes her feelings as she watches her husband walk away from her and her newborn, knowing full well that he might not return from the war in Iraq. She experiences saying goodbye twice—both times he left when their children were still infants. While he's away from home again, Melissa struggles to remember the goodness of her husband and the joy of their life together. Working hard to raise a baby and a four-year old, Melissa tells of the heartbreak and desperation she experiences at home. She watches her daughter clutch a G.I. Joe doll she's named "Little Daddy," and wonders if the family will make it through. Hers is a story of sadness and strength, desperation and hope, displacement and unity. It's a story that anyone left behind (and we have all been left behind) will respond to, one that, unfortunately, is becoming more and more common as the war in Iraq continues. This is a work of timely and powerful non-fiction by a significant new author.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 26, 2008
    Army wife and first-time author Seligman plumbs the depths of depression and despair in this frank memoir of coping with her husband David's deployment to Iraq. Besieged by feelings of abandonment, anger and resentment, the author panics when confronted with the “burdensome” responsibility of being a single parent, dealing with soiled diapers and her daughter's separation anxiety. When her husband re-enlists without consulting her, she feels betrayed and her despair intensifies until she learns to “function like a robot.” David's homecoming does not spell relief; the author continues to feel “dead inside” and is “unwilling to sympathize” with David's postdeployment issues: his chest pain, anxiety and nightmares. With the passage of time, the author begins to “feel normal” again and makes steady progress in “learning how to deal with” the separation inherent in military life. Despite the pervasive self-pity that suffuses Seligman's account—and a self-centeredness that might put off some readers—her memoir offers valuable insight into the often heavy and anonymous burden shouldered by military families.

  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2008
    An army wife, a mother of two, and a freelance writer, Seligman begins this book with her husband's deployment to Iraq, weeks after their second child was born. In short chapters grouped into the five stages of grief (bracketed by "Death" and "Recovery"), Seligman shares her struggles during his absence. There is plenty of raw emotion hereanger, sadness, terror, lonelinessbut there is also strength, determination, and even hope. Seligman is honest and vulnerable, sharing her ambivalence toward the war, her impatience with her daughter's grief, and her fear of never reconnecting with her husband. She never overwhelms us with her pain but writes in the conversational and open tone she might use with a trusted friend. And by the end of the book, Seligman does feel like a friend. She invites readers into her heart to share her hopes, fears, weariness, and wariness of future deployments and to help us all understand the complexities of military life. Recommended for public libraries and essential for libraries on or near military bases.Erica L. Foley, Clinton-Macomb P.L., Clinton Twp., MI

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Day After He Left For Iraq
The Day After He Left For Iraq
A Story of Love, Family & Reunion
Melissa Seligman
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