A Lovely Review of My Book, “The Military Father”

The Military Father

Sarah Smiley, military wife, mom, columnist, and author of Dinner with the Smileys, just reviewed my book, The Military Father: A Hands-on Guide for Deployed Dads. Over the years, my books have been reviewed hundreds of times, but this might be the nicest one ever.

Sarah calls The Military Father possibly “the most comprehensive and contemporary book about deployments that I’ve ever read.” And she concludes by saying that the book is “an easy and interesting read sure to make you chuckle. It’s a unique blend of parenting book and military how-to, and for anyone who is about to face a deployment, it will be on my list of recommendations.”

You can read the complete review here.

You can also listen to an interview I did with Sarah about her wonderful book, Dinner with the Smileys, on my radio show, “Positive Parenting,” by clicking here.

Oh, and just FYI, I just released an iOS app based on The Military Father. You (or someone in a military family close to you) can download it–for free–from the Apple App Store. Just look for “Mr. Dad on Military Dads.”

Full text of the article:
‘Military Father’ comes just in time. Or not.
From Ft. Hood Herald — http://kdhnews.com/fort_hood_herald/opinion/military_buzz/military-father-comes-just-in-time-or-not/article_a40e778e-ee56-11e2-ad83-001a4bcf6878.html

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 4:30 am
By Sarah Smiley | 0 comments
Just in time (or not — keep reading), and on the heels of my previous columns about fatherhood and the military, comes Armin Brott’s book “The Military Father: A Hands-on Guide for Deployed Dads.”
Brott is a former Marine with a syndicated newspaper column, “Ask Mr. Dad,” and radio show, “Positive Parenting.” He has built his post-military career around writing and talking about issues of fatherhood and families. But in “The Military Father,” he has written what might possibly be the most comprehensive and contemporary book about deployments that I’ve ever read.

I’ve been a military dependent since the day I was born 36 years ago, so you’d think I know it all. I don’t. I devoured “The Military Father” in the course of a day. And although the advice comes nearly one year too late for me, perhaps it can help someone else.
I knew “The Military Father” was no “Service Etiquette” rerun when I opened to the third page and found a cartoon that in one ink-and-paper sketch sums up many of my deployment experiences, and in particular the year in which we did our “Dinner with the Smileys” project. A mother and two children are eating dinner with a computer at the head of the table. Above the mother it reads, “Julie honey, please refresh your father.”
But of course Brott “gets it;” He’s been there, done that. In the beginning, he introduces himself as a “former Marine,” but quickly follows that up with, “I know, I know, once a Marine, always a Marine.” He was busy writing books (six of them, actually) about fatherhood in general, when he noticed an uptick in 2001 of parenting questions from service members. (Hmmmm. 2001? Probably not a coincidence.) So he decided to write a different kind of book about fatherhood, one geared toward the military family in particular.
Soon after the introduction, Brott further proves his military experience with a text box titled “When you’re in, you’re in. When you’re out, you could still be in.” This made me smile — perhaps you are smiling, too — and my confidence in Brott was sealed. He’s referring to the military’s ability to recall supposedly discharged members who are automatically placed in the Individual Ready Reserve and the “stop loss” fine print whereby a former service member with special training can be called back into service at any time.
Later, Brott had me squarely in his back pocket when he addressed the pink-elephant of a question that surrounds nearly all military deployments. Maybe you are thinking it right now. “Why do military families need a book about coping with deployments? Didn’t they sign up for this? Didn’t they know all this before they married someone in the military?” Brott assures readers — even seasoned military families — that shock, sadness and fear are a natural response to deployments … even when you know that deployments are bound to happen.
“The Military Father” is peppered with great moments like this to make you feel normal. It’s also full of what I’ve come to realize is Brott’s natural wit and humor.
His style is conversational and funny. “Having an argument by e-mail,” he writes, “is like skiing through a revolving door: neither fun nor effective.”
Although Brott makes a disclaimer in the beginning that he is not a doctor (nor a financial planner, accountant, lawyer or congressman), in the section titled “A Brief Overview of Your Child’s Development,” he pegs some of my children as if he lives next door to them (he doesn’t):
“There are pouts galore as your six-to-seven-year-old becomes increasingly taken with the notion that people are unfair and favor everyone else — especially younger children.”
The book is divided into three sections: pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment. Each section addresses the concerns of the service member (“What’s going on with you”), the concerns of the spouse (“What’s going on with your wife”), and the concerns of the children (“What’s going on with your children”).
There is page after page of advice and concrete ways to deal with deployments. Some of these ideas are tired (like counting down the days to homecoming with a jar full of M&Ms), but many of them aren’t, like writing a letter to your child and then cutting it up into a puzzle for them to put together first.
In any case, “The Military Father” is an easy and interesting read sure to make you chuckle. It’s a unique blend of parenting book and military how-to, and for anyone who is about to face a deployment, it will be on my list of recommendations.
Navy spouse Sarah Smiley is a syndicated columnist and author of “Dinner With the Smileys,” a memoir of a year of dinners and motherhood.

Standing By — Coping with Deployment

[amazon asin=0399163794&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Alison Buckholtz, author of Standing By.
Topic:
The making of an American military family in a time of war.
Issues: Adjusting to the unfamiliar (and sometimes unwelcome) role of military wife; the quiet battle military spouses wage to hold their families together during a loved one’s deployment; challenging one’s assumptions about military, motherhood, and even American citizenship.

The Making of an American Military Family + Purpose of Boys + Girls and Body Image

Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More

[amazon asin=0399163794&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Alison Buckholtz, author of Standing By.
Topic:
The making of an American military family in a time of war.
Issues: Adjusting to the unfamiliar (and sometimes unwelcome) role of military wife; the quiet battle military spouses wage to hold their families together during a loved one’s deployment; challenging one’s assumptions about military, motherhood, and even American citizenship.

[amazon asin=0470401826&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Michael Gurian, author of The Purpose of Boys.
Topic:
Helping our sons find meaning, significance, and direction in their lives.
Issues: What is purpose and why do we need one? How boys and girls develop purpose differently; how the loss of purpose in American boyhood is affecting families, women, and society as a whole.

[amazon asin=B002UXRZJ4&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Dara Chadwick, author of You’d Be So Pretty If…
Topic:
Teaching our daughters to love their bodies—even when we don’t love our own
Issues: What girls learn from mom’s attitudes about appearance; trigger words that set off a body image crisis; boys’ role in girls’ body image; what works and what doesn’t when talking to your daughter about healthy eating and exercise habits

Military Kids Suffer During a Parent’s Deployment

kids with deployed parents more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol

Dear Mr. Dad: A few weeks ago, you wrote about how PTSD after deployment affects spouses in addition to servicemembers themselves. You talked a little about how it affects kids too. But what about families where PTSD isn’t an issue? My brother is in the Army and he and his wife are both being deployed in a few weeks. Their two children, a boy age 11 and a girl age 13, will be staying with my husband and me. How do kids do during the actual time when dad or mom is deployment?
[Read more...]

PTSD: Affects Vets’ Spouses Too

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 25 percent of vets returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are suffering from PTSD. That’s about 500,000 veterans. If we include family members, that number more than doubles.  Not surprisingly, returning veterans—particularly those with PTSD—have a higher divorce rate than non-veterans. And [...]

Very nice profile of me in “Stars and Stripes”

The Military FatherTerri Barnes, who writes the “Spouse Calls” column for Stars and Stripes, just did a very nice profile of me. We talked about my work with dads in general and, more specifically, with military dads. Read on…

Fatherly advice

By TERRI BARNES
Published: January 22, 2013

Armin Brott isn’t an active duty Marine anymore, but as a father, veteran, writer and radio personality, he is still fighting the good fight. He said he wages an “ongoing battle” to convince men that fathering is as important as mothering.

“Dads and moms do things differently,” he said. “We have this idea that moms are better, but we’re just different.”

Brott is the author of several parenting books, including “The Military Father,” and is the host of “Positive Parenting” on American Forces Network radio. A shorter version, for civilian audiences, has been on the air for about 17 years. For the past two years, Brott has been producing a second segment for AFN focusing more on military family issues.

As a veteran, Brott sympathizes with active duty fathers and their challenges. Deployment and other extended separations can undermine a military father’s confidence in his role, which makes rejoining his family harder than it already is, Brott said.

“A great part of a man’s identity is feeling loved and needed by his family. If  [men] don’t feel needed and we don’t feel wanted, then what’s the point?” he said. [Read more...]

%d bloggers like this: