Mom's Day, Military Style: When Dad's Away at War, Who Takes the Children Shopping for Mother's Day?

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Author Marna Krajeski has spent a lot of time thinking about how to help fellow military wives who have young children. Their husbands may be in Iraq and they find themselves thousands of miles from their own extended families and support networks. So, what happens on Mother's Day?

Military moms don't have it easy. Their husbands may be in Iraq and they find themselves thousands of miles from their own extended families and support networks. So, who takes their children shopping for a Mother's Day present?

Marna Krajeski, a former Army helicopter pilot and author of Household Baggage: The Moving Life of a Soldier's Wife, wondered that when she lived next to a woman whose husband went to war. "It suddenly hit me," Krajeski recalls, "how was her daughter Taylor who was 8 going to celebrate Mother's Day on her own? I quickly offered to watch Taylor on the Saturday before Mother's Day so we could go shopping together."

"We got a bracelet and some flowers in a bud vase. Then we planned a little breakfast celebration for her mother. She was totally surprised because she hadn't expected anything under the circumstances. Even with their dad in Iraq, it was a special Mother's Day after all."

Krajeski has spent a lot of time thinking about how to help fellow military wives, "This life can be isolating and lonely. Often, you're raising your children without your spouse around. There are websites and other resources for military wives to help them organize and manage a household solo -- and to deal with the fears and uncertainties of wartime deployments. But what I didn't see was a place women could turn for emotional support.

"My stories help them realize they're not alone -- other wives are going through the same challenges, even if they're putting on a bright face." When asked about the light-hearted stories in Household Baggage, Krajeski laughs, "Humor helps us keep a positive outlook and appreciate our unique challenges and strengths. I hope that comes across in Household Baggage."

The book's appeal goes beyond military wives. One civilian reader writes, "I cried, I laughed out loud, I finished it in one sitting, and then I repeated the stories to my son and husband." The book is available through bookstores nationwide. You can also read a sample chapter, one of Krajeski's many moving stories, at http://www.householdbaggage.com.

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