READ: Review, Called to Serve by Lt. Col. Tony Monetti & Penny Monetti
Military families hold a special place in my heart. As a child, my husband attended 27 different schools before his dad retired from the Marine Corps. He says this helped him learn how to make friends quickly, important skills for a future pastor and teacher. But I can’t help but think about the little boy who went to three different schools in second grade alone. I can’t help but contemplate the struggles of his mother, home with three children—one with severe learning disabilities—while her husband served in Vietnam.
My appreciation for military families only increased after we spent almost seven years serving a church close to the Camp Pendleton (California) military base. I loved having Marines in our church. We considered these military members our own extended family, hosting them for holiday meals and doing our best to serve their unique needs. My heart broke for some of the young couples who were barely equipped to deal with marriage, much less the stresses of the military life.
That’s why I’m so thankful Tony and Penny Monetti have penned Called to Serve: Encouragement, Support, and Inspiration for Military Families, a small but thoughtful book designed for their fellow warriors. No academic tome, this power-packed guide disarms the reader with transparent stories of the authors’ own struggles. You name it, they’ve encountered it in their twenty-plus years of military life: deployment, problem pregnancy, TDYs (Temporary Duty Assignments), depression, marital struggles, and more. Each of the thirty-one brief (three to four pages) chapters covers one of the concerns either the authors or a military acquaintance has faced. The dual authorship give readers the blessing of both military and military spouse perspectives.
I loved the way each chapter opened with a well-chosen Scripture and ended with questions that personalized the content. But what I especially loved were the resources mentioned throughout the book and compiled at its close. These include organizations and websites specific to the many issues the authors address.
Although the Monettis are an Air Force couple, they take care to make their book accessible to any branch of the military. I recommend it for active duty, reserve, or retired members of our Armed Forces as well as pastors, churches, and others who want a better understanding of the stresses these families of sacrifice encounter. I salute the Monettis as I thank them for a wonderful contribution to the arsenal every military family needs.
If you know a military family, I encourage you to share this book as your special gift. And if you are a military family, it makes a great stocking stuffer for you or your spouse.
I intend to share my review copy with my new friend Charlsie, whom I met on one of my summer mission trips. She married her Marine husband only three days after she returned from Ecuador. The two shared a cross-country honeymoon as they drove to their new home near Camp Pendleton. They are already facing the choices and challenges of military life. This fall, he will be deployed to Afghanistan.
Do you know someone who could benefit from this book? If you’re a military family, do you have an additional resource to share? Let’s continue the discussion in honor of those who serve.