While They`re at War

WhileThey`re at War

Thebook takes readers through the experiences, life and the emotions ofthe people who have their loved ones deployed at war. Through theaccount of the wives in the book, the author, Kristin Henderson takesthe reader to share with the feelings that people with their lovedones at war have. The book explores the sentiments by these familiesabout their loved ones from the day they leave them and to the daythey receive them after the war. To present the informationthroughout the book, the author presents case of women whose lovedones participated in war. Moreover, the book explores every aspect ofwar deployment in order to present the perspectives of the peopleleft at home. The discussion about the book will illustrate that thebook provides a true account of the experiences of families on thehome front.

Beinga journalist, the author presents a journalistic perspective of thesituations she experienced when her husband served in the Gulf,Persian, Iraqi and the Afghanistan war. In the book, Henderson givesthe truth in the perspective of the home front by using journalisticskills to present the feelings of different families. She interviewsthe families of other military families through her ability to accessthe families of those serving in war. As a result, the book providesa revealing and sometimes an emotional reflection of the realities ofthe families involved. Being married to an army chaplain makesHenderson an appropriate author of the stories because she shares thesame feelings with other families described in the book.

Inthe book, Henderson takes the case of two main families byintroducing Beth Pratt andMarissa Bootes.The two ladies are newlyweds who are living lonely lives in the NorthCarolina at Fort Bragg, as there are fighting in Iraq (Henderson 3).The emotional account of their experience makes the book as authenticas possible can. Through the two families and other families,Henderson reveals the extent of the impact of separation between thelovers. By exploring the real cases of the separation, the bookcreates a context that shows the different times that mark the mainmoment that the impact of separation is felt.

Thebook explores the main moments that lead to the emotional feelings ofthe families of soldiers at war. The author provides three mainpoints of reference in regard to the main moments. The first is thepain of parting with the loved ones who proceed to the combat zones.According to Henderson (2), the process of saying goodbye is tearfuland painful to those who are left. However, Henderson (2) argues thatmost of the media do not focus on the families of the soldiers longenough, they just glance the camera over the members of thesefamilies. This shows the first phase that is not well appreciateddespite its importance. According to Henderson (2), the process hasbeen long since the day it is announced that a member of the familyhas been deployed to war.

Hendersonpresents the second moment as the time when soldiers are at war. Thebook explores the diverse levels of the pains and grief of the familymembers when the soldiers are at war in a foreign country. Throughthe case of Beth and Marissa, the author presents the fears andworries the two women had. These fears and worries are reflective ofthe experiences by all other families whose members serve in war. Thefear of death, of the loved ones in combat zones and worries overtheir safety is the main causes of pain while the two sides of thefamily are separated. At the same time, the case of Beth and Merissaalso points the lonely times they had as well as their husbands, andthe pressure to remain loyal to their lovers.

Thepracticality of the fear of death for these families is presentedclearly when the author includes the fatal cases in the war.According to Henderson (288), the death of soldiers left a lot ofpain and grief to the people left behind. Henderson (288) gives anaccount of the relationship between Melinda and Clint, which wasended by the death of Clint, a soldier serving in Baghdad. Henderson(288) describes the warm phone call they had eighteen hours beforeClint was killed in a Baghdad bomb attack. The death not only leftMelinda with a lot of grief, but also in a lonely status she fearedto be in.

Thethird main moment explored by the author is the emotions thataccompany the reception of the loved ones from the war zone. The bookexplores the joy that comes with receiving the loved ones who comeback from the war safely alive. The tears of joy and happy momentscover the months and years of waiting to be with the loved ones athome. However, the book also highlights those that do not make it outof the battlefield alive, and they get back home in caskets. Thisleads to a different reception moment that is marked with tears ofgrief. This moment presents the opposite of the situation of thedeath of the loved ones at war. When people die at war, they arereceived with grief at home by their loved ones as they.

Thesecontrasting moments make the accounts of the book as emotional as thestories are. The book explores these moments in a manner that lead toemotional times by the reader. Through the excellence of the accountof the author, the reader is caught up by the emotional moments andfeels the pains, grief, joy and the emotions experienced by thefamilies on the home front. For instance, after the death of Clint,Melinda struggles with the memories as she is yet to recover from thedeath. According to Henderson (289), Melinda even dreams of Clint andasks him whether he is alive in the dream. Through such accounts, theauthor successfully presents the experiences of the families in thehome front of the war.

Thebook by Henderson leaves an indelible portrait of the life andexperiences of the families with loved ones deployed to war. The booktakes the reader through the lonely lives of home front mothers andfathers as they take care of the families left. Through the accounts,the author presents the emotions involved and the impacts of theisolation on both the two sides. The journalistic presentation of thelife, experiences and emotions of the families at home front makesthe book reflective of their situations. As a result, the book givesa true account of the families of the families at the home front ofthe war.


Henderson,Kristin. WhileThey`re at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront.Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006, Print.