An excellent reference for dads, The Military Father covers issues pertinent to men. Much broader than the title implies, the book covers military and civilian fathers who face a "long-distance" relationship with their wife and children.
The book encompasses a wide spectrum of possible reactions to deployment -- from the view of the dad being deployed, the spouse, children at various age levels, single dads, dual military families and the dad at home when the mom is deployed. It covers active-duty military, reservists and civilian/government workers.
What makes this book exceptional is Brott's attention to the details of family life. Written is an easy-to-read and easy-to-follow format, the author lays it on the line. His advice ranges from telling fathers to record their voices for their unborn children and planning online games with teenagers to comforting and preparing spouses.
He deals with fathers from pre-deployment through coming back home and facing PTSD. Appendices cover a wide aspect of issues including a pre-deployment checklist, stages of childhood development and available resources.
Brott writes with respect for all family members, their emotions and the problems they encounter. He is straight-forward and specific, addressing tough and personal issues. He never assumes that all dads, marriages, children and situations can be "buttered with the same knife." He speaks of regret, guilt and loneliness as well as independence, commitment and love.
Dads will relate to the preparation, feelings and problems addressed. Mothers and children will better understand that deployment is as hard for the one far away, as it is for those waiting at home.
I would recommend this book to every person facing the deployment of a spouse or partner.
Reviewed by: Pat McGrath Avery (2010)
Fathers today play a greater role with their families and children than ever before. However, military dads and dads-to-be are often separated from their families for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, there are very few resources for military (and deployed civilian) fathers, who are looking for guidance on how to be in close touch with their families back home. The Military Father, written by the country's leading authority on fatherhood, will fill that gap, providing deployed dads with everything they need to know to stay (or become) involved with and connected to their family regardless of the distance that separates them.
Part I of this essential sourcebook covers pre-deployment and explores the profound effect a dad's absence will have on his spouse, his children, and himself. It also provides extensive pre-deployment checklists and detailed tips aimed at preparing the dad and his family for separation and long-distance communication. Part II, During Deployment, explains how to stay involved and connected when you're far away, and includes specific strategies and activities designed to help dads and their family remain close across time and distance. Part III, Coming Home, offers advice on post-deployment times from preparing to come home and surmounting the challenges of returning to military or civilian life. In addition, the book includes a chapter on how dads can support a spouse when she's the one being deployed, and a comprehensive listing of resources available to soldiers and their families.
Flavored with the author's trademark wit, warmth, and intelligence, this guide combines a wealth of knowledge from experts, scientific studies, and interviews with scores of military fathers and their families.
The Military Father includes cartoons that complement the text, solicited from deployed military or civilian fathers and family members, ranging from those on active duty to veterans.