Book Review of "The Day He Left for Iraq"

Going across the world to another country is not only difficult for military members on deployment but for the families they leave behind as well. This memoir is revealing about what both parties go through during the distance.

In “The Day After He Left for Iraq”, Melissa Seligman opens the reader’s door to her world. Her family’s story reflects that of so many others who share similar experiences. Being free to share it and hear it allows us to acknowledge that we are human.

Melissa’s husband was deployed to Iraq while she was home with a baby and a toddler. The toddler understood more than adults would imagine. It makes you think about how important it is to prepare children for deployment and the return.

I am thankful that Melissa shared her family’s story. I’ve always wanted to know what a soldier goes through in war but was afraid to ask out of respect for their privacy.

As a young woman dating enlisted men in the military, I was discouraged by their immaturity and disregard of respect for young women. I guess I didn’t meet the good ones. I later married an Army Officer and he is a good man.

Now, as the mother of a young woman who is a Naval Officer on deployment and soon to be mother in law of her fiancee, also a Naval Officer just returned fro deployment, I pray every day for their future and that they will be safe and know they are loved.

I pray that when they have children I will be able to be a support during any deployments. I pray that the young men will become gentlemen who respect women and the families of the other side in the same way they would wish for their own families.

Many returning Veterans do have to seek counseling and their spouses as well but sharing their stories is a huge step in understanding their world. I will still respect privacy but do desire to find out how I can support our military families. As my daughter marries and shares her experiences, I hope to become involved in healing the heartaches of those returning from war.

I hope I never have to experience war. There are valid views on all sides. Americans who serve willingly need to be supported. Objectors during drafts need to be understood, such as what happened during the Viet Nam era. Those fighting against us may not have good cause but their mothers grieve for lost children just the same. The innocent on both sides still hurt.

I am glad I read this book. It is a start in knowing how we as citizens can help.