Interview with “Intro to Army Life” Author – Allison Mewes

Boy meets girl.  Girl likes boy.  The two fall and love and within a year are married.  Boy and girl enjoy their marriage for 1 whole week!  Boy leaves to war.   Sound crazy?  That’s the real life story of author Allison Mewes, who married her husband on August 14th, 2010.

Allison realized that this story was not too uncommon among military spouses and so she set out to create a resource that would encourage Army wives, husbands and significant others as they acclamate to unique transition of Army life.

The book has been a smashing success, helping hundreds of soldiers and their loved ones adjust to a new military lifestyle.  Along with Allison’s personal narrative and stories, the book includes:

• Tips to understand Army life and why soldiers act the way they do
• Army hierarchy and social structure
• Learning the ropes as an Army spouse
• Perks of a military ID – DISCOUNTS & FREE STUFF!
• Top 25 Army acronyms
• 15 tips for dealing with a deployment
• Top 10 resources for military children
• Fun facts, such as where the term “military brat” originated
• …and much more!

Now, several months after its release, we decided to catch up with Allison and ask her a few questions about her life and the book since its release back in early 2012.

It’s been several months since the book has launched.  How has your life changed since then? 

The book launched in February and in June we had a baby! That has been a pretty major change since she is our first. At nearly six months, she takes up most of our free time. We fit in a book signing at the Fort Bragg and Fort Knox PX’s while we could. My husband and I have also spent the last year reintegrating after his deployment to Iraq.

What has been the most fulfilling aspect of this process for you? 

The most fulfilling aspect has been hearing how the book has positively changed the perspective of readers, helped their relationship with their Soldier and educated them on the basic Army details without overwhelming them. One of the state’s National Guard units is using the book, along with a welcome letter, to deliver to all new recruits. I love that the spouse will receive something helpful when their husband enlists.

Have you achieved the goals you set after in writing this book? 

Yes, in the first few months after publishing, Family Programs Offices (FPO’s), Family Readiness Groups (FRG’s) and active duty bases purchased the book in bulk quantities.

Are there any specific stories that stand out to you of spouses who were impacted by your book? 

That is such a great question. I love the story of the gal who wrote me to say that she was a better wife to her Soldier after reading the book. That made everything worth while because as most spouses know, the military lifestyle can at time be trying on relationships!

If you had to do it over again, would you change anything or add anything to the book? 

There is always new information to add as the Army is constantly evolving. If I had to do it over again, I would add a little more information to two or three of the chapters and add a few more personal experiences from spouses. I’ll save that for the next print rerun.

Are you planning to create any more resources for military spouses in the future?    

Yes, I’d love to have time to write on my blog and provide content that way. Having a new baby and working part time from home really fills my schedule. I’m sure a lot of moms can relate! I accept guest posts on my blog and love to hear feedback from spouses and significant others about their crazy, funny and painful adjustments to Army life.

To contact Allison or get your own copy of the book, click the links below:

Twitter: @allisonashburn

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