Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Monday, September 30, 2013

Author Interview - Yvonne Jones

What responses have you had from readers whose eyes were opened to the realities of military life?

I’ve had such wonderful responses so far. The book was published right after our last move here to Tampa, so I didn’t really know anybody here outside of the military. So, I met this wonderful civilian woman, who had just moved to Tampa herself. After she heard that I wrote a book about military life, she was very eager to read it and later stated that she was so glad she did, mainly because it addressed so many issues that she would have never thought to ask about. Through the reading she became aware of our differences as well as our similarities. I am really good friends with her now, and I truly believe it’s because of this book. It laid out our way of life in such a way, that she could better relate to me and my family.

Another example is this very beautiful email I received from an aunt of someone in the military. And she basically thanked me for opening her eyes to all the issues a military family goes through during a deployment. Most Americans DO realize to some extent how hard it is to be separated from your loved ones, but can’t truly comprehend the DAILY challenges a service member and his or her family has to go through for such prolonged periods of time.

Of course, I’ve also received some emails from readers that are either military spouses or in the military themselves. I’ve actually gotten a lot of responses from foreign-born military spouses and also military widows, thanking me for having included them in the book and drawing some attention to their specific issues they have to face in the military.

This book has been very well received so far. And I’m hoping I’m able to reach many more, because I truly believe that it can help in closing this gap that currently exists between our military and civilian worlds.

Whom have you approached about this book? How are you trying to spread your message/the message of the book?

Well, I approach anyone who’ll listen and anyone who believes IN and fights FOR the same causes as I do. I even got former U.S. Representative Ike Skelton listen to me on the phone for about 30 minutes. He stands for and supports the same cause. I truly, truly believe this subject matter to be so very important, to both Military Families as well as the American society as a whole, that we can’t afford not to try to open other people’s eyes about this issue. The American people need their military. But the Military also needs the American people.

How is this book different to other military resources?

One of the reasons I believe that so many people on the outside don’t know much about us is because it is nearly impossible to find information that specifically relates or pertains to the relationships held between military service members and their civilian parents, in-laws, siblings, or friends. There are tons of resources for military spouses and their children, but not much that promotes knowledge and information applicable to service members’ other important individuals in their lives (such as civilian friends and, civilian in-laws and so on).

If you look at the deployment topic, you would actually find some great guides out there for parents of the service member, for example. BUT when it comes to less covered topics, like moving, for example, then all you’d find is information for military families themselves. There’s not much out there that tries to explain the moving process to civilians. And this book tries to fill that void.

It is also different in that it tries to give voices to multiple different perspectives. For example, some topics are written from a service member’s point of view, while others are depicted from a spouse’s view point.

All is explained using plain language. You won’t find any military lingo, which otherwise might discourage a lot of potential readers, since they don’t understand it.

Closing The Gap

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Genre – Military Family

Rating – G

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