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The Day After He Left for Iraq: A Story of Love, Family, and Reunion
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The Day After He Left for Iraq: A Story of Love, Family, and Reunion

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  82 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The emotional true story of a family separated by war. We feel for the men and women who are risking their lives at war, but what of the families they’ve left behind? In gorgeous prose, a military wife describes a year in her family’s life—a year in which her husband leaves for war and returns, and prepares again to leave. Melissa Seligman’s son is a newborn, and her ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 17th 2008 by Skyhorse Publishing (first published October 6th 2008)
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Jul 10, 2012 Abby rated it really liked it
I'm pretty familiar with the staying-home part of a deployment myself because my husband spent about a year deployed in Iraq while we were dating in college. We weren't married and didn't have kids when I experienced this, but I actually had to stop reading the book after a few chapters because my blood pressure was rising and I felt like I was having a mini-ptsd anxiety attack. "The Day After He Left for Iraq" is a painfully accurate memoir of the life of a military wife. When I skipped to the ...more
Suzie Sims-Fletcher
If you are related to a service "man" ESPECIALLY if you are close to the spouse of someone serving, this may help you...understand, if not exactly help.

The writing is almost poetic at times. The emotions clear. Descriptions RIGHT.

Bridget T.
Nov 19, 2008 Bridget T. rated it it was amazing
This is such a heartbreaking book.The true story of trying to survive after your left alone to fend for yourself and your children, ITS AMAZINGLY HARD TO NOT CRY WHEN YOU READ THIS BOOK.I reccomend it to everyone...
Feb 21, 2009 April rated it liked it
Tells details of what an Army wife feels when her husband is deployed. Very depressing, but I'm sure it is what they feel like. Makes me thankful for all of those who serve.
Jan 24, 2009 Brittanyshapiro rated it really liked it
This book was hard to read at times touching a bit close to home.
I appreciate knowing her life, her struggles (especially the internal ones), and her surmounting of a great obstacle to any family: a military deployment. It helps me remember these times can push everyone to their limits. How can it not? Its war for everyone involved. Battles to be won or lost every day. Its tiring to be vigilant and ready at all times and have something left over for yourself. How, after that, to find and provid
Sep 26, 2012 Shana rated it really liked it
When I first saw the cover I made the rash judgment of thinking it wouldn’t be a worthwhile read and that it’d be full of silly cliches. Boy, was I wrong! (I believe this is why they say you should never judge a book by its cover)!

Seligman allows the reader into some of her most excruciatingly painful thoughts, and effectively demonstrates that life is certainly not peachy for the family left behind when a service member deploys. She gives an honest depiction of the day to day life, and doesn’t
Jan 24, 2009 Catherine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Military Spouses
The author's husband, David, enlists in the army after 9/11. His first deployment is Afghanistan. His second deployment, and where this book begins, is Iraq.

Seligman writes with honesty and rawness of her feelings and emotions while David is in Iraq and she is living in their home on base in Upstate New York with their two-year-old daughter and infant son.

The book reads more like diary entries in unembellished fashion as she shares her journey through the process of her altered life. She bares a
Feb 03, 2011 Kristy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military
Reading this book was hard as this is my life minus the children, which I believe the lack of children make a deployment harder. These are the emotions and the fears that I go through every other year when my husband deploys. I wish more people in the civlian world would read this book, to catch a glimpse into the life of a military spouse. To have your heart drop when you get an unexpected knock at the door, to not be able to sleep until the wee hours of the morning because you're so full of ...more
May 22, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it
Melissa Seligman tells it like it is. Not only does she portray the loneliness and stress of a young mother with a baby and a 2-year-old, but her keen awareness and her responses to her children's reactions to their father's absence is also detailed. She doesn't mince words when describing her own fear and terror during these months. Because they were able to speak almost daily with her husband via videophone, Melissa was also able to experience and accurately describe many of his thoughts and ...more
Apr 02, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it
The Day After He Left for Iraq is written from the first person perspective of the wife of an active duty military man. This book was pretty hard to read just because her writing is so in the moment and so painful. I can't imagine being separated from my husband for 12-18 months at a time, much less knowing that he's in Iraq in the middle of a war. But, even though it was hard to read at times, it was really interesting to see the daily life of a military family and how they deal with deployment ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Kristina rated it liked it
This book was a tough one for me to get through as we are also preparing for a 1 year deployment to Iraq in the fall. The author's writing certainly depicts a realistic picture of her experience saying goodbye, surviving the year alone with two small children, and reuniting with her husband again. It is a story that needs to be told as so many Americans have no idea what kind of sacrifices soldiers and their family endure while they go about their lives. This book gives a window into the ...more
May 22, 2009 Fergman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
I gave this book a five. I felt sorry for her. i felt the struggle that she went threw trying to support herself and her two kids. We all know that things are never easy with single moms. I think that if a person reads this book and doesn't show empathy, then that person must have a problem.
This story is very heart-breaking and this book is one of my favorite, besides the twilight saga=]. which i am still reading by the way...... on my way to eclipse.
Sep 26, 2008 Amber rated it really liked it
I am usually very stingy with my 4 star ratings, but this book was well worth every star. Seligman put the reader right in the middle of her emotions when her husband was in Iraq. I found myself crying several times over the challenges she was experiencing. What a good book!
Jan 07, 2011 Jennie rated it liked it
I liked the book. It was interesting to read a wife's point of view about her husband's absence and how she carried on. I don't think that deployments are as hard on the families as they are on the soldiers themselves, but I do agree that they are still hard on the families.
Apr 26, 2009 Marie rated it liked it
I saw this at the library so picked it up. I was just wanting something to read that didn't take a lot of time and this book was okay for that. It had very sad parts and was similar to other books I have read about families going through deployments.
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 20, 2012 Sue Kozlowski rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Very good. Non-fiction. David gets sent to Iraq. Melissa has Amelia, 2, and Elijah, 4 weeks. Live in Syracuse and she is stuck in the house because of so much snow. So hard! But she comes to accept it. Makes you appreciate every little new thing your child learns.
Nov 22, 2009 Ingrid rated it really liked it
found myself needing to read this after my husband deployed - a more realistic account of surviving a deployment when you are the one left behind...this is the real "army wives" folks
Sep 27, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing
Definitely a must read for any military spouse. We are not alone in this world filled with deployments. I couldn't put this book down!!!
Heidi rated it really liked it
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alicia rated it it was ok
Jul 28, 2010
Binkley rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2008
sarah gilbert
sarah gilbert rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2009
Katie Marquis
Katie Marquis rated it it was ok
Jun 07, 2012
Lapfel rated it really liked it
Apr 30, 2012
Katie Anselmo
Katie Anselmo rated it it was ok
Feb 18, 2015
Sharon rated it really liked it
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Jodi rated it it was ok
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Mar 14, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it
Intense and compelling. Hard to put down. Not for the feint of heart.
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“There is no way to imagine what it feels like to be shot at. I will never be with him when he is the most scared.” 1 likes
“As he moves through his day, sometimes he stops and just stares at me. There is something on the tip of his tongue. But he doesn't say it. I'm not sure he knows what it is.” 0 likes
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