Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses (Paperback)
Dear Military Spouse,
I wrote these letters to encourage you throughout your military life journey. Whether you are celebrating a milestone, surviving an unfamiliar challenge, or feeling unheard, you are not alone.
I am here with you, from the first moments of falling in love with your service member, to attending your first military ball, giving birth while your spouse is deployed, and moving across country (or an ocean) on short notice. I know what it's like to be making new friends—again and again, finding strength to support other spouses in the community, preparing to leave active duty, and many other military life moments in between.
This collection of Open When letters is meant to deliver that special message from a friend who understands, whenever you need reassurance, helpful ideas, or a simple reminder of your own strength. We've got this!
With love from a fellow military spouse,
The Seasoned Spouse
“Reading Open When feels like a tight hug from a friend who gets it. This book is not only a must-read for military spouses at every stage of military life, but is a perfect guide for handling life’s beautiful and difficult moments during seasons of deployment and military separation. Lizann Lightfoot artfully weaves encouragement with everyday wisdom for the modern military family throughout each and every one of her Open When letters. From actionable advice to personal stories that remind me I’m not alone in this lifestyle, Open When has quickly become my go-to source of inspiration and guidance.” - Becky Hoy, founder of Brave Crate, cofounder of PILLAR.
“… Lizann has an incredible ability to take the reader along with her as if you are both sitting together in a coffee shop sharing stories. Every letter in this book is unbelievably relatable to every chapter in my life as a military spouse. I will be gifting this book to every military spouse I know.” - Jen Pilcher, Navy spouse, founder of MilitaryOneClick and MilSpousefest, and CEO of Patriot Boot Camp.
“Military life is not always romantic and full of adventure. Sometimes, we need support with even the smallest part of this life. A truly Seasoned Spouse, Lizann turns an honored tradition of ‘open when’ letters for deployments and transforms it into small but profound reminders for those moments you need a boost and a best friend. Read it from cover to cover or by each topic—there is something for every moment. The perfect gift for every military spouse in every walk of life. Truly a MUST READ.” - Noralee Jones, writer and creator at Mrs. Navy Mama.
“… a breath of fresh air for a community starving for the metaphoric air of connection and support. Throughout the book, Lightfoot weaves the words of healing many of us military spouses are continually seeking in order to rebuild our souls through the toll created by 20 years of war and service. As a military spouse, it brings it all full circle and gives me the sense of not being alone. As a clinician, this book resonates and hits all the notes as a viral resource of support.” - Jessica Manfre, LMSW, AFI 2019 Coast Guard Spouse of the Year.
“Open When is a book relevant and a book needed to be read by our military spouse community. As military spouses we experience so many obstacles and sometimes we just need confirmation that our feelings, emotions, and reactions are justified. These letters validate our emotions, feelings, and reactions. No matter if you are a brand new military spouse seeking advice or recommendation or a seasoned military spouse, there is a letter in this book for you. This book is a wonderful example for military spouses to help them navigate this very unusual life.” - Brittany Boccher, 2017 AFI Military Spouse of the Year and founder of Discover Your Spark.
“I remember clearly when my eldest son began his military career. Although I grew up in the military and married the military, I still had many questions about his new world. … I recently had the opportunity to review Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses written by Lizann Lightfoot, the Seasoned Spouse … Many of those letters are just what anyone who loves someone in our military needs. From nuts and bolts basics of military life to bigger issues of relationships and challenges … I recommend this book for any military mom. It would be a great gift for any new military spouse. It is a trusted guide filled with reassurance and practical advice we can all use.” - Elaine Brye, author of Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Mom’s Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Homefront.
“Open When is the transcription of a phone call to your military best friend/mentor whom you call when you are struggling or uncertain with an area of military spouse life. Lizann has taken that advice into the written form so no pearl of wisdom goes forgotten and you can access it again at any time. This is the book that you will pull out, thumb to a chapter and read to your friends when they too are venturing in unclear territory. It is the answer to the question often asked in retrospect ‘Why didn’t someone tell me this?’ I immediately identified with her letters and thought ‘it’s like she was walking alongside me this whole time’.” - Richelle Futch, LICSW, creator of Her Ruck.
“Starting out as a military spouse can be intimidating, and Lizann’s book Open When is designed to take some of the guesswork out of it. Relying heavily on her personal experiences—which span over two decades of military life—she is able to offer first-hand advice on some of the more common situations military spouses find themselves in. It’s hard to write about every possible situation and difference between the services, but Lizann is able to provide her reader with information, confidence, and a foundation on which to build. This book makes a great gift for a new military spouse or any spouse along this journey of military life.” - Rebecca Alwine, Army wife.
“… fantastic! … book of love letters—each one full of loving advice from a seasoned spouse to the reader … a great read for civilian friends and family members to help them understand what military spouses go through …” —Sally Ann Zoll, EdD, CEO of United Through Reading