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Corps’ ‘First Lady’ develops reading list

12 Oct 2012 | Sgt. Heather Golden

As the wife of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, Bonnie Amos has experienced hardships common to just about every military spouse – deployments, temporary single motherhood and more moves than the average American will ever see.

She’s also picked up a thing or two about successfully handling these challenges along the way. Now, she’s promoting a new reading list, dubbed the “First Lady of the Marine Corps Recommended Reading List,” geared toward helping military families cope with those same stresses. The list was developed through collaboration between several military spouses, including Mrs. Amos, Mrs. Phyllis Stewart, Mrs. Holly Scherer, the Marine Corps Exchange and the Marine Corps Association.

Families have had difficulty finding information resources with no official, centralized information and advice source. The First Lady’s reading list brings together in one location books that have all been vetted as credible sources for helpful advice for military families. The Marine Corps is the first military branch to develop a resource list of this nature.

“I think that the new list is terrific; it gives our USMC spouses a one-stop shop for finding books that are relevant to being a USMC spouse and family,” said Kathleen Smith, the spouse of the Combat Center’s Commanding General. “The most effective Marine is one whose family is well taken care of. This includes providing knowledge and skill building on family and spouse resiliency and coping mechanisms. The Corps is well served by any program that accomplishes this fact.

“It's absolutely fabulous that the Corps has recognized this and is doing its best to meet the need here,” Smith said. “There has been a lot of careful consideration in choosing the books represented here.”

The official kick-off for the list is anticipated for Oct. 15. The list includes books for both adults and children, and many were authored by military spouses. The list formalizes the Marine tradition of spouses helping spouses by sharing their experiences and lessons learned.

Families will soon be able to find these books at the Main Side Exchange and base library within their own specialized section, indicated by the reading list’s logo. Smith also said the plan is to constantly evolve the list’s selection, “so it will always be fresh.”

“I hope that our families regularly browse this section of the Exchange to see what’s available,” Smith said.  “It’s always a joy to read, especially when it’s on topics that are near and dear to your heart. Just think how fun it would be to start some book club discussions on some of these topics.  Knowledge really is power.”

Mrs. Amos is scheduled to appear for book signings at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Oct. 26.

The official list of books will soon be available on the Marine Corps Association website at


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