Read I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles by Lily Burana Online


From the author of the acclaimed memoir Strip City comes an eloquent and funny account of this former punk-rock stripper's unlikely marriage to an officer in the U.S. Army. From harrowing emotion to the dishy details of being an Army wife, Burana bares her heart and soul as a modern military spouse....

Title : I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781602860834
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles Reviews

  • Jessica
    2019-03-13 13:14

    Following her memoir/travelogue/burlesque history, Strip City, Lily Burana met and married Mike, a historian and active-duty Army major who taught at West Point. Burana, a former stripper, punk, and all-around questioner of authority, suddenly found herself in a new world that seemed to have all kinds of rules she had to learn to follow. She also had to confront a knee-jerk distrust of the military and a hatred of all things twee.In the course of making a marriage (Mike deployed to Iraq shortly after they tied the knot), figuring out how to fit into a new culture, and learning to love the real Army, not the one she imagined existed, Burana also was forced to confront childhood demons that had long plagued her. She didn't get there without a struggle -- at one point she and Mike separated, both undergoing therapy and trying to overcome intense difficulties. But by the end of the story, Burana has built strong relationships with both her husband and the military, and she has even found a way to use her past as a stripper (a past she often worried would leave her an outcast among the military wife ranks) to bring joy to other Army wives. Part guide to the unvarnished truth about military wifedom, part personal history, part love letter to her husband, Burana's book is told with wit and grace.

  • J.A.
    2019-02-18 21:20

    Lily Burana, author of Strip City, is back with I Love a Man in Uniform, a book about her marriage to a West Point officer. Not the most likely candidate for my reading tastes, but that is the wonder of reading beyond your horizons! I picked this book up to pass along to my friend Ryan, an officer in the U.S. Navy, and his wife, when I had the unexpected chance to meet Burana at the author reception at Winter Institute, where she was seated next to Brandon Sanderson. That odd couple may not be as book-worthy as Burana and her husband, an officer in the U.S. Army, but it did illustrate the point (and counterpoint) of the book. Burana was all poise and no punk at the reception, but her book recounts the psychological gauntlet she had to battle through to reach that level of self-assurance. This memoir is as candid as they come, coming from a woman who’s not afraid to bare it all. Burana is a former stripper but unlike Tila Tequila she is also a capable writer, as evidenced by her work for The Washington Post and her multiple books. In today’s world of armed conflicts and PTSD, this is a book that is both pertinent and poignant.

  • Robin
    2019-02-27 20:20

    You all know how I feel about memoirs: don't trust 'em. Not my fault, I've been hurt before. BUT, I found this book absolutely charming, brutally honest (sometimes more than I think I needed to know) and very entertaining. It starts off strong, giving you a picture of the "perfect" Army Wife and then Burana tells you she is not that woman. Usually, the best compliment I can give to a memoir is that it "reads like fiction". This, to me, means that it isn't slow or overly detailed or dry like some memoirs, but is fast paced with snappy dialogue like the best fiction books. This book is fast paced with snappy dialogue, but you never get the feeling that it isn't real. There is always something there, lingering in the background, that tethers you to the reality that this is someone's life. The Iraq War looms large over this book. First in anticipation of Major Mike going, then while he is gone, and then when he comes back. Burana was mostly very respectful of the Army, both as an institution and the political leadership thereof, so if you're looking for a book that bad talks the military, or something along those lines, best to move along. It doesn't happen here. What you get here is a wonderful insight into her life as an Officer's wife, and the adjustments she had to make. The chapters on West Point were fascinating and informative, but there was also plenty of humor to be found in the book. I'd always wondered what real Army wives think of the show Army Wives for instance. (She is an addict. Like me.) And calling the military "Uncle Sugar" cracks me up for a reason I still cannot identify. One of my favorite parts came near the end where Burana, sick about the atrocities at Abu Ghraib, came face to face with Donald Rumsfeld at the Army-Navy football game. Shifting back and forth, I weighed the possible outcome of saying something to her husband, and no matter how angry I was over the hell that Rumsfeld and his crw had wrought, all I could envision were my words casting a long, dark shadow over my husband. For all my fury and indignation I would not win this war with a personal attack, and by Rumsfeld on the spot, I would be serving no one but myself. What he did to our contry might be unforgiveable, but so, too, would be turning a football game into my own personal bully pulpit. My husband committed to a vocation of selfless service and sacrifice. I would match his sacrifice with discretion. For the first time in my loudmouth life, I chose impassioned silence.I'm glad she chose to break that silence to write this book. Very well done.

  • Judy
    2019-03-09 14:13

    I appreciate the brevity of this book, and this officer's wife was incredibly brave to bare her family's problems to the entire world. Coming from a military family, I understand how difficult it is for an officer's wife to portray her marriage as anything other than perfect. However, her problems are not new problems among military families; they are actually quite common. There are literally thousands of families that deal with the stresses of military life every single day. Some spouses are from military families, and some aren't, but the time soldiers now have to spend apart from their families has been greatly increased due to U.S. commitments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Being someone who has grown up in the military, I feel like Mrs. Burana was a bit whiny. It's never easy, but thousands of other spouses find a way to deal with the stress of being married without their family collapsing, so I have difficulty sympathizing with her experiences.I do not recommend this for military wives. While her problems happen to military spouses, her way of dealing with her problems were unhealthy and counterproductive. If you marry into the Army, you know what you're getting into, and I have difficulty sympathizing with her plight considering her husband deployed once and spent the rest of the time in the book in a cushy job at West Point. I know families that have gone through 3 or 4 deployments, dealing with the same problems, and are not as whiny as Burana.

  • Kara
    2019-03-13 20:09

    This book was a joke. Ms. Burana does NOT represent the Army wife community in any aspect. Well, maybe the fact she was a former stripper, as some Army wives are. The similarities stop there. While her experiences are... Interesting, there is not a shred of "typical" anywhere in them. She marries an officer, has no children, yet still manages to whine about being "so depressed " about living in strange places and not fitting in. The whole time I read this book I wanted to take it and pound someone over the head with it. As an Army wife myself I wanted to tell Ms. Burana to try being an enlisted wife, on a small income, with five kids to feed and clothe and take care of alone while your husband deploys over and over and over, instead of the pitiful one deployment her husband had- where he mainly stayed on the FOB. Her selfishness that resulted in the separation from her husband turned my stomach. The next time someone puts out a book on what it's like to be an Army wife, please do not use an author who is such a whiny, selfish woman with almost zero responsibility. We have special names for these kinds of wives. And none of them are good.

  • Sheila
    2019-03-16 20:13

    Great memoir! Burana wrote about so much more than a man in uniform. Painfully honest, Burana shares her soul and writes about love, absence, stripping, life-altering changes, childhood abuse, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. Beautifully written, incredibly engaging, heartbreakingly sad yet ultimately triumphant – it was a roller coaster of emotions but Burana is eloquent and clear. I was captivated by the details of Army life, the stripping industry, and PTSD.

  • Liralen
    2019-02-28 16:15

    Burana's previous memoir is about stripping, and at a first glance, I Love a Man in Uniform seems quite the about-face—Burana fell for and eventually married a military officer, and when his posting took him to West Point, she was engulfed in military-wife culture. It was something of a shock to her system, but she went into the relationship and the posting with as open a mind as she could manage: But what did I have to lose? Maybe he would surprise me. As much as I had been invested in seeing uniformed people as stereotypes, I knew a bit about being stereotyped, myself. I was a former stripper who could use her words—compound words, even!—and a good share of getting to know someone involved proving that I wasn't necessarily who they thought. The least I could do was show up and see who he was apart from the camouflage cover. (16)This is a book about struggling to fit into the military world as a civilian partner (though Burana makes it clear from the outset that she does not mean to generalise her experience to anyone else's), but that ended up not being the part I found most compelling. In some ways the military end is incidental—more crucial was that, while this marriage was still very young, Burana fell into a depression that she struggled to pull herself out of, one that stemmed in part from abuse she'd experienced as a child. She's blunt about that depression (and abuse) in ways that sometimes felt like the best representations I'd seen of it in a book not explicitly about depression: I was fully, voluptuously miserable, and though I wouldn't admit it to anyone, I still dreamed of suicide. I guarded this secret, sweet as stolen candy. I could kill myself at any time. The only thing in my life that seemed entirely within my control was the ability to end it (261).I don't know if I'd recommend this to someone interested in a military-wife sort of read, but if you're interested in people's experiences dealing with adulthood depression and/or coping with childhood trauma, it's worth a go.Bits and pieces:Grown-ups encourage kids who are mistreated to "tell an adult you trust." Are you kidding me? Do you think a violated kid trusts any adult? Kids aren't stupid—I know I sure wasn't. He convinced me that I was a troublemaker, so telling would only get me in more trouble. Keeping the secret was a practical survival decision. I did not believe the "truth would set me free." The truth would detonate a bomb in my life, opening me up to the added humiliation of embarrassment and trashed privacy, and everyone would know I was a bad kid and a thief, whereas if I just kept my mouth shut, it would pass. People who take advantage of other people—perpetrators of any harm or violation—know this. They count on it. The convenience of secrecy is the climate that allows them to thrive. (217)I know shrinks are supposed to keep a neutral face, but I was gratified to see that she was clearly disgusted on my behalf.Deep down, I think I was reluctant to talk about the abuse—as a child or as an adult—because I was afraid that people would think it wasn't really all that bad, and that I shouldn't complain. Or, even worse, I was afraid that people wouldn't believe me. (244)I had never considered my memories of being shaken or yelled at to be "flashbacks" because they were perfectly accessible in my memory bank. They didn't show up in nightmares that woke me up screaming, and they didn't pop up during stressful situations, like a Hollywood movie montage. They sat there like grim pages in a childhood scrapbook that held a fair share of happy memories, too, like ballet class, and swinging on the swings with my sisters, finding Easter eggs, and starring in the third-grade class play. There was no emotional charge. (250)

  • Sara
    2019-03-06 19:10

    Although I claim to be a big fan of the memoir genre, I will admit that eventually in every memoir, I find myself irritated. I start reframing the story the author was trying to tell in coulda, woulda, shoulda. Memoirist authors re-construct their feelings and reactions into a narrative arc, and we get so deep into their thought processes that I face the threat of the too familiar, and that kind of knowing kind of becomes annoying. This was particularly the case with I Love a Man in Uniform (cute title). Why was I so bothered by a former stripper/Playboy model who married an Army Officer and their bouts with PTSD and depression? Then it hit me. I didn’t want to know. I don’t want to think about the men and women who actively serve and fight in our country’s name (and indirectly for me and my children). It is hard to confront the idea that while these men are risking their lives that the marriages they’ve built and the women that they love are falling apart. These women are expected to endure long lapses away from their husbands, are forced to constantly fear for their loved ones safety, and are routinely subjected to the deaths of friends and colleagues. Military women must hold strong when there husbands come home changed. They alone answer their children’s difficult questions. They do all of this while single handedly maintaining a household which they are expected to do perfectly and with a smile. What is the likely outcome of that sort of pressure? Of course it is depression. The book’s first half starts with a lot of details of military life and the expected protocol for a wife, and there is also the obligatory ‘perspective thoughts on stripping’ chapter. While these stories are entertaining, it takes some time for Bettina to come to the meat of her story. So all the cute kitschy titles and anecdotes aside, this book is an honest look at the long term costs of war and service. Honestly told as only someone who was accustomed to putting herself out there could tell. So as well-written, and smart as this book is, it is still tough to read. Eye-opening, though-provoking, and gratitude inducing--this story works its heart breaking affects long after you’ve finished reading.

  • Donna Davis
    2019-03-03 21:11

    This was one of the most unlikely things I'd ever have guessed I would read. I found it in my favorite home-town used book store, and I read the blurb on the back. Huh. Might actually be interesting. Though I myself come from a family with lots of military folk, I have opposed every war in which the US involved itself, and I consider the American Civil War the last truly righteous US war. But I could see that this memoir had an outsider's point of view, and from my (strangely many) friends who do come from military backgrounds, I had figured out that the military is a culture unto itself. would a former stripper accommodate herself to a military lifestyle? And just how does a former exotic dancer end up marrying into the an officer, no less? See what I mean? It really does leave a swirl of question marks dancing in the air around it. I can't quote from the book, because I bought it, read it, and gave it to (who else?) a friend whose family was military, before I found Goodreads. But I will tell you this: it is a story like no other. And if, like me, you want to avoid smut in your reading material, relax. This story is not about sex. It's about the fear many of us have of what would happen if someone important to us finds out who we really are, or at least, used to be.In the author's case, the problem is exponential. Not only is her marriage on the line (because she kept this nugget to herself until after they'd both said "I do"), but all of the new friendships she has found on the base may fold up around her and exclude her, talk about her if this thing becomes known.It's enough to drive a woman to a nervous breakdown.Whether you are military, a peacenik, or just a person who loves an absorbing memoir, this is unique and very readable. Recommended for all, except children.

  • Emilie
    2019-02-21 16:26

    This book couldn't have come at a better time for me. My mom actually recommended it to me because the general story reminded her of my life. No, I'm not a former stripper, but I am a very liberal, some might even say radical, in love with an Army officer. Believe me, if you told me in 2003 when I was in the streets of Austin protesting the Iraq invasion that 6 years later I would be plastering a yellow ribbon on my car in support of my boyfriend going off to Afghanistan I not only would have laughed in your face, but probably would have spit in it too. Nowadays, I read this book as I watched a battalion pack for war, and understood way too much of what Ms. Burana described, from first hand knowledge. I too know Mrs. PerfectArmyWife, she is watching everything that I do too. She is judging me because my boyfriend and I have been living in sin and refuse to marry just because he is going to war. She is there at every coffee I go to, reminding me that I shouldn't say such and such, because it will get back to my boyfriend's boss. She is there at the deployment, reminding me that the commanders wife (read girlfriend) shouldn't cry, because that sets a bad example). Ms. Burana, however, isn't judging me...she's on my side...talking back to Mrs. PerfectArmyWife and telling her that support comes in all varieties, and Army wives (and girlfriends and fiancees) can not all be placed in perfect little packages...we're as unique as the soldiers that we love.

  • Suzie Quint
    2019-03-02 20:06

    I discovered Lily Burana when I read her rodeo romance Try, so when I got the chance to read I Love a Man in Uniform, I had to take it. I'm very glad I did even though it wasn't the book I was expecting. The cover and the blurb led me to believe I was going to get a fun read, and there were parts of it that were. I mean, come on, an ex-stripper wild child marrying an Army Military Intelligence officer? That's gotta be one of the ultimate worlds-collide stories. And it is. Lily didn't have an easy time adjusting to life as an Army wife. There's lots of rules--both written and unwritten--for the wife of an officer. Also a lot of loneliness when he ships of the Middle East soon after their marriage. When he gets back the trouble really starts. I learned a lot about PTSD that I didn't know because not only was he suffering from it, but so was Lily (though hers was of the developmental type--which I knew nothing about.)An added bonus was the glimpses of West Point, where he was stationed after returning. (And if you like that sort of thing, I highly recommend Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point.

  • Jenna
    2019-03-14 18:14

    This memoir was a roller coaster that I enjoyed, hated, enjoyed, cried on and enjoyed again. My husband served in the Army for 8 years. He stayed on two years more than his required six, leaving only when I was pregnant with our second son. I related to so very much in this book, from the feelings of alienation to being different to the constant feeling of fear.I feel that Burana is a wonderful, witty writer and, as a freelance writer, I loved how she said she got writer's block with her first assignment. (I can write until the cow's come home unless I have a BIG PROJECT on the line. Figures!) I felt that the way she described so many things was spot on and I commend her bravery in attempting this book. Personally, I haven't written much about my time as an Army Wife. Even though my husband is no longer in the Army, I still have a healthy fear, which any military wife understands.I do love this book. I almost wish I had purchased it instead of borrowing it from the library. I just wish I could meet Burana and tell her my own story, share a bit and give her a great big hug. While I may not have been a stripper, I had my own skeletons in the closet that I deeply feared being found out at the time. I think, perhaps, so many of us, Army wives or otherwise, feel that fear so deeply. We're never alone and this book hits that truth so perfectly.

  • Katherine
    2019-03-07 13:12

    I feel a little cruel . I know what Lily Burana experienced was remarkable to her. But in her telling, it's far less remarkable for this particular reader.I picked this up based on reviews positioning it as a story of opposites--riot girl former stripper and military guy--falling for each other and struggling with love and war. But Burana and her husband seem like two peas in a pod from the very beginning, so no tension there. Burana apparently falls immediately in love with the military tradition thus offering a superficial insider's tour lacking the depth and detail that would make it feel authentic.Then her husband leaves for Iraq and everything blurs together. This very well may be how it felt to her, but that's not so swell for the reader.Then he comes back and surprise! It's Burana who has the meltdown. And here's where I feel cruelest of all. I'm sure her depression was quite painful. But I've not only read a bunch of accounts of depression, I've suffered it myself. And there was nothing new here. I just didn't find what I was looking for in this book. Maybe that's my problem.

  • Brandi
    2019-03-14 14:25

    I found this memoir a little annoying. While the begining is fast and gets you going along. You find yourself falling in love with both the author and her husband, soon enough you are BORED. You can only read about her stuggles with depression for fifty pages before you want to throw the book down (which I almost did). I'd suggest military spouces read it if you are bored, other then that I wouldn't suggest it.

  • Michelle Ule
    2019-02-28 21:04

    As a retired Navy wife, I read this book for insight into the other service. Burana is an excellent writer with clever turns of phrase. I enjoyed sections a great deal, but didn't want to read about the stripping life.The book is insightful as a reminder that not all military wives are alike and the challenges of finding who you can best be within your husband's career. Her chapters about enduring a deployment are important for any military spouse--it's incredibly difficult, emotionally draining, and full of challenges you could never anticipate. Having children makes it both easier and harder.

  • Rachel
    2019-02-22 17:16

    This is the story of a former punk-rawk stripper turned Army wife, and what it means to be a military wife in post-9/11 America. Lily is not just a war bride, she is a War on Terror Bride. We travel with her from her first meeting with her husband-to-be, through his deployment in the Global War on Terror, and back to the coddling traditions of the West Point community. Along the way, Lily takes us through her harrowing crisis that nearly destroyed her marriage, but that ultimately made her a stronger, more savvy Army wife.I enjoyed hearing that other people had the odd commissary experiences I remember from my childhood, and have noticed the same things I have noticed about military home decor. Getting a DEERS card? Check. Living in a fishbowl? Check. Duplexes? Check. I also identify with her almost maternal feeling for service men and women, especially in the wake of the Global War on Terror when some people (read: civilians) have the attitude that it is individual servicemembers' fault that we are fighting a war-without-end-in-sight in the Middle East. Burana adequately expresses what it means to be against the war without being against servicemembers.The upswing in flag-waving patriotism immediately following 9/11 annoyed me to no end because I knew it was false and reactionary. To me, patriotism is not about putting a flag on the front of your house or a flag sticker on your car, or wearing a flag pin (Sarahpalinsayswhat?). The flag is a symbol, not an accessory. Patriotism is about giving up your chance at a normal life in order to serve your country, not yourself. It is moving away from your family and childhood home for parts unknown and unforeseen, giving your will over to a higher power, not unlike a religious acolyte, in service to that power. Patriotism is the mothers who keep on when their husbands are on an extended TDY in Alabama and their 5-year-olds have The Worst Case of Chicken Pox Ever, in North Dakota, in November, and there is not one smear of calamine lotion on base. Patriotism is the fathers who can't tuck their daughters in at night because they're on Red Alert, waiting for the Soviets to fire the long-range missiles they've been threatening to fire for 40 years.It is, as Burana says, about rendering honors: to the flag, to the acres of military dead, to the veterans of wars past and present, and to our servicemembers both active and retired. It is being surrounded by traditions that bring each individual in to the fold of a large, closely-knit family that stretches back through time to the roots of our nation. Patriotism, in many cases, is about silence and stillness. The stillness and silence of taps being played, of the flag being lowered at sunset, of a moment of silence. It is a stone monument, stone as silent and still as the tomb, to the ones who went before, to the ones who never came home.Flag-waving patriots annoy me because they're missing the entire point. Patriotism does not wave flags ostentatiously, then sit around and wait while other people do the work. Patriotism quietly goes and does what's necessary without ever making a fuss, without ever calling attention to itself or bragging about what it has done. Patriotism endures hardship of all sorts for the sake of service to a greater power. The patriots are not just the service men and women in combat fatigues and uniforms, they are also the families who gave their husbands, daughters, mothers, and sons in service to the military, who keep things together at home in the meantime.Michelle Obama is as much a patriot as her husband, for she has sacrificed her privacy and a life of her own choosing to give her husband to the country. Their daughters are no less patriots for being children, for they have given their father to the country in order for him to serve the higher ideals of the nation. He might miss a few bedtime stories, a few family dinners, but hopefully they get why this is necessary and are okay with it, or someday will be. If so, they are true patriots. They've given up the freedom and security of normal childhood in order for their father to serve; they're missing out on best friends and a hometown and a feeling of normalcy. Some day I hope they will look back and say, "That's okay, someone had to do it." They might not be wrapped in an American flag and singing the Star-Spangled Banner, but they are expressing their affection for the country in the way that has been given to them. In modern-day America, there are a few people who believe that if you aren't shouting your patriotism from the rooftops, you aren't a REAL AMERICAN. And if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops. And Lily and I are here to tell you, that is bull.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-11 17:11

    The book really illustrates some of my conflicting views on supporting the troops, but being troubled with what they do. It was really relevant to my life when I read it. Here are some quotes that resonated with me:You know what's hot about soldiers? They know things, important things about protection and survival. The great outdoors is the great unknown to me, and to revere my man as a sage of this realm had real meaning. He taught me about chewing match heads so mosquitoes don't bite you-- they are repelled by the sulfur in your bloodstream, and how to scare away coyotes nosing around your tent by making a coyote shaker out of a handful of pennies in an empty soda can sealed up with duct tape.You know what else is hot about soldiers? They've done things. When we met, Mike's accomplishments were a big attraction, and that only ramped up when we knew he was leaving for the war, which would not be called The Iraq War by the military conversant, but rather, it would be folded into the larger, ongoing Global War on Terrorism, a.k.a. GWOT, sounding in its pronunciation-- "G-WOT!" -- like a sound effect from Japanese anime. He was about to accomplish yet another significant feat.Within the soldier's outsize capability and experience is the humble element of purpose. There's something deeply stirring about a man responding to the call of duty, and in hearing war stories delivered with a strong dose of modesty. At the core, being a soldier means possessing an unself-conscious capability. Selfless service is one of the Army values. It's also a powerful aphrodisiac. A firm body catches your eye, but firm beliefs capture your heart.While "no one hates war more than a soldier," as Mike frequently reminded me before he left, and I knew he didn't want to go, it would have been infinitely worse if he hadn't. He didn't become an Army officer because he wanted to slack. He wanted to serve, and to be deprived of that opportunity, by fate or circumstance, would be a gut-shot to his well-being, to his identity as a soldier. "Devotion is not a uniform to be worn on certain days and then to be put aside," the spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Babe once said. Anybody can mosey down to the Army/Navy surplus and pick up some camouflage or a dress blue to wear, but it wouldn't have the same effect as the real deal. The uniform itself is not what attracts us, it's the character of the man who wears it.""I'm not one to advocate a retro gender politics -- I want to see women as surgeons and soldiers, politicians and mothers and more. But after two centuries of feminism, I still prefer a man to open the car doors and the pickle jars. There are politics and then there are preferences, and all desire for equality aside, I'd be bereft without the masculine touch. It's that cavewoman thing, a crazy howl from the primal depths. In the wild jungle of the female heart, it's two steps forward, one step back in this ancient mating dance -- I like a strong lead, as both a standard to meet and a guiding light to follow. Parity between the sexes is one thing, respect for essential difference is quite another. The two exist, like man and woman, in ways that flatter and complement each other. I'm woman enough to boldly state my appreciation for male strength as embodied by the American soldier. For those of us who love a man in uniform, might makes Mr. Right.

  • Maranda (addlebrained_reader)
    2019-02-22 17:00

    Lily Burana: reformed punk rocker, child rebel, former stripper, Army Officer's wife. Wha-what??? If you are like me, you just had to do a double take there. But that's right Lily Burana is all of those things and more.I Love a Man in Uniform is Lily's memoir of how she met, fell in love with and married Mike, her Army Officer husband.But this is not simply a love story. This is not one of those gooey novels that make you feel sticky just reading it. This story includes a lot of self doubt, hurt, anger, sacrifice and loss.Lily and Mike's story is like so many others. But what separates them is that Lily talks about it. She talks about the uncertainty of being a 'war bride.' She reveals the struggles with depression during deployment. She dives head first into the controversial topic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).Lily never planned to marry a soldier. In fact, the day she met Mike she had no idea that was the moment that would change her life forever. But when love hits, it hits hard. There's no stopping it. That's exactly what happened to Lily and Mike.In true military fashion, the courtship and marriage were on no one's time line but the military's. However, Lily would endure for the man she chose as her life's partner. She gave up her home, her security, her dream wedding, her confidence. Just to be married to Mike.Lily has a voice that is raw, real and emotional. She leaves nothing out. She describes the scathing looks and criticism she faced from the 'higher ranking wives.' She offers a glimpse into the truth behind the 'perfect military family.' And she constantly runs from the 'Perfect Army Wife' and her never ending disapproval.Through it all - the condemnation, depression, deployment and self hatred there is finally a chance for healing, acceptance and ultimately...happiness.Lily's story is one that so many military spouses experience but very few are brave enough to admit. She is honest, revealing, heartfelt and genuine. This book offers merely a glimpse into the difficulties military spouses face on a day to day basis.That being said, I realize that I cannot truly generalize. I identified with this woman so much that her story and hardships resonate within my soul. So maybe I'm wrong. Maybe other military spouses do not experience these same issues. But I have. I do. As have several of my closest military spouse friends. Do you? I challenge you to read Lily's story and find out.

  • Shawn
    2019-02-22 16:59

    Lily Brana delves into just about every aspect of the military life in one enjoyable and fun read. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the humbling. The dynamics of military wives and the, at times, ancient practices of the military community. Rank, the Army alphabet, protocol, and so much more. this book was eye opening and really gave me a greater understanding for what I would face in the military world. As a military spouse you give up just about everything to play the role as devoted and loyal Army wife. Burana points out that you don't have to sacrifice who you are for your country and that loving a man in uniform doesn't have to mean losing yourself.I read this book as a new Army wife. It was eye opening and thought provoking. The tone was funny and relatable and felt more like a conversation with a fellow Army wife then it felt like I was reading a book. The military life is highly misunderstood. The role as a military wife is even more foreign. military wives can be painted in one of two lights. The unfaithful woman who cheats when her husband deploys and mooches off the system...often naive and unprepared for the struggles she'll face. Or the proper, perfect military wife who is the support and heart of her military man. The military spouse is greatly underestimated and this book really delves into what we are military wives are capable of. And in addition, it portrays the struggle we face in a true and honest light.We're not all perfect and patriotic; providing endless support and zero resistance. We feel the tug at our hearts when or soldier deploys or trains for lengths of time. We feel the sacrifice when we move away from what we know and put our careers on the back burner. This book doesn't encourage Army wives to rebel by any means, it simply lets them know that they're not alone and that it does get better if you make the proper steps in the right direction. Lily Burana brings to light the fact that military spouses can do both. Be a supportive wife and stand on her own two feet.Above all else, this book lets military spouses know that they don't have to sacrifice who they are to be there for their soldier.

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-18 15:18

    I’ll start off by readily admitting, I am probably not completely objective when it comes to books about military wives. But I do believe this one is particularly appealing to a broader audience than others. This is not a how-to-be-a-milspouse book, rather a fascinating memoir. After writing her critically acclaimed memoir Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America, about her previous life as a punk-rock stripper, Lily Burana met and fell in love with Mike, an Army Intelligence officer stationed at West Point. This book is about her journey into the world of all things Army. Although it does have many humorous moments, this memoir is so much more. In fact, I think you should read this even if you have nothing to do with the military, because of Burana’s powerful recanting of her own struggle with PTSD. Yes, you read that right, not her husband’s struggle with PTSD from deployment to a war zone, but Burana’s battle with PTSD from events that happened to her as a very young child. Her illness manifests itself after her husband’s first deployment and the stress of trying to be a “perfect” military wife, but it stemmed from her childhood. As she struggled with her own past and fears, Burana learned how to accept who she is and address her anxiety in a pro-active manner using a revolutionary new therapeutic technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). (Read more about EMDRhere.)This book is easy to read, but will still move you to tears and laughter. I don’t think I can say it any better than Diablo Cody, the Academy Award-winning writer of Juno, “Equal parts cultural studies professor and bombshell geek, Lily Burana teases words into impossibly satisfying configurations. Her sparkling prose is like brain tonic in a coconut shell—it’s packaged so whimsically we forget we’re being schooled.”

  • Shana
    2019-03-02 14:21

    Another fave from this week was I Love a Man in Uniform, by Lily Burana. As you know, I’m engaged to someone in the military, so I am somewhat obsessed with reading about military spouses. This book didn’t disappoint.Burana was an exotic dancer, a punk rocker, and generally a wild child. Yet despite her preconceived notions of conservative, straight-laced military guys, she ends up falling in love with a man in the Army. She describes their courtship, how her assumptions about him were wrong, and their subsequent relationship and marriage. Burana was, and still is, her own person and very much so. I loved how strong she was in her convictions and how she embodied so many contradictions. She was unapologetic about her past stripping with her husband, but worried about how her history might affect his career if others found out. She also worried about whether she was too “out there” for the other military wives, something I’ve often wondered myself.This is not to say that Burana didn’t experience any hardship. Despite her kickass attitude, she still experienced difficulty during her husband’s deployment. The couple also faced a huge conflict when they each dealt with emotional and mental health issues.But in the end, Burana comes across as a strong woman and someone who adds a splash of pizazz to an otherwise vanilla-seeming Army life. Her Operation Bombshell sounds like a total success and she clearly found a way of turning her talents and past into something that can enhance the lives of the wives! She’s an inspiration, and gives me hope that I’ll find some kickass friends when I’m a military wife too!

  • Nicole
    2019-02-20 21:03

    I Love A Man In Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War and Other Battles by Lily Burana was at times funny, at other times heart-breaking, and all-of-the-time honest and true. Ms. Burana, a former stripper, meets an Army officer and falls in love. They get married soon before Mike, her husband, deploys following 9/11, and this is their story of pain, recovery, and the meaning of love.I read this book in a day. Granted, I had a day off so there was a bit of free time there, but I loved reading Ms. Burana's story. It's a mature book, and by "mature" I don't mean old people, and I don't mean not-for-children. What I mean is that Ms. Burana has been able to take a step away from the events of the book and see them as what they are--events in her life that have made her who she is. Which I have to say, is not an easy thing to do. Ms. Burana is clearly a writer and she has a way with her story that makes her feel like an everywoman. My heart hurt for her when Mike was deployed, and I felt her intensity as she rushed to see him one last time before his plane took off. I waited with her by the phone for Mike to call, and I felt a rush of joy when she watched her husband walk off the plane at the end of his tour.I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a good read. I wouldn't call it juicy, and I wouldn't call it riveting. But I would call it satisfying, and I would tell you to read it if you love a great story of self-discovery. I sure do. And I loved this book and the sense of satisfaction I felt when I closed the book after the last page.

  • Lisa Gallagher
    2019-03-19 18:07

    I had previously read "Strip City" and first read "I Love a Man..." about 2 years ago. This was my 2nd read. I think I enjoyed it slightly less then 2nd time, but it's still a good read.What happens when a former stripper/punk rock writer marries a military man? The results are not always pretty, especially when you add in post-war PTSD for the guy and clinical depression for the gal.Lily Burana has a forthright and snappy writing style and I found her candid memoir to be refreshing. There are other military wives out there who are penning books and blogs, but likely none as colorful as Burana. No, she's not your typical Army wife. She isn't arranging potlucks, she isn't always towing the line, but I bet there are a lot more military wives and moms who feel as she does - out in left field - than would admit it.I understand some of the previous reviewers who felt that the book seemed self-involved - it is. But that isn't a negative. Burana isn't writing a how-to guide for those about to marry into the Military. She's a writer and former memoirist who simply wrote a book about her personal experiences knowing that she fell into a depressive hole and nearly lost her marriage and writes forthrightly about that experience. And she ends the book with writing about the steps she has since taken the repair her marriage, fix her standing in her community and found her unique way of helping other military wives. Kudos to her.

  • Meghan
    2019-03-11 12:57

    This book was an impulse buy off the "new and notable" table at the local Barnes & Noble. I had been intrigued by Burana's previous novel, Strip City, and hadn't gotten around to picking it up yet. I was looking forward to experiencing her transition from the woman who undertook a cross-country Farewell Stripping tour to a Representative Army Wife. I am the first person to admit, I am not an expert on military life. My family's line of service is as police and fire - as a result no one in my immediate family has served in our military. To this point, my experience with army life has come from the Lifetime soap Army Wives, and the incredibly interesting book it was derived from by Tanya Biank. I really enjoyed Ms. Burana pulling aside her curtains and showing the world inside her figurative living room. She is candid, both about her past and her present. From the beginning she admits she is not the Perfect Army Wife. Watching her acclimate to her life as a military wife was definitely a journey, and one that I enjoyed taking. I can't vouch for its accuracy, but I can vouch for its enjoyability.My best friend is from a military family (albeit air rather than land) and I look forward to her reading this, so we can discuss! I think it would be interesting to hear her point of view on the book, as a military child.

  • Michael
    2019-03-01 19:58

    I loved this book, obviously written with honesty and conviction. More than simply a story about life as a military spouse - though it fills that role impeccably - it also touches on broader themes that many of us can connect with such as finding your place when you're an outsider, reconciling the past with the present, and maintaining individuality while also giving yourself fully to a larger community. Filled with witty observations that made me chuckle, it also delves into intense, raw issues of life and death, marriage and relationships, war, politics, sex, and mental illness. Written from the perspective of a high-placed Army intelligence officer's wife who rubs elbows with the American power elite, there seemed to be less acknowledgement that the author's experience reflected that of the average serviceperson's spouse than I personally hoped for, but there can be no dispute that this memoir is written from the heart, well-researched, based on firsthand experience, and as powerful as the military force which serves as one of its main protagonists. Especially appreciated were the many anecdotes about her background in the American rebel subculture: punk rock, strip clubs, and art. I related deeply to the dichotomy between the two worlds she described, having been in both camps myself and the places in between. This one deserves a salute and a place on your shelf.

  • Julie
    2019-03-18 15:01

    Wow, after 2 months I finally finished this book. I can't really pinpoint what exactly about the book took me so long to get through. Initially, I thought to give it 5 stars, but after some reflection, parts of it were a little disjointed.Pros: Interesting concept; thoughtful and original language; great metaphors; Lily Burana is definitely a talented writer; will hit close to home for mil spousesCons: About halfway into the book things REALLY slow down and the recollections of her childhood abuse, therapy sessions, separation within her marriage were pretty tedious; the ending of the book seems like some random works that she had done that were stuck in there at the last moment; timeline is somewhat unclear in parts (not that it matters since it's a memoir, but still)Overall, this is a really interesting read and I would recommend it to people who like to read memoirs or biographies. The author's point of view is definitely unique, but I started to get a little fed up with all of her insecurities, etc. I'm sure writing this book was a huge undertaking for her, and it shows in the way she writes...definitely a lot of time and effort devoted to this work.

  • Claire
    2019-02-22 16:25

    I was not going to review this. I loved the *wink* title and was just going to check it out. Lily is an intimate and charming writer so I was soon enmeshed in her story. A former goth/stripper/risky/pierced girl (possible reasons surface later), she was enticed (somehow) to investigate her heritage and was at a ceremony for The Daughters of the American Revolution when she met Mike (in uniform. A whirlwind romance later Lily is a military bride. Mike is shipped out to Iraq-The book focuses on their (challenging)life upon his return. So many issues, so many vignettes all illustrating military life. Mike is stationed at West Point. As time passes PTSD surfaces for Mike and Lily both and this is where for me the meat of the story lies. Dealing with demons from her past, Lily engages in therapies and treatments that illuminate the very hard psychological work that suffering people must go through to heal. A brave account of a brave family dedicated to protecting us from demons without- knowing so well the demons within.

  • Tammy
    2019-03-12 13:58

    I wanted to love this book. I think the author was so brave to write it that I hate to give it such a lukewarm write up. I felt like much of the military spousal life was given kind of a glancing overview. I felt like she was describing it from the outside. She talked about being worried about being judged by other military spouses or hurting her husband's carreer but really gave no examples or stories to back up that fear (other than being snubbed once for not having children...which, while terrible that it happened, I think that happens in a lot of other world's as well). Mid-book when her life was falling apart she never really talked about what was going on in her marriage...i.e. they were fighting a lot but about what? why? I felt like I should have cared about this woman and her story (I think she has a good story to tell and I've read some of her other pieces and thought they were good)but honestly I really didn't that much. Of course because I know this is a memoir, I wanted it to end happily for her but as for touching me deeply, it did not.

  • Catyche
    2019-02-23 18:04

    I really looked forward to reading Lily Burana's memoir and it's been on my to-read list since I first heard about it. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book where she discussed her early life and her relationship with her husband Mike. But, towards the second half of the book after she finished writing about her reconciliation with Mike, and her battle with depression and PTSD, the book began to resemble more of a book of essays on the military than a memoir on Burana's life and marriage. Mike especially, seemed a shadowy figure on the periphery of her life rather than the love of her life as she had described at the beginning of the book. While I enjoyed "I Love a Man in Uniform" and found that it explained what being a military wife was like and what waiting for a husband who has deployed for war feels like really well, I still felt that I didn't get to know the author much at all. Overall, I'd recommend this book as a primer on what being a military wife is like.

  • Julia Claire
    2019-02-24 13:26

    I picked this up at a used book store near Fort Bragg. It is definitely her memories and less than a typical one about the life of an Army officer's spouse. After reading it I looked a bit into her life and discovered Mike had children from his first marriage, yet there is no mention of any activity with them. She mentions exotic dancer and porn, but it seems more currently in place for shock factor rather than truly detailing her life as a dependent. It was a good read, but yet knowing the life, she isn't covering it anymore than the tv show, Army Wives. It left me filling in the blanks with my own details. My husband suffers from PSTD and to get treatment for it would have ruined his career. I was surprised her Mike sought treatment under Tricare. Wives do help make or break careers. Overall though it was a pleasant read, but I found a later article on her choosing Catholicism for her daughter to have more info on the true army.