FORT BENNING, Ga. (WTVM) - Many agree that having a successful marriage isn’t easy.
Throw military service in the mix, there are even more obstacles. A Fort Benning couple survived those battles and wrote a book about it.
The co-authors of just-released “Battle Buddies” said being gone on deployments and Army training creates hardships for families. Alfred and Royce Matthews have lived it, going through a lot of ups and downs in their marriage.
“Everything the military has to do that takes them away from the family, it causes a lot of stress and strain," said military wife and co-author, Royce Matthews.
Her husband, in a 20 year career with the Army, deployed overseas three times, twice to Iraq and the other mission to Afghanistan. He came back a changed man.
Alfred Matthews III, retired soldier and co-author, said, “With my PTSD, I was suffering from earlier in my career, I didn’t tell anybody and kept it a secret.”
Their marriage survived thanks, in part, to their time in counseling, which ended with pastors telling them they should write a book.
After Alfred Matthews retired from military service in 2017, they started writing. Fast forward to this week, their book “Battle Buddies” is released. That term comes from soldiers in basic training getting assigned a battle buddy. These co-authors looked up the definition, and applied the same attributes to holy matrimony.
“Keep your battle buddy close, be accountable, be supportive. We want that to be the same way in marriage," Royce Matthews said.
“I’m used to leading soldiers, guiding them, and being able to sit down and write this book is completely out of my comfort zone. But it’s something worth doing and I’m glad I did it, so I can get the word out there to other soldiers," Alfred Matthews added.
The book, which they launched on Monday, tells their story, including PTSD, alcoholism, and how they overcame those times of separation during military service. This couple, battle buddies themselves, are opening u in hopes that others will do the same and to bring healing to marriages.
“It’s very important that you have that battle buddy to be there for me, someone to listen to, someone to talk to, someone to lean on," Alfred Matthews said.
“We also included in the book a 10-week marriage challenge where we give tips, helpful hints to other couples," Royce Matthews said. “We just want everyone to know all things are possible through Christ.”
“Battle Buddies” is now available on Amazon, in e-book or print versions. Alfred Matthews said a lot of the soldiers he served with are excited about reading it.