The Cross & the Pen: A Conversation with Ellie Kay
- Friday, March 21, 2003
Welcome to "The Cross & the Pen," Crosswalk.com's newest author interview column. For our first interview, I am pleased to introduce a timely book, Heroes at Home, by best-selling author Ellie Kay, who believes God created her to be a military wife. "For me this has been the big adventure, which is strange when you consider that I grew up in one neighborhood my whole life until I married Bob."
Heroes at Home honors both our nation's service men and women, but also those who serve our country by loving them. Both during wartime and peacetime, the parents and siblings, spouses and children of our military are often forgotten. Ellie Kay's book not only reminds readers who the heroes at home are, but also encourages us in what we-the average American citizen-can do to help.
Eva: Ellie, tell us a little about your husband.
Ellie: Lt. Colonel Bob Kay, "The World's Greatest Fighter Pilot," and has flown several different jets including the Stealth F-117 fighter. He is a man of integrity and great leadership.
Eva: You and your husband have a special nickname for one another. Would you mind sharing it?
Ellie: Ever since our honeymoon, my husband and I decided we wanted to call each other something special and out of the norm. Thus, we came up with the term "Beloved" that comes from Song of Solomon "I am my Beloved's and He is mine, His banner over me is love."
My father was in law enforcement, so I know some of the fears that go along with hearing about tragedies and fearing the worse for the one you love. You share in your book that you and Bob have a code so that you don't have to experience that.
When an accident happens, the squadron shuts down--no calls in or out. Bob will TRY to scramble to a phone before "shut-down" and call me. He says, "Hi Beloved, I had a good flight." That is code for: a jet has gone down, someone might be dead, but it's not me.
Eva: Tell us more about your family.
Ellie: We have two adult children Missy-23 and Mandy-21. Five school-aged children: Daniel-16; Philip-14; Bethany-12; Jonathan-9 and Joshua-8.
Eva: How do your children cope with their father's job?
Ellie: They look at it as what he does for a living. When there are causes for concern (an accident, a war, a separation) we provide a solid foundation in our home life and that carries them through. They are all well adjusted and all are honor roll students who know Christ personally, this is also a source of their strength.
Eva: How do you?
Ellie: I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. When Bob is flying a dangerous mission (and sometimes training missions are the ones with the highest accident rates), I pray Psalm 91 over him, substituting his name in the passage. This keeps my focus on eternity, which keeps my internal focus on Christ.
Eva: What is the greatest challenge to sending a loved one into "harm's way?"
Ellie: Knowing it may be the last time you ever see them, knowing that they may not come back. There are no guarantees.
Eva: What passion drove you to write this book?
Ellie: There was no book on the market that spoke to all branches of the military about the challenges of military life. There wasn't anything that showed new military families how to move smarter, make new friends, handle the military pay finances, and stay connected when you're apart from your spouse or handle sending a loved one into harm's way. I filled that gap with this book.
Eva: If you could look your reader in the face and say, "Please don't miss this part," what part would it be?
Ellie: Mend fences before your spouse is deployed. No matter what the cost, make it right.
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