Vicki Cody joins us this week to talk about her latest memoir, Fly Safe

Author Name: Vicki Cody

Book Title: Fly Safe: Letters from the Gulf War and Reflections from Back Home

Book Genre: Memoir

Release Date: August 3, 2021

Publisher: She Writes Press

Welcome to The Spotlight, Vicki! How would you describe Fly Safe for our readers?

The title comes from the words I said to my husband every time he went out to fly. It was my way of trying to keep him safe. The words were so much a part of our vocabulary that I didn’t give it a second thought. But as I was writing this book and rereading all of his letters to me, he ended almost every letter with, “I promise to fly safe.” Or “Don’t worry about me, I always fly safe.” It was the perfect title.

What sparked the idea for this book?

Back in 1990-1991, my husband wrote me 94 letters during a nine-month deployment for the Gulf War. I’ve kept the letters for the past 30 years along with my journals. A few years ago, I decided to read every single letter again, along with my journals and I immediately knew there was a good story there. I wanted to capture the historic events and the times leading up to and during the Gulf War and take readers back to a time when there was no internet, no iPhones, and no texting; a time when written letters were our only connection. By using my journal entries, my husband’s letters, and my narrative, I give the reader a behind the scenes look at what it was like for the families waiting back home and my husband’s exploits in the combat zone.

What drew you to this subject matter?

I was an Army wife for 33 years and now am the mother of two soldiers. It has been a way of life for so long and even with all of the challenges, the stress, the separations, the sleepless nights, I wouldn’t trade any of it. All of the experiences, the people and the places helped shape me. I love writing about military life and I feel it is my mission share that with as many people as possible.

If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read, Fly Safe?

I write about Army life to give readers from all walks of life a rare glimpse into a very unique way of life. By sharing details of my journey I hope to shine the spotlight on the men and women who serve this nation and the families who stand beside them, serving as well. Fly Safe is a very personal and intimate look at the power of love to sustain us even in the most challenging of times and at the same time, a behind the scenes look at life in the combat zone and the adrenaline rush of flying helicopters in combat.

Thank you, Vicki! Fly Safe is OUT NOW.

“Cody gives us a front-seat ride on her journey as an Army wife, this time through journal entries and personal letters from her husband as he flew the most dangerous missions of Operation Desert Storm more than thirty years ago. Vicki weaves the correspondence into a gripping, historical narrative that chronicles the fears, tensions, high notes, and loneliness of an Army family waiting at home, all at a time when handwritten letters and sporadic phone calls were the only lifelines. A truly American tale of sacrifice, love, and commitment that, as readers will find out, isn’t over yet. An elegant and riveting work.”  

—Gina Cavallaro, author of Sniper: American Single-Shot Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan 

“Cody has an uncanny way of giving us a vulnerable look behind the curtain of a Commander in theater, and the woman who loves him back on post. Her intimate details of ‘deployed love’ are honest and heartfelt . . . with a level of candor I’ve never before seen. Thank you for your bravery in giving us all a window to your soul, the soul of your marriage, and the soul of those who serve.”

—Heidi Collins, former CNN news anchor and proud wife of USAF fighter/attack pilot, Capt. Matt Collins

“In Vicki Cody’s Fly Safe, her moving follow-up to her first memoir, Army Wife, she delivers a tour de force full of emotion, determination, grit, and hope, something our country needs now more than ever. Vicki’s engrossing writing style takes us inside her world of handling critical roles as army wife, mom, family readiness group leader, and friend to so many as her husband famously fired the first shots of the Gulf War.”
—Anthony J. Tata, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired) and national best-selling author of Chasing the Lion 

“With unparalleled grace and humility, Vicki Cody pours her soul out on the page for all to experience. In bearing her soul, she captures our hearts. Fly Safe is a must read for all Americans.”  

 –Jimmy Blackmon, author of Pale Horse and Cowboys Over Iraq

BIO:

Vicki Cody grew up in Burlington, Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1975, with a BS degree in education. For the next 33 years she was an Army wife, supporting   her husband in his career. While raising their two sons and moving all over the United States and overseas, she served as a coach and mentor for Army spouses and as an advocate for Army families.

Her memoir, “Army Wife: A Story of Love and Family in the Heart of the Army” was published in 2016 by She Writes Press. Army Wife won the 2016 USA Best Book Award for narrative non-fiction and was a Finalist for the 2016 Foreword Indies Book of the Year in the military category.  She is also the author of “Your Soldier, Your Army: A Parents’ Guide” and most recently, the revised edition, “Your Soldier, Your Army: A Family Guide,” both of which were published by the Association of the United States Army. Her articles have appeared in numerous military magazines and publications.

She and her husband of forty-five years live in the Washington, DC area. Their two sons, both Apache helicopter pilots, continue to serve on active duty in the US Army.