Jo Anne Allen
My Son is a Marine - An Iraq War Story - by Jo Anne Allen
Publisher: Echelon Press
ISBN: 1-59080-448-1
Pages: 194
Publication Date: April 2005


Renee Laurello, Proud Marine Mom to Michael

I just finished reading your book and I can't tell you what a profound effect it has had on me.

My son Michael just graduated from PI bootcamp on Dec 16,2005. He chose infantry and will be leaving for SOI on Jan16th. I will not lie I'm terrified at what lies ahead for him and am having a hard time with this but I have a very strong belief and faith in God and your book has helped me accept my son's choice.

He was told he will see Iraq so I will have to reread your book again to help me when he gets deployed. He also like your son has escaped injury from 2 accidents and He believes with all his heart that the Lord has a plan for him and will watch over him.

Thank you for writing such an inspiring book it has touch my heart so deeply. I hope I can be as much of an inspiration to my son as you have been to yours. What a wonderful person and mother you are to have been through so much and handled it with such grace.

God Bless you and your wonderful son.

Julie, PMM of Justin

Greetings Jo Anne,

My son joined the Marines in Dec and graduated from basic on June 16. He's currently at Aberdeen for his training, but will be done shortly. Since he went in I have read quite a few books about the military, but none as touching, or as timely as yours. My husband and I met in the Air Force as well and tried unsuccessfully to convince Justin to go into the same "easy" branch. He said he needed the discipline and in spite of my offer to let him hang around the house for a few more years and yell at him, off he went. The Marine Moms Online site was a great help to me while he was going through basic and I'm sure will be again when and if he gets deployed. Although it usually takes me a while to get through books, I read yours in one evening (and there was even a church council meeting I attended that night). While reading it Justin called and said he was going to bring his girlfriend out there to see him and they were planning on getting married as soon as possible. This is a girl he hasn't had any contact with since high school (over 1 1/2 years ago) except that he just saw her over Labor Day when he was home on leave. Go figure, now he wants to get married? After I was done talking to him I got to the part of the book where AJ told you that they make more money if they're married. I had to laugh because that is exactly what Justin had JUST SAID! Too funny.

Anyway thanks for the support, advice, prayers, laughter, tears and for supplying a voice through which all mothers of Marines can be heard and finally understood! By the way I too am curious how everyone is doing.

God Bless,

Joe Franklin of Memory Lane (Bloomberg Radio)

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition - send copies of Jo Anne Allen's book to the troops.

CH (MAJ) Richard P. Graves 205th MI BDE, US Army

Jo Anne Allen has written a powerful and moving account of relationships. Of a mother to her son, a son to his mother, of family and friends and most importantly one's relationship to God. It is a story of dedication, love, fear, loss, suffering and ultimately faith and healing. It is a story as relevant and as real as today's headlines and shares one family's miraculous relationship with a God who is truly present in their lives in a profound way.

Brig. General Sidney Baumgarten

Mrs. Allen corroborates the power of a mother's love in time of war.

RT BOOKClub Magazine

MY SON IS A MARINE is an inspirational saga that leaves you wanting more - more story and more of those homemade cookies.

Rudy F. Bischof

Jo Anne Allen's book, My Son is a Marine is reflective of not only a mother's love for her son, but is reflective of the transition A.J. makes from her son to his coming to manhood as a United States Marine. She sees not only the transition A.J. makes to warrior/Marine but also sees his transition to a caring warrior involved in and concerned with the rebuilding of Iraq for the Iraqi people. Jo Anne Allen's book is uplifting and heart-warming. Having served in the USMC, I relate to her book and find it a compelling read.

Helen Beard - Bellevue, Nebraska

MY SON IS A MARINE is a must read book, a real page turner that I could not put down until the last word was read. Jo Anne Allen has written an inspired book of touching and thought-provoking stories full of encouragement and examples of Christ-like love. She invites you into her family and her heart. She generously shares with you her personal trials and spiritual struggles which in turn gives readers the courage to face their own problems. Best of all - she shows us, by example, the only way to do it. Jo Anne has illustrated for us the heart of a mother and the testimony of one who personally knows the love, strength, and hope that comes from true faith in Christ. Her book is joyful and a fun-filled open invitation to turn to the Savior and "lean not on your own understanding." I personally will be giving her book and a batch of A.J.'s peanut butter cookies to those nearest and dearest to me.

In Christ, Peggy

I just completed reading your book and i found it very inspiring. It definitely pulled at my heart strings both through laughter and tears. I can relate to so much of it as I have two sons in the Army. One who spent the first year in Iraq from the onset of the war, and one who is infantry and fixing to go this year. So I know exactly how you felt while A.J. was over there. As my email address abbreviates tlims (The Lord Is My Shepherd), He is the only one we can find refuge in all the days of our lives. God Bless You Jo Anne.

Sincerely, Jojo Hampton

My name is Jessica Hampton, but everyone calls me Jojo. My husband Ryan Hampton and your son are friends down here in Jacksonville, N.C. As a matter of fact, A.J lives right up the road from us. Anyways, I'm writing to tell you that I very much enjoyed your book! It was very real, and to be honest with you it was quite hard to put down. So congratulations, and keep the books coming! Have a Great Mothers Day! Semper Fi!

Bonnie Hollaway, Rogers, AR

Jo Anne is one of the most phenomenal writers I have encountered in all my years. She has the ability to capture your attention and keep it. Clear your schedule when you start reading. It will not be an easy book to put down.

Darin Allen, Denver, CO
This book is rated a 10 out of 10. THIS is why I read books.
Helen Madison, Grand Junction, CO

My Son Is a Marine was captivating. I couldn't put it down. A great story of a mother's love and son's devotion to God, family, and the Marines. I recommend this book to anyone of any age.

Katherine Clark, nick-named SOS Mom - Arlington, TX

As a member of SOS America, Inc. and personally sending boxes to A.J. and his unit, I am especially proud of this book. Our CEO and founder, Kathryn Falk, plans to get this book out there in a BIG way. I absolutely loved the book and can't wait to see what the rest of America thinks about it!

Kenneth W. Buchanan - Golf 2nd BN. 5th Marines, 1st. Marine Division - Vietnam 67-68

Marine's Mom, This story is very heart warming and heartfelt. As an old former Marine, I had tears in my eyes as I read the feelings, concerns and prayers of a mother whose son is in harms way for our country. I am so thankful for the many mothers and fathers who pray for their sons and daughters as they carry out their mission. This book needs to be in every service members book to read list, because they need to realize how those left on the homefront feel about their loved one on the battlefield.

Sally V. - Birmingham AL

Dear Jo Anne,

A friend from Grand Junction, CO sent me a copy of your wonderful book which I read immediately from cover to cover. I found it so inspiring and remarkable that I ordered 5 copies from you which I received on Monday.

Then yesterday I found out a very good friend, only 40 years old, has just received a terminal diagnosis from cancer in multiple locations. It came as a complete shock (how could it not?) since she only had minor symptoms. The docs are giving her 3 to 6 months at this point.

Well, she's a strong Christian, and she has the will and the resources with which to fight.

I'm writing to ask you to say a prayer for my friend, Abby. One of your books is on the way to Abby right now, and I know it will be a blessing to her as it was to me.

Thank you for writing a wonderful book that made Jesus so real and so alive, and that provided so much insight on every single page. The Lord has a powerful advocate and witness in you, Mrs. Allen. Bless you.


Ken B.

Dear Jo Anne,

I just finished reading your book and felt compelled to let you know how much I enjoyed it. My wife, Cindy, has already ordered two more books to give to friends that will benefit from your message. Our son, Terence, is also a Marine and is in Iraq on his second tour. He, too, was in Kuwait before Iraq and was part of the Marine force that went from Kuwait to Baghdad. We are so proud of him and all of the men and women overseas serving our country. Cindy and I are Marines as well. Like you and Randy, we met while we were on active duty. There is so much in your book that we can relate to, the feelings, the faith and acceptance of God in our lives and our reliance on Him for all we are and have. There is so much I'd like to say but feel I'm getting carried away so I'll wrap it up.

When are you going to write the next book. How is Wendall? How is Randy? How is A.J. doing now. Is he stateside? If you aren't writing another book than we would like to know how everybody is doing.

Your story touched our hearts and your faith inspired us. May God continue to bless you and your family and the United States Marine Corps!

Semper Fi,

Judith M. Wittbrodt, Suttons Bay, Michigan

To politicians or Americans who say Americans are warmongers, that we should not be in Iraq, or that our soldiers are mistreating captured prisoners... a reading of "My Son is a Marine" by Jo Anne Allen would melt them into silence, just as surely as if Christ were writing with His finger in the sands of Iraq. .......Semper Fi!

Lee Kittrell - American Financial Express - Financial Consultant


I did get to, and finished reading your book over the weekend. I was was by far your best work.

My comments are " Great Mother - Son relationship and overall impressive Christian foundation book"

I am reminded of the following scriptures...

- Matthew 1:21
- John 3:16 (everyones favorite, of course)
- John 6:40

- Matthew 8:2
- John 3:18

- John 14:13-14
- John 14:26

JR from Colorado

This book is very heart warming and inspirational. With it's stories of faith and love it proves that anything you put your mind to can be won with both. This book offers laughter and crying, stories of true faith and healing, while offering a book that is hard to put down. I will be recommending this book onto my family members with military kids fighting in Iraq and around the world so they too can be lifted. Thanks

Sherry Hastings - Belleville, AR

My Son Is A Marine is a very inspiring book. Ms. Allen has captured a true look at a Mother's love and devotion to her son. This book will fill your eyes with tears, your heart with laughter,and your soul with faith. I highly recommend it.

My Son is a Marine is beautiful, true story of a mother's love and support of her Marine son, A.J. When A.J. is called to the frontlines of Iraq, author, Jo Anne Allen, begins to question God. She has always known God has something special for her son, but surely not this! Through the heart-wrenching experience of watching her son do the will of God in Iraq, she learns to yield his protection to God. A.J. is safe under the wings of the Almighty, yet when Jo Anne is bombarded by battles within her own home, the temptation to snatch him back is strong. My Son is a Marine is a compassionate and spiritual story filled with trials, hurts, and questions, covered with the love of a special mother and a special God. This is a delightful and beautiful book to read, one that I am happy to recommend.

Lillian Cauldwell - Host The Lillian Cauldwell Show

My Son Is a Marine" by Jo Anne Allen takes the reader on an extraordinary journey of love, compassion, trust and faith. Her son A.J. enlists and becomes a Marine. He's sent to Kuwait and on to Iraq. During his entire journey from boy to Marine and Marine to man, AJ never loses his faith. He puts his complete trust in God and through Him saves comrades and the enemy with mercy and compassion. I recommend "My Son Is a Marine" to any parent whose child or children are serving in the military overseas or at home. "My Son Is a Marine" is one parent's ultimate life lesson in sharing His love, tenderness, hope, and faith when all else fails. I give it five thumbs up!


It's such a wonderful book, you read it with a laugh and a tear and I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't stop reading, I just had to finish it!!!.(and thats something I only said before with the Harry Potter books *shame*)

The book is just heartwarming and gives you a good inside look what this war has done to the troops and their family members and to a very concerned mom and her very young Marine son, A.J who never lost faith despite the tragedy's they had to face. I think there are few people who can describe better the power of prayers, the love of a son, and the bound of a family.

I think a lot of you can relate to numerous things that Jo Anne Allen has written in her book. Reading through it you definitely fall in love with this family and all the other characters.

This lady sure has a talent for writing and I definitely recommend this book to everybody that carries a warm heart for the troops. Just a warning, you need a few packs of Kleenex, because you are going to cry and laugh so hard that you surely need them.

You can order this book at It costs $11.76 and some of the proceeds of this book will go to the injured troops of Walter Reed Hospital. What a great way to support the wounded men and woman this is.

Connie - Proud Mother of a Marine LCpl Ryan

My Son Is A Marine? ...WHAT WONDERFUL READ!!! I thought it was one of the best books I have ever read!!! I laughed, I cried, I got angry and by the time I had finished the book I felt that I knew each person as if they were in my life. God bless that entire family and God bless Jo Anne for sharing her story with us!!! Did anyone make Jo Anne Allen's peanut butter cookies while they read the book? I sure did and THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!!!

Sherry Varnell, Morrilton, AR

Where do I start? I received , 'My Son Is a Marine' on a Thur night and was so excited as I have read all the other books Jo Anne Allen has written and loved them! At 10pm I began and thought I would read just a few pages. I fell asleep with the book in my hand at about 1am. I simply could not put it down. I woke up with it still in my hands and had to finish it. I was so moved by this book that it was unreal. I read a lot but I never have a book that I just can't seem to let go of to do the daily chores of my life. This book seemed to have a hold on my heart unlike I have never known. During the five hours it took me to read it in its' entirety, I was covered with goose bumps and God was moving my heart. I wanted to be there to hear these stories that A.J. was relaying back to 'Mom.'

Jo Anne is a very talented author who can put into words what I feel God is trying to tell all of us. This book made me really think about my relationship with God. I had always thought I had a good relationship with the Almighty until this book. It made me re-evaluate that relationship and want to be so much closer...closer than you can ever imagine.

Please read this book and enjoy the flutter in your heart that this book will give you. You will carry the feeling for a long, long time. Thank you, Jo Anne, for sharing such a special story and allowing us to share those very special moments with you and your family that shake your heart and soul. I LOVE YOU ENOUGH......

Charlene Luckie-Coburn - Proud Marine Mom - Lt. Nate

Your book, MY SON IS A MARINE, was awesomely inspired by God - no doubt about it! You opened your heart and poured out your life's blood upon those pages. I wonder how many lives you will have comforted and strengthened before this horrible war isover? Also, tell A.J "Thank you for signing the book!" Now it's time to share it with my son, a fellow Marine named Lt. Nate as he also deploys to Iraq for the second time. Is God asking,"Shall we dance?" Nate had several compartive experiences that clearly marked him for some future mission. Even in Iraq there were several incidences where God clearly spoke and said, "This is not your time." In one such occurrence when a bomb exploded under the vehicle he was riding in (he was actually sitting on top manning the gun) the hood was thrust so close to his head as it flew in the air, it left a grazed mark along the top side of his helmet. Nate was blown clear with no injuries. The other men, God called home. Again, I stand amazed! You close your book with this statement,"Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace." My strength and peace has come from God's devine channel of grace through reading Psalms 90:16 through Psalms 92:4, a LOT of prayer, and this quote I carry by Ben Stein, "Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will."

Thank you for putting into words the feelings we all experience as military wives and mothers. What a healing power you and AJ have opened to us all. You have submitted yourself to God's devine inspiration. Let your light shine! And thanks for the peanut butter cookie recipe. They are great! God bless you, girl!

Semper Fi,

Rosemary C. Conte - Sanford, FL

I recently had the pleasure of speaking on the phone to one of our card holders, Jo Anne Allen, who most recently published a book about her son, AJ, entitled My Son Is a Marine. It is a book of faith, inspiration, hope and devoted love. Please pray and remember our troops who fight everyday to keep you and I AND our loved ones safe while we live freely in the United States of America. The proceeds from the sale of this unique and inspirational book will benefit Support Our Soldiers America, Inc. Each book is personally autographed by Jo Anne through her website.

I know you will be as touched and astounded as I was by the remarkable way Jo Anne's words tug at your heart. She asked me to pass the word and a promise was made to her that I vowed to keep. I could see My Son Is a Marine on the big screen. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Rock Peters - NY Post

My Son is a Marine' is a sweet, heart warming, and endearing book that you want cuddle up with; it is simply a pleasure to read.


Hi, Jo Anne:

I just want to say: I read a lot, as I have always loved reading. I especially like books told in the first person. I read a lot of mysteries, but I like many kinds of books. I myself have toyed with the idea of writing a book someday.

You are more than just a good writer. You are an INCREDIBLY good writer. You really have that special gift of telling a story perfectly, and engaging the reader in every emotion you feel. It really is a GIFT.

I will not be surprised if you write a best-selling novel one day, as I really think you have an uncanny way of telling a story. What I love so much about your writing is that you know just how much to say, without cluttering it up with way too much flowery detail, yet putting just enough to make the reader feel as if they are going through it WITH you, as if you are taking them step by step through everything you ever felt or experienced. It's great!! It is a rare talent indeed when someone can write like that.

A friend of mine said he could hardly put your book down when he first started reading it. I agree!!

Thank you again for the book. Since I read so much, I DO recognize real talent when someone has it, and you definitely have it. I really meant it when I said that I could definitely see you writing a major best-seller one day, for sure. It has been such a long time since I have read a book like this where you actually take me through the whole experience with you.