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The Amish and the Military | Sneak Peak at 'Amish Promises'

The Amish and the Military | Sneak Peak at ‘Amish Promises’


The Amish believe in non-resistance—not only do they believe in not participating in wars, but they also believe in turning the other cheek in day-to-day conflicts.

Several years ago I came up with the idea of placing a modern American military family next door to an Amish family in Lancaster County. What would happen when an Army family and a non-resistant family lived side-by-side? How would the Amish children be influenced? What if a soldier friend of the military family fell in love with the aunt in the Amish family? How would the two families co-exist?

What if, eventually, one of the Amish sons became a soldier?

I’ve come across several accounts of young men who grew up Amish who did join the military, including one about Ervin Byler who spent twenty years in the Navy. Ervin said,

“I thought there was more to life than viewing horses’ behinds, so I decided to join the Navy.”

AmishPromises.1Although I came up with the idea for my Neighbors of Lancaster County series over four years ago, I didn’t start writing the series until last year. During that time my Army Reserve husband served for a year in Afghanistan, giving me even more ideas for the series, which will consist of three novels in all.

Amish Promises, the first in the series, releases in May, and I’m writing book two, Amish Sweethearts, right now. I’ll start book three this summer.

I’m still looking for stories about people who have grown up Amish and joined the military. If you know of anyone or have any stories to share, would you let me know in the comments below? Thank you!

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Leslie Gould (33 Posts)

Leslie Gould is the award-winning author of fifteen novels, including the #1 bestseller and Christy Award winner "The Amish Midwife", co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. Her latest release is "Adoring Addie", a retelling of the “Romeo and Juliet,” the second in The Courtships of Lancaster County series. Leslie, her husband, Peter, and their four children live in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at www.lesliegould.com. Leslie received her master of fine arts in creative writing from Portland State University in 2009 and has taught fiction as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University. She, her husband, Peter, and their four children live in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at www.lesliegould.com.


  1. This is a very good idea to write on the Amish and the military. Very few stories have covered this area. I like this idea and look forward to the release of Amish Promises in May.

  2. Sounds like it is going to be an excellent book! Looking forward to reading the whole series!
    If you need a reviewer for your books, I will gladly do it! Love your books!

  3. I can’t wait to read, I would also like to be a person to do a review, I love your books.
    I always let an author know about the book I have read. I will put it on hold to make sure I et it.

  4. Teri Sherman says:

    I can’t wait to read this book

  5. The Amish are not the only ones with this belief. There are many people that believe in non-resistance. They often are people you would not expect that hold the belief very strongly. Yes, they do fall in love with others, but it could be a major issue as a matter of beliefs. Sometimes novels trivialize it and make it like “love can conquer all”.

  6. A compelling topic that has not had much coverage to date. It will be interesting to read about Amish in the military.


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