Too often, the focus is on the uniform. On the one serving. But what of the countless children who have served silently, over and over again, through sustained deployments? Where are their news stories and accounts of bravery? What about medals for their sacrifice? Their time spent, waiting?
There are books out there for military children, several of which we highly recommend, but none of them offer what they crave: to literally see themselves in the content. After all, an Asian military boy cannot fully see himself in a story revolving around a blond Caucasian girl.
Our book is different in that it encourages children to create and share their own unique stories, upload their own photos then share it with their deployed parent overseas. We are also unique in that we offer helpful suggestions for children too young to fully express themselves. With paint-by-number exercises revolving around our "mascot" (SGT Sam E. Hears, the Messenger Star), and fill-in-the blank letters, our military children are encouraged to interact with their deployed parent while expressing their emotions and anxieties.
Each deployment is different. And each military child is special. Taking the time to celebrate each child’s uniqueness is essential in helping our war children on the road to healing and recovery. Each picture uploaded is a window into their hearts, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, these children have volumes to tell.
We also firmly believe in the healing power and the honest communication that comes through the written word. Giving our young, struggling military children the opportunity to share in that experience is the first step in giving them the platform and understanding they are so desperately craving.
These children serve bravely and repeatedly. They deserve the opportunity to share their story, honor their struggle, and salute their victory. Every hero should be celebrated. And we have written A Heart Apart to celebrate and honor the very warriors we admire most: our own children.