A recent scan of Facebook posts by my veteran friends shows that, while Iraq may be over and Afghanistan is winding down, deployments are far from a thing of the past. Several of my friends have spouses deployed, or recently returned from deployment, and many of those have young children. Each family finds its own way to cope with the separation and the resulting stresses. However, as several of my friends have told me, finding good resources to help their children cope can be difficult. So, being the research nut that I am, I went hunting. This week’s posts are what I found.
I’m going to start with Daddy’s Deployed. And, before any of you lady vets start to feel left out, let me start by saying that there is also a Mommy’s Deployed aspect to this resource. In fact, they pretty much cover every branch, marital, and family situation you can think of. One of my friends has twins and I didn’t see a place for that on the order form, so I e-mailed the company. Within a day I had an e-mail from Founder and CEO Bridget Platt assuring me that they could create books for multiples (just select number of children from the dropdown on the initial order page and then just indicate the twin or triplet status and details in the “other information” section).
Daddy’s Deployed was designed specifically because there were limited choices when it came to books which helped children process military separation and which represented the variety of characteristics represented by military families. When her active duty Marine husband left for predeployment training when their daughter was just two weeks old, former high school English teacher Bridget went looking for just such a book. Unable to find one that didn’t have boilerplate images and messages, Bridget created Daddy’s Deployed, which lets military families create a book for their child which is personalizable in almost every possible way. You can choose branch of service, rank, and even uniform (flight suit versus camouflage, for example); gender of deploying servicemember, the individual remaining at home, and the child/children; ethnicity and physical characteristics.
While you can get a preview of part of the book on the webpage, I decided I wanted a little firsthand review of the entire book, so I called my best friend. Her husband is deployed and her 18-month old owns a Daddy’s Deployed book. According to my friend, her son has really connected with the book and insists that she read it to him every night before he will go to bed. He loves that the book features his name and that his daddy is represented by a uniform that looks like the one he wears (it even has a correct nametape on it!).
Books are available in hard cover ($31.95) and soft cover ($21.95). Since April is the month of the military child, all orders placed before the end of the month can use Thrivent4 to get 50% off the price of the book. (All orders will still be charged $7.99 for shipping and handling.) A portion of Daddy’s Deployed monthly profits will be donated to the Lone Survivor Foundation.
You can order a book for your child or another military child here and be sure to read their blog. Start with the story about the wonderful generosity of the individual behind this month’s discount. Then keep going because Bridget talks about some great resources for military spouses and, perhaps most importantly, she’s just plain likeable!
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