-Professor, Early Childhood Department, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
-Former US Army Officer
Empowering children with insightful respect for our veterans, past and present!
As a 15 year Army veteran and life-long teacher/professor of elementary education, It is my passion to help K-6 grade children learn about, appreciate, and understand the dedication and sacrifices our veterans make including the joys and hardships faced by all military veterans in peacetime and in war. I believe that our society too often assumes that children will just automatically know what holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day really mean, yet how often do they truly learn about veterans? They may attend school assemblies, parades or ceremonies to honor veterans, but that alone does not teach children the “why” they are honoring these brave men and women. I believe my experience as a teacher and a veteran compels me to passionately make educating children about veterans my mission in life!
What is a Veteran, Anyway?
Veterans Day is a wonderful holiday for citizens to recognize the brave men and women who keep us free! But what does Veterans Day really mean? This illustrated book is designed for teachers, parents, and children of all ages to be able to witness and understand the sacrifices and camaraderie that veteran’s experience. It emphasizes—in a simple format-- what veterans go through on a daily basis. Most importantly, it is based on the author’s 15 years of service in the U.S. Army, including a one-year tour in Baghdad, Iraq during the first year of the war. This life changing experience enables the author to describe—first hand--the life of a soldier under the extreme conditions faced by combat veterans.
"Why Did Daddy Have to Leave?"
This book helps children understand why a parent on active military duty, or serving as a Reserve or National Guard soldier called to active duty, must leave for an extended length of time, despite loving their children greatly. The story is told through the voice of a young child watching “Daddy” pack and mobilize for war and has been inspired by the feelings my own six and eight-year old children encountered as I mobilized and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The book is a timeless way for parents and teachers to help young children understand and cope with the temporary, but long-term absence of a parent serving our country in war or peace time.
* A portion of the proceeds from each book are donated to the Slippery Rock University Veteran Service Dog Program. https://www.srufoundation.org/servicedogdonation.html