U.S.

June 7, 2012

Biden book shares family’s deployment experience

Story and photo by Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, has turned her family’s own experience with military deployment into a picture book for children she hopes will add to the general public’s understanding and support of service members and their families.

“As I traveled around, and I’ve met with thousands of military families — and the Bidens are a military family — I realized not all Americans know the military experience,” she said in an American Forces Press Service interview Monday. “They may not even know someone in the military, so they’re not focused on it. As a teacher and mom and nana, I thought, what better way to educate people than to write a book.”

“Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” published by Simon & Schuster, went on sale on Tuesday. Through Biden’s words and illustrations by Raul Colon, it is the story of how the Bidens’ granddaughter, Natalie, handled the year-long deployment of her father, Joseph “Beau” Biden III, to Iraq in 2008.

In the book, 5-year-old Natalie tries to “be brave” for herself and her younger brother, Hunter, as the family marks important events such as holidays and birthdays without her father. Natalie gets some solace by being able to video chat with her dad, and also feels the pride of his work when neighbors, teachers, church leaders and others recognize his service.

Natalie Biden “was there every step of the way” in creating the book, providing art on the front and back pages, and speaking with her grandmother into a recorder about material for the book, Biden said.

“Don’t Forget” is a first book for Biden, a writing teacher, who has made it her mission during her time as the nation’s “second lady” to highlight the challenges of military families. She and First Lady Michelle Obama last year started the “Joining Forces” campaign to do just that, and rally all Americans to support the troops and their families however they can. The book compliments the Joining Forces efforts, Biden said.

“Hopefully, they’re not just reading the book, but it’s also creating an awareness so they can commit to an act of kindness on behalf of a military family,” she said.

Biden spoke to children in an elementary classroom last week, hoping to create the kind of understanding she and the first lady are trying to spread.

“If that sort of atmosphere were created in every classroom in America, Michelle and I will have achieved what we set out to do, by creating awareness in this young generation of Americans … so that they always are grateful for the sacrifices of military families,” she said.

Biden accepted no advance payment for the book and plans to donate all net author proceeds to a USO scholarship fund for the children of injured or fallen service members. Simon & Schuster also has pledged to donate to the same USO cause in honor of the book’s publication.

Biden is in New York this week to promote the book with live TV appearances scheduled Tuesday on “Today,” “The View,” and “The Colbert Report.” She also will tape segments to air on “Weekend Today” and on CNN’s “Starting Point.” Today, she is scheduled to read from Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Asked if she will write more books about her experiences with military families, Biden said that for now, she hopes to hear from them.

“After I wrote it, one of the things I thought about is how neat it would be if kids emailed me with their own stories,” she said. “This is just my story, but if they tell their own stories … we could put that together as a follow up. It would be a nice way to continue the conversation.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense

Army researchers develop pocket-sized aerial surveillance device

Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense A British Soldier holds a Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Resear...
 
 

Active duty Service members must change Roth TSP contributions

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Active duty members of the Army, Air Force or Navy making dollar-amount Roth contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan account should know that these deductions will stop on Jan. 31, unless action is taken. “The Roth [Thrift Savings Plan] contributions are going from a dollar figure to a percentage of pay,” said...
 
 

THANKSGIVING DAY SAFETY MESSAGE

Thanksgiving is a day set aside to pause, reflect and give thanks for the gifts of peace, freedom and opportunity we share as Americans. Holiday weekends provide a well-earned respite from work and an opportunity for travel to visit Family and friends. However, increased travel means increased exposure to the hazards associated with heavy holiday...
 

 
Defense Commissary Agency

Commissary Value Brand returns for more savings

Defense Commissary Agency Starting in December, the Fort Huachuca Commissary will add Commissary Value Brands to its shelves. FORT LEE, Va. – In response to growing patron demand for products comparable to the low-cost privat...
 
 

FH visitors, Civilian workers can dine at Exchange facilities

At military installations across the globe, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provides a taste of home to Soldiers, Airmen and their Families. While rules governing who can buy merchandise at exchanges often apply to a select few, anyone can dine in exchange restaurants or pick up grab-and-go fare from Express locations. The Fort...
 
 

Chapel serves up community generosity

From left, Staff Sgt. Daniel Carnaghi, 62nd Army Band; Chaplain (Lt. Col.-P) Kim Norwood, senior Garrison chaplain; his wife, Cindy Norwood; Jo Moore, Outreach Ministries coordinator; and Spc. Benjamin Sepulveda, Main Post Chapel chaplain’s assistant, prepare to distribute turkeys to Fort Huachuca Families in need Thursday at the Main Post Chapel. Thanks to generous donations...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin