Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day! Children of Those Who Serve

Remembering the Children of Those Who Serve
A Bay area author and former military threat analyst pens books that help the youngest members of military families cope with deployment and injury.

27 May 2012 - Memorial Day gives us pause to honor those who have given their lives to protect our freedom. But there are others who make tremendous sacrifices for us, as well: the children of those heroes.

When a soldier is deployed, the effect on his or her family can be profound. When that soldier is injured or killed in combat, the effect can be devastating. A Bay area author and former U.S. Central Command threat analyst has written two picture books to help military children cope with a parent's injury and take pride in the work they do.

Kristen Zajac left government work behind after her twins were born in 2008, but her passion for those she left behind remained strong. When she realized there were not many books available for children of wounded veterans, she set out to change that.

"Ebeneezer's Cousin," Zajac's first book, is about a young girl, Maria, whose father returns home from combat with an injury, quiet, withdrawn and needing a lot of assistance from the family. Her stuffed animal monkey, Ebeneezer, always tagged along on their adventures between deployments, but things have changed. Maria and Ebeneezer help her father recapture his former spirit and independence.

"Chasing the Spirit of Service," Zajac's second publication, is about Emma, a young girl from three generations of Air Force pilots who misses her father when he travels. Emma’s great grandfather, one of the first African American pilots during World War II, shares his life story as a Tuskegee Airman with Emma and her best friend and helps them appreciate the spirit of service. read more>>>

Putting The Post-Deployment Family Back Together
May 25, 2012 - When parents deploy to a war zone overseas, their absence can have ripple effects that are felt long after they return. Parents and their children often struggle to figure out how to be a family again after leading separate lives for months or years. Now, there's an effort to make the transition from combat life to home life less rocky.

A small but groundbreaking University of Minnesota study is attracting attention from military leaders and Congress for its potential to help troops and their families. It comes amid growing recognition that supporting military families at home makes soldiers stronger at war.

It's dinnertime at the Ross house in the Twin Cities suburbs. National Guardsman Kevin Ross asks his 2-year-old son, Isaac, to put plastic cups on the table for him and his two sisters.

With the help of a new parenting study, Ross has recently changed the way he talks to his three children — Elena, 9; Lucy, 6; and Isaac. Before, Ross says, he would have talked to them like he talks to the soldiers he commands, and he would have expected them to obey without talking back. read more & listen to report>>>

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