Supporting our troops—May 28, 2010
As secretary of the Hastings Public Library, penning an article for the Tribune is not one of my normal duties. But, after recently attending a Town Hall Meeting of the Nebraska National Guard 1-134th Cavalry Squadron in anticipation of their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan and as the mother of a soldier currently serving there I felt compelled to let the soldiers, their families and the community know of the many support resources available at HPL.
Staying in touch with your soldier is easy with e-mail, Facebook and other internet wonders via our public use computers and wireless network. We’ve also added a number of books to help children and adults understand and cope with life at home while your soldier is away. Here are just a few:
“A Paper Hug” by Stephanie Skolmoski is about a little boy who decided the best gift to give his dad while serving his country was a paper hug to take with him.
“Night Catch” by Brenda Ehrmantraut for ages 4 – 8 is a timeless story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion. When a soldier's work takes him half-way around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son.
“My Mommy Wears Combat Boots” by Sharon McBride, a U.S. Army veteran and single parent of a toddler shares her personal experience addressing her child's negative feelings associated with her absence as the result of war - because there are a lot of Mommies who wear combat boots too.
Those left at home may feel a sense of support from “Standing By: the Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War” by Alison Buckholtz. A portrait of one of the thousands of families who await their soldier’s safe return, it is a glimpse into what matters most for families everywhere.
On a lighter note, enjoy reading “Confessions of a Military Wife” by Mollie Gross, an honest, witty, often hilarious look at the life of a new generation military wife who learned the hard way to laugh not cry at what she could not control - nearly everything!
In preparation for your soldier’s homecoming check out “Courage after Fire” by Keith Armstrong, a comprehensive guide dealing with the all-too-common repercussions of combat duty, including symptoms of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. It also offers tips on rejoining the workforce and reconnecting with children.
These titles and others were purchased with a gift from the 2007 Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Reunion of Hastings.