October 18, 2016
[Our Military Kids welcomes this guest post by Bill Smith, author of the recently published Four A.M. December 25. Mr. Smith has been an educator and an elementary principal for 30 years. Not only will the book’s plot resonate with children who have experienced a parent’s military deployment, but the rich illustrations offer details to think and talk about long after the reading is over. Proceeds from the book’s sale go in part to Our Military Kids. To order a book, go to www.billosmith.com.]
By Bill O. Smith
Jeffrey was fighting again. The recess aide hauled him into the principal’s office, my office. Jeffrey had smacked a little girl in the sandbox, who was minding her own business. He then yelled at the aide. I asked Jeffrey if he thought he should apologize. He nodded yes.
The recess aide came in with the little girl, holding her hand.They faced Jeffrey, a tough little first grader. Jeffrey’s chest began to heave. He opened his mouth to apologize. And then, he burst into tears, into loud, uncontrollable sobs. The rest of us just stared at each other, speechless. I dismissed the others and called home. Jeffrey’s grandmother answered. Jeffrey’s dad was in Afghanistan. And Just that weekend, Jeffrey’s mom had also been deployed to parts unknown.
So many little ones cannot, or will not, verbalize their distress. Some bury their fears deep inside, and others like Jeffrey take out their distress on others.
I wish we had someone from Our Military Kids when I was an elementary principal. We did not, so we did our best to handle tough situations at school. Of course, a child’s distress does not end when school ends. In fact, for many, school is a distraction and a safe haven that disappears when a child must go home to face the ghost of a missing loved one.
And that is where OUR MILITARY KIDS makes all the difference. The activities provided are far more than mere distractions. Each activity is a building block towards healing, courage, and a strong sense of self-confidence.
We are so proud to partner with OUR MILITARY KIDS, INC. It somehow seems like a perfect match that a children’s picture book like FOUR A.M. DECEMBER 25 should provide help and healing for children. It is especially satisfying to know you are a four-star charity as rated by Charity Navigator.
Many thanks to OUR MILITARY KIDS, and to all of you who purchase FOUR A.M. DECEMBER 25.