Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Guest Post...by AFSister

"Read to Your Kids"

You know, sometimes you get to be a part of something really special. So special you just can’t keep it to yourself anymore.

I just had that opportunity, and want you all to be in on it too. I’m not in this picture, but my heart is. The book held by Sgt. Tania Steele came from me. She recently read it to her young daughters. On videotape. From Afghanistan. How cool is that? Mommy is at war, but just pop in a tape, and BAM! She’s right there, in front of her children, Shania and S’Bria, reading their bedtime story. Sgt. Steele is the 200th Soldier to take advantage of MSGT. D. Keith Johnson’s “Read To Your Kids” program.

I was browsing www.anysoldier.com back in November when I came across MSGT. Johnson’s request for children’s books, videotapes and bubble mailers. He started the “Read To Your Kids” program a few years ago while deployed in Bosnia. It was such a huge success, he started it up again when deployed to Afghanistan this past fall. Soldiers get to pick out a book or two to read to their children on videotape, and then Johnson sends the tape and the books back to the kids. I fell in love with this idea right away- I was so impressed! I immediately sent him a stack of books, and included my email address.

MSGT. Johnson put me on his mailing list, so I now hear from him on a regular basis, including a recent story written about the 200th tape made by Sgt. Steele. If you have ever read a bedtime story to your kids, you recognize the importance of connecting with them through books.

The joy this program has brought to our Soldiers and their children is immeasurable. Many of these children wake up every day and ask to see “Mommy’s Movie” or “Daddy’s Movie”- the same “movie” they watched before going to bed the night before. MSGT. Johnson doesn’t need more books right now, but….he does need blank videotapes and bubble mailers. I would encourage you all to buy some and send them to the address listed below:

D. Keith Johnson
OMC-A PAO
APO, AE 09356

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