A new book for military children funded through a Kickstarter project aims for one very simple goal: to make military kids feel like what they experience is normal.
"My Heart Is In Afghanistan," written by a former National Guard spouse and children's book author, focuses on fictional military child Lizzie, whose father is deployed to Afghanistan. Rather than walking the child reader through questions about whether or not she feels the same things Lizzie does, the story simply shares what Lizzie going through.
Author Michelle Martin Dobbins says her hope is that the story helps normalize the emotions kids have when a parent is deployed for a long period of time. The illustrations also purposefully depict a diverse family, rather than a white, blond-haired, blue-eyeed little girl, Dobbins said.
Getting a book published is no small feat, and Dobbins said she is using the Kickstarter campaign, which asks participants to contribute to the book's publishing fees in exchange for rewards, to both drum up publicity for the project and cover costs. Her Kickstarter goal, $5,000, covers the cost of the first run and giving gifts to the backers.
Dobbins' own children have never really experienced military life, and her interest in the project is partially fueled by guilt she feels over that, she said. Her husband served in the National Guard after their marriage, but declined to reenlist shortly after she gave birth to twins.
"It's just kind of my way of giving back because my kids haven’t had to do that, they haven’t had have their father deployed and disdnt have to do that," she said.