My Heart is In Afghanistan
A picture book to help children of military families cope when a parent is deployed far from home. How do you explain to a child that one of their parents will be gone for an extended time and you don’t know exactly when they’ll be back?
About the Author
My Heart is in Afghanistan first dawned into my life around 2011. The main character, Lizzie’s story of what life is like when your father is deployed indefinitely to another country for military service captivated me. How do you explain to a child that one of their parents will be gone for an extended time and you don’t know exactly when they’ll be back?
My husband served in the US Army before we met. He joined the Army National Guard the same year I gave birth to twins in 2004. Then, my husband was offered a large re-enlistment bonus and told that he would be sent away for 3 months of training right after he re-enlisted. I balked. I did not want to be alone with a 5-year old and baby twins. Even though he had a strong desire to serve his county, I convinced him that at that time he was needed too much by his own family.
I’ve always felt guilty about that when I think of all the young children and spouses who sacrifice and give up having their loved ones. This fueled my desire to help. Lizzie and her story was born from that. I hope to help children whose parents are deployed in the military by sharing a story that they can relate to and make them feel that they are understood and not alone. After publication, a portion of net proceeds will benefit charities such as Fold of Honor that give children of fallen and disabled soldiers college scholarships (NO Kickstarter funds will be donated to charity, only a portion of the proceeds from the sale of books after all the Kickstarter rewards have been fulfilled.).
The manuscript won 3rd place in the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Carolinas picture book writing competition in 2014. Continuing to refine the story has been a labor of love and I am so excited to finally say the manuscript is ready for publication. I’ve decided to self publish to speed up the process — I’ve been waiting a long time to meet Lizzie!! Also, it will give me more control of the creative process, the ability to choose the illustrator and dedicate a bigger percentage of profits to charities that benefit military children.
Michelle Martin Dobbins
This is a great book for children of soldiers and also for children who don’t know about military life. It’s a hard thing for children to have their parent’s be deployed and harder still because other people who haven’t experienced it don’t always understand. This book could help those feel more understood and cared about.
– Marilyn Walker