Manders wrote a book for young children to cope with being away from deployed military parents. (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
When parents in the military leave for deployment or training it's sometimes hard for their young children to deal with them being away.
J. D. Manders was stuck in a hard spot after he deployed about 10 years ago. His two daughters, who were 3 and 7 years-old, had a hard time dealing with him being miles away. So he decided to write a book that can help military families everywhere.
As Manders sits with his two daughters, he reads the book that helped them through a hard time a few years ago. "When I deployed in 2004, I'm in the Army National Guard and we went into Iraq," he said.
While he was deployed, he would do the normal things to make sure the girls remembered who he was. "So we made videos and I was sending letters home," said Manders.
But they still seemed to have problems adjusting. "Sarah was sleepwalking and Lilly was having a lot of nightmares and was sleeping with my wife."
After brain storming, he realized that he and his daughters bonded most during reading time.
"I really, really missed him reading to me and mom couldn't do it right, she just didn't do the voices," said his daughter Sarah.
So he decided to write them a story that would entertain and help them cope with him being gone.
"I just sent home a few chapters at a time," Manders said.
It's a story about two little girls who stumble upon lots of obstacles in their backyard. Those situations teach them how to be more independent and strong even when their parents aren't around.
The story became a big hit with the girls.
"I wasn't so much focusing on Daddy's gone, I was focusing on Daddy's sending me chapters and when is my next chapter," said Sarah.
Manders said he hopes other families will get the same benefits his kids got out of it.
The book is called "The Fairy Child." You can get a copy at Manders' book signing Friday. The event will be at Beloved Books in Lowe Mill from noon to 6 p.m.