|The book that caused distress.|
She wrote a book that is intended to support these children.
(I wrote the following supportive post about the book without realizing that it is controversial in the community of military families. I am not changing the post based on the comments after it–otherwise the comments won't make sense. The large number of negative comments about the book following the post stem from pride in the traditional term "BRATs"–and a reluctance to give it up.)
I know what it's like for a child when one parent has to be away from home as part of a job. My Dad was in the United Nations -- literally from its formation -- he was in San Francisco for the U.S. Government delegation in 1945. He traveled all over the world for the next 20 years, after having been away in Europe for the OSS during World War II. So he was away from home more of the year than he was home. We all missed him. His six kids were UN brats. We were very proud of what he did for the world but on the whole we would have preferred he had a job closer to home.
The Little CHAMPS (Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel) have an additional burden besides a missing parent and the fear that some harm might come to the parent while away. The parent who is away for the military is at a war or conflict or is preparing to go to one. Children have to get used to the idea that someone, somewhere is an enemy of the United States and their parent is in the front line, ready to take a bullet or a bomb for the rest of the country. The Little CHAMPS book (Fink, Fink, and Blackwell, 2012) is written as a tribute to these kids, to honor their service-by-proxy to their country and to offer constructive coping tools for their inherent challenges.
It is also written for civilian children, to give them a window of understanding into the world and challenges faced by their military-connected peers. In this way, the book is a bridge of understanding between the disconnected military and civilian worlds.
The book is promoted by Operation CHAMPs and is supported by the USO, American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Military Child Education Coalition, National Military Family Association, United Through Reading, Armed Services YMCA and Blue Star Families. All five military branches' NGOs are also on board: AUSA Family Readiness, Air Force Association, Navy League, Marine Corps League, and the Coast Guard Foundation.
An estimated 600,000+ 5-12 year old Champs are the target audience. This is a public health and education initiative. Individual copies of The Little CHAMPS are available for purchase for $10 each. This is a useful book and a good cause.