Family time is something that any family holds dear, and one of those special moments spent by parents with their children is story time at bedtime. That, however, is a luxury that a number of deployed parents do not get to enjoy with their children.
Operation Record A Story is an effort of the San Diego-based United Through Reading program. It helps service members record stories for their children prior to deployment, or while they are serving at sea or abroad.
The program sends books, as well as DVDs of parents reading the stories in the books, to children for the holidays. The parent’s voice may also be embedded into the book, such that the child hears his or her parent’s voice as every page of the book is turned.
It is great initiative that provide military parents whose work does not allow for a lot of story-telling at bedtime with the next best thing: a recorded bedtime story that their children can listen to while they are away.
Among those who participated in the program is Petty Officer 2nd Class Lonnie Harris Jr., a fire controlman stationed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in Everett, Washington. He was deployed last Christmas, but sent a book to surprise his children for the holidays, even though he could not physically be around.
Harris’ wife, Kelitha, shared: “To hear his voice around bedtime for the kids is such an important part of parenting in general… For them to be able to hear him before they go to bed, it puts a smile on my face. It’s always nice to hear his voice.”