Grissom Airman authors children’s book

  • Published
  • By SrA Jonathan Stefanko
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing

Deployments are a stressful moment in every military family’s life. These crucial times can be filled with uncertainty and confusion, but a Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana Airman hopes to bring some peace-of-mind through her new children’s book titled 'A Soldier’s Story'.

Tech. Sgt. Lucille Reyna, a Logansport, Indiana resident assigned as a paralegal with the 434th Air Refueling Wing channeled her love for storytelling into a poem to help educate families on what deployments are like through the lens of a service member.

“My intent for this book is to provide children with something which would help them understand, in a kid-friendly way, why their parent may be gone,” Reyna said. “This project is very special to me because my kids did live it, and I can still remember how I felt to leave for the first time—I hope other parents who are service members can use this book as a resource they could relate to and share.”

The 28-page book highlights what a service member may experience while on a deployment in a child-friendly way and includes illustrations drawn by Lucille’s daughter, Sienna Urbina.

The mother and daughter team worked steadily on the book and used this project to combine their love to create.

“While I may not share the same passion for writing as my mom, I have always felt drawn to art,” Sienna said. “I find imagery to be an easier medium to express myself.”

Reyna initially wrote the poem while deployed to Mosul, Iraq, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, from April 2003 to March 2004.

“My son’s teacher had the class send me a care package, and I wanted to send something back in return,” she said. “I decided to write this poem for them so they could get a visualization of where I was and what I was doing.

“This was also a great way for me to help my own children better understand why I had to leave and that I was safe while sharing some of the things I was going through.”

At the time Lucille was serving as a military police offer in the Army and used writing to help cope with her first deployment.

“I’ve always loved writing, and it helped me through,” Reyna said. “I’d journal and write notes to people—really find any reason to put pen to paper.

Publishing this book was a dream for her and she hopes this accomplishment will inspire others to pursue their passion.

“I love to write, and I’ve wanted to do this book for what seems like forever,” she said. “While it took a while to finally sit down and do it, finishing this book feels amazing and I hope it inspires my kids to find what they are passionate about and take the stand to pursue and accomplish their dreams too.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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