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A Kid's Journey of Grief, TAPS Edition
Coloring and activity book for grieving military kids       
Authors: R.N. abd Jo Anne Chung, B.S.R.N Susan K. Beeney
Copyright @ 2005
Request your copy from TAPS
Ages 5-12

Available through TAPS: If a child or children in your life have lost a loved one in the armed forces, please request a copy of A Kids Journey of Grief, TAPS Edition simply by letting us know your address, the ages of the children, and the name and branch of service of their loved one.

A Soldier's Star
The love and loss between a parent and child
Author:  Deborah Petty,  Copyright @ 2008
Ages 4-8

A Soldier’s Star is a heartwarming story about a little boy who loses his father in the Iraqi war. He is devastated by the death of his father and finds himself to be very angry and hurt. But he soon finds out that their love is stronger than death, and with a little faith and a little hope some wishes do come true, even if they are only in your dreams. The little boy gets to see his father one last time and the lesson he learns from this very special visit will carry him thoughout his life. This story is based upon a real life little boy named Oliver who struggled to come to terms with his own father’s death in 2006.

Fire in My Heart, Ice in My Veins
A journal for teenagers experiencing a loss
Author: Enid Samuel Traisman, Copyright @ 1992

Teens can write letters, copy down meaningful lyrics, write songs and poems, tell the person who died what they want them to know, finish business and use their creativity to work through the grieving process.

A story of honor and hope
Author: Betsy Beard, Copyright @ 2010

This beautifully illustrated, full color, hardback children's book tells the story of a young horse dreaming of fame as a racehorse. But his life is disrupted when he must leave his parents and start a new life. Faced with difficulty and disappointment, Klinger’s dream of significance seems unattainable. He then discovers that fame is not necessary, as he finds fulfillment in honoring fallen heroes and bringing comfort to their families. Based on a real horse that serves in the Caisson Platoon in Arlington National Cemetery, this work of fiction was written for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors in honor of all of America's beloved fallen heroes.

My Daddy's Heart is Purple
Author: Karl Porfirio, Copyright @ 2018

My Daddy's Heart is Purple was inspired by a father who lost his son after receiving a Purple Heart. Though the heartache of the loss always remains, so goes along with it the pride of knowing his son sacrificed for the country we so love. Because his son also left behind a son, the goal was for all children who have experienced this loss can also share the pride of their parents who loved and served their country.

My Life Continued
Free download at www.hnfs.com

My Life Continued is a bereavement journal for military children who have lost a parent or loved one who served in the military. The journal is a private place to write down thoughts and feelings and was created to help children remember and honor their loved one and help them apply that love in a productive way as they move forward in their lives.

Perch, Mrs. Sackets, and Crow's Nest
Author: Karen Pavlicin,  Copyright @ 2007
Ages 9-12

When 10-year-old Andy Parker reluctantly goes to Grandma's house for the summer, all he can think about is how much he misses his dad in heaven and his best friend Anthony, who moved away. What will he do in this sleepy small town for the entire summer? But it turns out even cow dung can be interesting and something wonderful can come from rotten apples.

FROM THE BACK COVER: Mom called this my Summer of Courage. She said that when you need courage the most is when you realize what's happened in your life and you decide to get up the next morning anyway. Mom and I did our best to keep going, to have courage. We prayed a lot. Sometimes I wondered if God ever listened. I prayed real hard for my dad to get better, but he died. I prayed that Anthony would be my best friend forever, but that was going to be harder now that we didn't live next door to each other. And I prayed that Mom would learn to cook something besides hot dogs and jelly sandwiches. I closed my eyes and prayed for God to send me a sign. Any sign he was listening. He sent me perch, Mrs. Sackets, and crow's nest.

Sesame Street's When Families Grieve
 (Free DVD resource kit)
Free at www.militaryonesource.mil

"Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve" is a DVD resource kit featuring Elmo, other Sesame Street Muppets and the courageous stories of families who have experienced the death of a parent. The bilingual (English and Spanish) kit includes a DVD, children’s storybook and guide for parents and caregivers.

Sometimes It Takes an Elephant
Author: Patricia A. Campbell, M.Div, M.S, Copyright @ 2019

Young Tiba the elephant has a lot of emotions and isn't always sure what do with them, especially when those emotions are related to loss. One day, Tiba loses a favorite hat--a reminder of a friend who moved away. Tiba becomes upset and has trouble thinking clearly. It feels like there's a whole bee's nest inside Tiba's chest. This is grief, and it happens often.

When Tiba experiences failure at school, the same negative emotions intrude. Tiba wallows in anger and sadness, but there are ways to heal even the deepest emotional wounds. It's important for young elephants to talk about their emotions and learn from loss. Sometimes, it's helpful to just look at pictures of the ones we miss--but always be open to healing.

Today, young people experience incredible pressure brought about by multiple losses in their lives and around them. More than ever, they need guidance in creating a language to express themselves and begin to cope in healthy ways. Adults also need direction in guiding youth. Sometimes It Takes an Elephant is a unique guide that allows adults to engage children about grief in an entertaining, playful way. Together, parents and children can learn to express difficult emotions and ask difficult questions.

Somewhere Special
Author: Sarah L. White, M.S, M.F.T., Copyright @ 2008

Somewhere Special takes the reader on a walk through a national cemetery and the funeral of a United States military member. There are pictures for all branches of service. The purpose of this book is to help prepare children for the symbolism and traditions they may experience and to show them that they are not alone. Somewhere Special is a book for families who have recently lost a military member as well as for those who have family members buried at our national cemeteries. This is one of many books showing support for our service members and their families.

The Hero in My Pocket
Author: Marlene Lee, Copyright @ 2005
Ages 4-8

The Hero in My Pocket gives children a voice in their grief. Suitable for 6-12 yr-olds, this unique book helps children honor their own thoughts, feelings, and memories while honoring the loss of a military service member: Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman, Coast Guardsman, or Merchant Marine. The book is not limited to widow or widower parent-loss; a child's grief for a fallen hero may be a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt/uncle, cousin, step-relation or other relative, friend, teacher, et al. Design includes interactive HERO PAGES for the child to draw or write; family-centered military themes; and warm, patriotic artwork by children. Book can be used in individual or group settings.


Books for grieving adults

A Beautiful Tragedy
A Navy SEAL widow's permission to grieve and a prescription for hope
Author: Char Fontan Westfall, Copyright @ 2020

On June 28, 2005, nineteen U.S. service members perished in the mountains of Afghanistan. The author’s husband, Navy SEAL Jacques Fontan, was one of those killed.

The mission, Operation Red Wings, has become one of the most well-known operations in contemporary warfare. Only one survivor lived to tell the harrowing story, resulting in books, speeches, and a blockbuster movie, Lone Survivor. Perhaps more importantly, the mission created much-needed public awareness and curiosity about the realities of war and survival. 

But there have been no books, speeches, or movies written about the other survivors: the women and children whose lives changed forever that summer day. While each widow and family processed the tragedy differently, Char became absorbed in anger and bitterness. Coping with grief was unfamiliar and scary to her. She hated God, whom she had trusted all her life, and blamed Him for losing her husband in such a violent manner. 

Before she knew it, she was on the front lines of a battle to regain her own life. When all seemed lost, the kindness and persistence of a neighbor brought renewed hope and restoration to her horribly broken heart in a surprising and refreshing way.

This is her story as one of the survivors of Operation Red Wings.

After the Flag has been Folded
A daughter remembers the father she lost to war--and the mother who held her family together
Author: Karen Spears Zacharias, Copyright @ 2006 

Karen Spears was nine years old, living with her family in a trailer in rural Tennessee, when her father, David Spears, was killed in the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam. It was 1966 -- in a nation being torn apart by a war nobody wanted, in an emotionally charged Southern landscape stained with racism and bigotry -- and suddenly the care and well-being of three small children were solely in the hands of a frightened young widow with no skills and a ninth-grade education. But thanks to a mother's remarkable courage, strength, and stubborn tenacity, a family in the midst of chaos and in severe crisis miraculously pulled together to achieve its own version of the American Dream.

Beginning on the day Karen learns of her father's death and ending thirty years later with her pilgrimage to the battlefield where he died, half a world away from the family's hometown, After the Flag Has Been Folded is a triumphant tale of reconciliation between a daughter and her father, a daughter and her nation -- and a poignant remembrance of a mother's love and heroism.

A Grief Observed
Author: C.S. Lewis, Copyright @ 2001

''No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.'' This intensely personal journal, written by Lewis after the death of his wife, probes the ''mad midnight moments'' of his mourning; moments when he questioned his beliefs in life and death, marriage, and even God. With brief, poignant insights, Lewis puts into words the feelings and struggles we all go through when we've lost a loved one.

Always My Hero
A sister's inspiring story of love, sacrifice, and hope
Author: Renee Nickell, Copyright @ 2019

A compelling memoir about a sister who embarks on a journey to seek purpose when her world crashes down after her Marine aviator brother is tragically killed on a ground mission in Afghanistan.

When Renee's brother, a Marine Corps aviator, is tragically killed in action, she quickly realizes that siblings are often the "forgotten mourners," fighting through PTSD with virtually no support or community. As a result, Renee shares her honest, raw, and at times, gut-wrenching account of what it is like losing a brother to war, while giving others an inside glimpse into the devastation a military family endures for the cost of freedom.  

Always My Hero takes you on a nostalgic journey through their childhood and Sam's sacrifice. This extraordinary memoir will have you laughing one moment and moved to tears the next. Get to know Sam and the amazing Marine he was through the eyes of his sister and fellow servicemen. Discover how to exchange sorrow for strength, to crawl out of the trenches of despair and finally find...hope.

A Path Through Suffering
Discovering the relationship between God's mercy and our pain
Author: Elisabeth Elliot, Copyright @ 1992

In this powerfully moving book, Elisabeth Elliot does not hesitate to ask hard questions, to examine tenderly the hurts we suffer, and to explore boldly the nature of a God whose sovereign, intimate and perfect care for us confounds our finite understanding. It's a book for anyone searching for faith, comfort and assurance. It is an honest book about the way our merciful God draws us close to Himself and expands our capacity for surrender and obedience in order that we might finally and fully share in His Resurrection glory.

A young widow's journey through brokenness and back
Author: Jennifer Silvera, Copyright @ 2009

After Jennifer's husband, a police officer, died in a line of duty accident, grief upended her life. Believe follows the story of her long road out of darkness and her struggle to believe in anything after she'd lost everything. As she recounts her journey back into the light, Jennifer offers empathy and encouragement to those who have experienced loss, including those who have been widowed far too young. In Jennifer's story, readers can find reason to believe.

'Charlie, Don't Be a Hero'
A mother's story of the extraordinary life of her son, U.S. Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV
Authors: Krista Keating-Joseph and Will G. Merrill Jr., Copyright @ 2020

'Charlie, Don't Be a Hero' is a moving story from a mother's heart about her son, Charles Keating IV, an All-American boy who grew up to become a heroic U.S. Navy SEAL. At age thirty-one, his death by ISIS in 2016 on the battlefields in Iraq made headlines worldwide.

His story, told only as a mother can tell it, is that of an extraordinary young man whose love of family and country propelled him to incredible heights as a soldier and as a person. She helps us remember that the men and women who serve our country are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers.

Krista Keating-Joseph touchingly shares the gut-wrenching emotions she and her family experienced, and how her faith in God never wavered, but strengthened

Her stories of Charlie growing up as an extremely adventurous, fun-loving boy show how he would one day be perfectly suited for the mental and physical toughness of a SEAL who ultimately made a huge difference in so many people's lives. Krista's pride in how her son lived brings support to any parent who has lost a child.

Krista Keating-Joseph is also the author of the Big-Hearted Charlie Series of children's books based on true stories of her fallen Navy SEAL son, Charles Keating IV. - LINK

Final Salute
A story of unfinished lives
Author: Jim Sheeler, Copyright @ 2009

They are the troops that nobody wants to see, carrying a message that no military family ever wants to hear. Since the start of the war in Iraq, Marines like Major Steve Beck found themselves charged with a mission they never asked for and one for which there can be no training: casualty notification. In Final Salute, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jim Sheeler weaves together the stories of the fallen, the broken homes they have left behind, and one man's effort to help heal the wounds of those left grieving. But it is not a book about war, politics, or liberal vs. conservative. Achingly beautiful and honest, it is a book that every American-every human-can embrace.

Gold Star Father
Honoring a hero, remembering a son
Author: Scott Warner, Copyright @ 2012

Gold Star father, Scott Warner, decided a couple of years ago to write a book commemorating his son, Heath. It was time. It was finally time to deal with the pain and sorrow in a way that will help others grappling with the death of a service member. Gold Star Father—Honoring a Hero, Remembering a Son not only honors his son who offered his life for our country—it also exposes the atrocities perpetrated by our government when his son’s remains were part of the Arlington National Cemetery debacle. He figures it’s time for everyone to know exactly what happened.

Grief Unveiled
A widow’s guide to navigating your journey in life after loss
Author: Sarah Nannen, Copyright @ 2018

Widowhood leaves you forever changed but does not have to mean forever suffering.

Grief Unveiled is a love letter from a widow sister that will change what you believe is possible in life after loss. This book acts as a guide to those supporting the bereaved just as it illuminates a path for anyone traveling the road of widowhood. Based on her personal experiences in grief and those of her clients, Sarah Nannen offers a deeply intimate look at widowhood through the lens of hope and possibility while honoring the depth of grief's pain. Grief Unveiled shows you how to stop just surviving and thrive in life after loss.

Healing Your Grieving Heart After a Military Death
100 practical ideas for families and friends
Authors: Bonnie Carroll and Alan D. Wolfelt PhD, Copyright @ 2015

Practical methods for healing after the loss of a member of the military

When a loved one is killed in the line of duty, this book affirms that survivors’ grief is shaped by the unique circumstances of the death. Because military deaths are almost always sudden and violent, the traumatic nature of the loss creates a two-part grief—one focused on the manner in which the person died, the other focused on the long-term repercussions of life without this special person. This guide acknowledges the unique mixture of sadness, pride, anger, and blame that often characterizes grief after a military death, including in the event of a military suicide, and offers ideas for constructively expressing thoughts and feelings. Anyone whose life has been touched by a military death will find compassionate understanding and healing guidance in the pages of this handbook.

Heart of a Hawk
One family's sacrifice and journey toward healing 
Author:  Deborah H. Tainsh, Copyright @ 2006

David and Deborah Tainsh were living the happiest years of their lives until the dark morning of February 12, 2004, when a six a.m. knock at the door brought the news that their son, Sergeant Patrick Tainsh, had been killed in Iraq. Patrick, David’s only child, was the pride of his life. He was the son who overcame a rebellious, drug-addicted youth to become an outstanding U.S. Army Cavalry Scout, posthumously awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars for saving the lives of his commanding officer and other soldiers before succumbing to his own wounds. In the wake of their loss, David and Deborah battle horrific grief and anger while trying to hold their marriage—and one another—together in an unforgettable journey toward healing.

I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye
Surviving, coping and healing after the sudden death of a loved one 
Author:  Noel Brook, Copyright @ 2008

Each year about eight million Americans suffer the death of someone close to them. Now for thse who face the challenges of sudden death, there is a hand to hold, written by two women who have experienced sudden loss. This updated edition of the best-selling bereavement classic will touch, comfort, uplift and console. Authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D. explore sudden death and offers a comforting hand to hold for those who are grieving the sudden death of a loved one.

Featured on ABC World News, Fox and Friends and many other shows, this book acts as a touchstone of sanity through difficult times. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye covers such difficult topics as the first few weeks, suicide, death of a child, children and grief, funerals and rituals, physical effects, homicide and depression. New material covers the unique circumstances of loss, men and women's grieving styles, religion and faith, myths and misunderstandings, I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye reflects the shifting face of grief. 

These pages have offered solace to over eighty thousand people, ranging from seniors to teenagers and from the newly bereaved to those who lost a loved one years ago. Individuals engulfed by the immediate aftermath will find a special chapter covering the first few weeks.

Tapping their personal histories and drawing on numerous interviews, authors Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D, explore unexpected death and its role in the cycle of life. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye provides survivors with a rock-steady anchor from which to weather the storm of pain and begin to rebuild their lives.

Lament for a Son
Author: Nicholas Wolterstorff, Copyright @ 1987

Lament for a Son is a simple, honest, and poignant expression of one man's grief, but it is more. By sharing the depths of his grief, not in trite phrases but honestly, Nicholas Wolterstorff helps open the floodgates for those who grieve and those who, in love, reach out to comfort. Wolterstorff's words are, indeed, 'salve on our wounds.' Thank God he did not remain silent. -- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Military Parents
We regret to inform you
Author:  Joanne M. Steen

Joanne Steen, author, counselor and military survivor, once again responds to an unmet need with a trustworthy, vital and repeatedly asked-for resource.  This upcoming and critically needed survival guide will help Gold Star mothers and fathers who bear the burden of living the ultimate sacrifice made by their sons and daughters.

The loss of a son or daughter is devastating under any circumstances, for no parent ever expects to outlive a child. But it becomes more complicated when the death occurs in the line of duty.

Military Widow
A survival guide
Author:  Joanne M. Steen, M. Regina Asaro, Copyright @ 2006 

This survival guide for widows of service personnel, a first-of-its-kind, tackles the unique and complex issues arising from the death of a spouse in the military. It speaks to loss in each of the service branches, across the span of rank and rates, and offers invaluable insights and practical strategies for dealing with this life-altering tragedy. The authors expertly blend personal experience with guidance from leading experts on grief and traumatic loss and translate ten years of lessons learned into an effective guide. Short, easy-to-read chapters provide realistic profiles of widows and their responses to loss and the complications generated in the unique world of the military, as well as insight on how to make difficult decisions and cope with everyday situations. Although written primarily for the widow, this book will also prove useful to other family members, friends, and military professionals.

Providing Promise
A Navy widow's journey to hope
Author: Kris Rystrom Emmert, Copyright @ 2021
Audiobook - LINK
E-book - LINK

I saw stripes going by my dining room windows. Naval stripes. Stripes on dress blues. What are naval officers coming to my house on a Friday morning while Jon is at sea? In an instant, time stopped.

Embark on a life-changing encounter as you journey through the remarkable life and death of an accomplished naval flight officer and his grieving widow's path from unimaginable heartache to unstoppable hope. With captivating and highly accurate military scenes, excerpts of touching long-distance love letters, and raw, unfiltered emotions, Providing Promise isn’t just another memoir--it is a lifeline. Experience your own inner healing and uncover your God-given destiny as you walk alongside one who has seen firsthand how God can turn tragedy into triumph. “I pray that my story of heartache to hope will inspire people to find answers to their hard questions in the midst of their suffering. God is faithful to walk with us through difficult circumstances. He provides promise for us and heals us by taking something unbelievably awful and turning it into something truly good.” Discussion guide included. (Also available as an e-book or audio book.)

A portion of the proceeds from Providing Promise is being donated to the VAW-VRC Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information about this fund or to donate, visit vvosa.org.

Sacred Shadow, Sacred Ground
A Vietnam War widow's journey through unresolved grief
Author: Glenda M. Carter, Copyright @ 2004

After losing her husband, Bruce, Sept. 11, 1968, who was killed in Vietnam, author Glenda M. Carter spent a large portion of her life with unresolved grief. At the beginning of the new millenium, Glenda began a journey that few have faced with such courage and resolve. Sacred Shadow, Sacred Ground is a chronicle of her journey. Glenda invites you to walk with her and perhaps find resolution to your own unresolved grief or conflict.

Surviving the Folded Flag
Parents of war share stories of coping, courage, and faith
Author:  Deborah H. Tainsh,  Copyright @ 2010

Author and Gold Star mom Deborah Tainsh has gathered essays from more than twenty-five parents who received the dreaded news that their child had died in military service. These invaluable stories show how today's military families are surviving the folded flag and give a glimpse into the lives of fallen service members and their families. Also includes advice for other Gold Star families, their friends, and family members. 

Bonus essays from a casualty notification officer and a former soldier give deeper insight into how wartime death affects comrades left behind.

The Knock at the Door
Three Gold Star families bonded by grief and purpose
Authors: Ryan Manion, Amy Looney Heffernan, Heather Kelly
Copyright @ 2020

Three Gold Star women, linked forever by unimaginable loss, share their inspiring, unlikely journey that began on the worst day of their lives.

What happens when tragedy knocks on your front door?

For us, it was a literal knock, with two men standing in crisply pressed uniforms. They had news. News that gutted us to the core -- the death of our loved ones, a brother and two husbands -- in combat zones. The thing about those moments is that it's almost inconceivable that they can happen to you. That is, until they do.

This book is for anyone who has ever received a knock at the door. And if you live long enough and have the courage to love others, you will. Maybe it's a cancer diagnosis. Maybe it's the death of your best friend. The betrayal of a spouse. The loss of a child. The implosion of a professional career. Or any tragedy that takes the person we love the most away from us too soon. Life is not without its challenges. The key is how you respond.

This is our story. The story of three women, bonded by grief and purpose. Grief because we lost our best friends in war. Purpose because we resolved -- together -- to do something about it. To turn loss into inspiration for others and to channel the love that we had for the men in our lives into love for others through service. It was the only way we could escape the trap of despair and inaction, and we believe it offers a roadmap for anyone else who has ever had to answer a knock at the door.

They Shall Live
In the words of America's Gold Star Mothers
(Documentary companion book)
Authors: Daniel J. Roberts, Ryan P. MacNamara, Nicholas A. Forte III
 Copyright @ 2012

They Shall Live: In the Words of America’s Gold Star Mothers is a companion book to the upcoming documentary They Shall Live, a film examining the lives and sacrifices of American Gold Star Mothers. Gold Star Mothers represent a unique identity in American society, both contemporary and historical – they are the mothers of our fallen service members whose lifelong sacrifice to our nation is often overlooked after the troops return home. They Shall Live aims to document the human experiences of Gold Star Mothers of all generations and their families while bridging the gap between service and civilian culture. They Shall Live: In the Words of America’s Gold Star Mothers will serve as a supplement to the film, comprised of memoirs and wisdom from mothers nationwide, their experiences as mothers of departed children, the commitment to preserve the legacy of their child’s sacrifice, and the means by which they obtained strength and hope. This companion book and the film currently in production will let the voices of American Gold Star Mothers nationwide be heard, a population of American society whose story is one of strength, courage, and enduring love.

Unremarried Widow
A memoir
Author: Artis Henderson, Copyright @ 2015

“A frank, poignant memoir about an unlikely marriage, a tragic death in Iraq, and the soul-testing work of picking up the pieces” (People) in the tradition of such powerful bestsellers as Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and Carole Radziwill’s What Remains.

Artis Henderson was a free-spirited young woman with dreams of traveling the world and one day becoming a writer. Marrying a conservative Texan soldier and becoming an Army wife was never part of her plan, but when she met Miles, Artis threw caution to the wind and moved with him to a series of Army bases in dusty Southern towns, far from the exotic future of her dreams. If this was true love, she was ready to embrace it.

But when Miles was training and Artis was left alone, she experienced feelings of isolation and anxiety. It did not take long for a wife’s worst fears to come true. On November 6, 2006, the Apache helicopter carrying Miles crashed in Iraq, leaving twenty-six-year-old Artis—in official military terms—an “unremarried widow.” 

In this memoir Artis recounts not only the unlikely love story she shared with Miles and her unfathomable recovery in the wake of his death—from the dark hours following the military notification to the first fumbling attempts at new love—but also reveals how Miles’s death mirrored her own father’s, in a plane crash that Artis survived when she was five years old and that left her own mother a young widow. Unremarried Widow is “a powerful look at mourning as a military wife….You can finish it in a day and find yourself haunted weeks later” (The New York Times Book Review).

Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Understanding life after a loved one's death & understanding how to help the bereaved around us
Author: Kimberly Rose Carolan, Copyright @ 2009

Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death is a book about one of the most uncomfortable subjects people will face--death. Written from a Christian perspective, it relates to the anatomy of grief, bereavement, and what people around those who have tasted the death of a loved one may be looking for from their friends. Delving into what the Bible says about grief and what friends and survivors can do to effectively minister to those grieving, the books practical guidelines will help both grievers and those trying to help their bereaved friends and family overcome their loss.

We Regret to Inform You
A survival guide for Gold Star Parents and those who support them
Author: Joanne Steen, Copyright @ 2019

A compassionate guide to help Gold Star parents cope with the grief and loss of their military son or daughter.

Author Joanne Steen tackles the subject that terrifies parents of military personnel―the death of their son or daughter on active duty. In short, easy-to-read chapters Gold Star parents find thoughtful explanations and trustworthy advice for coping with military grief. Steen weaves together realistic examples with voices of other Gold Star parents, connecting the readers to the wisdom of those parents who have walked in their shoes.

Chapters for relatives, friends, and professional service providers of Gold Star parents are also included, supplying them with what they need to know about military loss; what to expect in the parents; and best practices on what to say and ways to help support them. Gold Star parents will find a path to survive their life-changing loss and develop the resilience to move forward.

Joanne Steen has more than twenty years’ experience in the grief and loss field, with a specialty in military loss. She is a board-certified counselor, instructor, Gold Star widow, and the founder of Grief Solutions, a training company on grief, loss and resilience. Steen is also the coauthor of Military Widow: A Survival Guide (Naval Institute Press, 2006)

Where the Water Meets the Sand
A memoir
Author: Tyra Manning, Copyright @ 2016

Author Tyra Manning learned that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War from her psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic, where she had been hospitalized for clinical depression. After years of battling addiction and depression, and coping with the tragic loss of her father at a very early age, Tyra's worst fear had come true. Larry had been shot down over the Laotian jungle while flying a top-secret mission, just two weeks before their daughter s second birthday.

In this beautifully written, poignant memoir, Tyra Manning recounts how she was able to persevere in the face of devastating loss. With courage, love, and determination, she overcame her grief and fulfilled promises she made to Larry before he left for Vietnam. She ultimately earned a doctorate of education from the University of Kansas and became one of the nation's top school superintendents.

When Tyra received a call from the air force in 2006, she was able to keep one last promise to Larry. His remains had finally been excavated after thirty-five years, and she was able to honor his wish to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Where the Water Meets the Sand explores themes of loss, depression, addiction, courage, and love and offers hope to individuals and families who have also dealt with the loss of someone close to them.

World Changer: A Mother's Story
The unbreakable spirit of U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn
Author: Karen Vaughn, Copyright @ 2018 

On August 6, 2011, 30 American soldiers aboard Extortion 17 perished in the single greatest loss of Navy SEAL lives. Among them - Aaron Carson Vaughn, a small-town boy who grew up in the hills of Tennessee and lived a life larger than most. Told through the eyes of Karen, Aaron's mother, this tender story of faith, family, and love grips the heart and shows how one family raised an American warrior filled with courage, tenacity, and patriotism. The Vaughn's story is not one about war or about a grieving family, but rather one of triumph and God's sustaining grace. Woven throughout Karen's story is practical advice for today's parents. Also included at the end is a study guide for those who desire to go deeper and learn how to raise children who live life so well that they leave a legacy.

Yours, Very Sincerely And Respectfully
The true story of the Gold Star Ride Foundation's 2018 journey across, around and through America, honoring Gold Star families
Authors: Anthony Price and Keith Carey, Copyright @ 2019

In the summer of 2012, one man was introduced to the idea of our nation’s Gold Star Families in a very personal way.

Since that day, that one man has worked tirelessly to find a means and method to do anything to promote the honor of any Gold Star Family in the United States; even if it meant going to another country.
Born the ninth child in a family of thirteen, Anthony Price has never had it easy. And that may have been the ingredient needed to live out this story.

Yours, Very Sincerely and Respectfully is that story. Taking the closing line from Abraham Lincoln’s famous Bixby Letter, the title encapsulates the message in five words better than any other description.

The story laid out in this book tells everything. It tells you how it began. It tells you why Gold Star Families are important. It details the pitfalls of starting a charity, raising money, and the dangers of riding a motorcycle nearly twenty thousand miles to get the mission accomplished.

The story explains how someone with a dream, passion, and maybe an insane amount of stubbornness will win the day. Persistence will bring ideas to light more than any other ingredient.
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Operation We Are Here is a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
Military support is not a concept to embrace; military support is sacrificial action. Visit our military support TOOLKIT.
Gold Star family books for adults, teens & children

Return to Loved Ones of the Fallen Resource Directory - LINK
Return to Books for the Military Community & Supporters - LINK
Memorial Day Books - LINK

Scroll down to view books on loss & grief for:
Children & teens

Books for grieving children & teens

Benita Koeman of Operation We Are Here is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you purchase a product that is linked to Amazon, I earn a small commission which in turn helps me to continue with my mission of providing resources to the military community and military supporters. Learn more...
Gold Star family books for grieving adults, teens & children #Military
Resources for supporters of military and veteran families
  • Practical insights in caring for
             Home front families
             Military personnel
             PTSD, wounded warriors
             Loved ones of the fallen

Military and veteran family resources
  • Christian encouragement
  Bibles, devotionals, studies
  Bible verses that offer hope
  Of grace and gratitude
             peer support, sexual assault,
             suicide prevention
  • Deployment support for
  Military personnel
  Military spouses
  Military children, teens
  • Downloads and printables
  Brat Town Bugle TM
  Coloring pages
  Flat Brat TM
  Military house ornament

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