"It’s Time to Say Goodbye"
We are Ryan and Kim Pease and we are currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. We have been an Air Force family for 14 years and have 4 kids, ages 12, 10, 6, and 4.
Have you ever thought about the immense sacrifice our military kids go through at any one of the many transitional periods in their parent’s career?
After 4 PCS moves (and another one under way), a deployment, and countless TDYs, we certainly have.We remember lying awake one night after receiving orders to move from San Antonio, TX to Alaska… Kim and I lamented on all the things our kids would have to say goodbye to. Some of their most precious memories involved going outside and playing with any combination of the 18 kids we had in our Texas-sized cul-de-sac. That same night, I wrote a poem that would later be re-written with Kim’s help to become a children’s book. After discovering that 84% of military kids move at least six times in their childhood, we felt inspired to do something to help our military community.
So, we wrote a book titled, “It’s Time to Say Goodbye” geared toward military kids which can also be a tool for parents, bringing hope and reassurance to the households of U.S. military families across the world. While the story itself is fun and cute, our favorite part of the book is in the back, where there are activity pages for families.
Inspired by one of our special children who is on the spectrum for autism, we wanted something with visual cues for younger kids to be able to communicate their feelings. Many young children find it difficult to describe or explain their feelings and emotions, which can lead to meltdowns and helpless, frustrated parents. Behavioral therapists and social scientists have long prescribed the use of visual aids to bridge that challenging gap, offering young kids a way to communicate with their parents. With that component built in—as well as discussion prompts for parents to have with older kids—we wrote this book to be a resource to military families with all age groups.
It has been almost a year since publication and we are grateful for the success we have had in getting it into hundreds of homes, but there’s much more work to be done. Military kids are incredibly resilient and have to learn valuable life skills such as adaptability and independence and we are proud to serve this community in any way we can!