Filling a need for our military kids!

Authored by Military Spouse Katie Marcucci, Mascot Books 2020

The Sneak Peek IML Book Chat (Read Aloud)

The Story Behind Air Force Ace

Air Force Ace, Written By Katie Marcucci and Illustrated By Junica

Anyone who has ever met a military spouse knows they are witnessing the walking definition of adaptability. Military spouses are impressively resilient, profoundly flexible, and amazingly adept at rising to any challenge. If there is a need, ask a military spouse, and she will figure out how to fulfill it- usually by herself, while her husband is deployed, with one sick child, another on her hip, and an impending category 3 hurricane looming in her direction.

Sound laughable but all too familiar? It sure does to Katie Marcucci, author of children’s story Air Force Ace, which aims to explain and demystify deployments to military kids. In 2018, while stationed in Okinawa, Japan with her USAF pilot husband, and navigating the aforementioned scenario, the need for a realistic yet gentle portrayal of deployment life, which would appeal to children, became apparent.

Though Katie, a seasoned military spouse of over a decade, and her two young children were no strangers to deployments, her son’s increasing age and awareness of his father’s absence caused him to ask many tough questions, for which Katie felt ill-equipped to answer. Like all military moms, Katie knew these tough questions needed real answers, but she struggled to find the right way to respond.

Where there wasn’t a clear path, Katie chose to pave her own. Using the lens of the beloved family pet, Katie’s children inspired her to write and eventually publish Air Force Ace; the adventurous story of a military family’s dog who smuggles himself aboard his dad’s deployment bound aircraft, seeking to discover answers for himself and the family left behind. It is a tender, reassuring, yet realistic illustration of deployment, which every military family, regardless of branch, will relate to. “Air Force Ace is the perfect book to help your little ones understand the big transition that is a deployment. Ace’s homecoming is both endearing and so, so helpful when reading to your children and letting them know that this too shall pass,” reviewed Meredith Nye, Air Force spouse and mother of two. Katie has indeed fulfilled a need!

Since Air Force Ace’s publication with Mascot Books last winter, she has done events with Travis AFB, Fort Ord Army Community Services, Military Mom’s Collective, both Kadena and Yokota Airbases, RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and Women in Aviation International. Her proudest achievement, thus far, is partnering with an array of military support agencies to provide copies of Air Force Ace to over 400 military families, at no cost to them!

Air Force Ace can be purchased through, Amazon, and Barnes &Noble. To find more information about the book, its author Katie Marcucci, and the actual family dog, Ace, check out, email at and follow on Instagram @airforceacebook and like on Facebook: “Air Force Ace, a Children’s Book”.

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