This week we had the opportunity to chat with Athens Pellegrino, author of The Military Child Chronicles.
Athens was inspired to write a children’s book focused on resilient military children while she was pregnant with her daughter Callista. During this pregnancy Athens’ family was preparing for a PCS from Montgomery, AL to Tampa, FL and she realized that the older her son Atticus gets, the more difficult PCS transitions will be. As he grows he will establish relationships with friends and attachments to certain locations that he will not want to leave behind. This realization led Athens to create a resource that military families could use to help their children process the difficulties that come with the military lifestyle – a children’s book.
Mission: My First PCS
The Military Child Chronicles: Mission: My First PCS focuses on a young boy (Athens’ son Atticus) and the thoughts and emotions he has as his family experiences a PCS. The reader watches Atticus learn what it means to PCS – leaving what is familiar, traveling a large distance, packing and unpacking, and beginning at a new school.
The story takes time to focus on each element of a PCS, helping to make the transition easier to digest for our young readers. At first, Atticus does not want to leave his friends and teachers but Mommy and Daddy reassure him that they will support him throughout this experience. Atticus is told that he will no longer have to share a room with his baby sister and that he can help plan where the family will stop on their road trip. Daddy also spends quality time with Atticus both immediately before and immediately after their road trip, first with a final campout in their backyard and then with a beach day when they arrive in Florida. As the new home is decorated and Atticus begins class as his new school, the reader sees his attitude change from uncertainty to excitement.
The story has an underlying message of support, patience, and care that can assist both parents and children as their family prepares for a PCS.
Grit & Resilience
Athens has been a military spouse for over 12 years, including 8 PCSs, which has allowed her many opportunities to learn and grow, and consequently has provided her with the necessary tools to write and publish a book in the height of a pandemic, with a newborn, while adjusting to a new home, and while working full-time.
The biggest challenge Athens faced while completing The Military Child Chronicles was that her family PCS’d seven days after Callista was born to an area that was the epicenter of Covid at the time. Soon after relocating Athens returned to work full-time, leaving the time when she was up at night with Callista as her only time to write. Despite being severely sleep deprived and constantly worried about raising a newborn and 19-month-old in the midst of a pandemic, Athens completed The Military Child Chronicles due to the grit and resilience she gained as a military spouse.
You can do it!
Athens encourages fellow military spouses who are interested in writing to just do it! As a portable career you are able to write despite all the moves and life transitions we experience. If there is a story that has been on your heart recently, get it down on paper and evaluate how you feel. Becoming an author may be the best decision you’ve ever made.
About the Author
Originally from Ocean City, New Jersey, Athens attended St. Joseph’s University, where she met her husband and obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration. Athens continued her education at Troy University where she received a Master of Public Administration and currently serves the United States Air Force as a Budget Analyst and military spouse.
Athens has two children, Atticus and Callista.
Check out Athens recent interview with Spectrum News 9 here: