Renee Walker is the author and illustrator of the children’s picture book My Letter to Daddy. She was inspired to write the book for her children during her husband’s third deployment, and later published the book to support military children of all branches of service to express their various feelings during times of family separation or deployment. Renee is an Air Force military spouse stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas.
As a military spouse, what are you most proud of accomplishing creatively?
“This children’s book has illustrations I created that reflect our own military family’s experiences during deployment. Every drawing is significant and incites feelings. With my two university degrees in teaching and Spanish, I didn’t know if I was capable of creating illustrations for my book, but with time and research, I was able to create what I was envisioning for this book!”
My Letter to Daddy is a children’s book that you wrote and illustrated. How did you get inspired to create and share your story? Tell us about the premise, and why it should be on the summer reading list for our military children.
“I wrote this book to help my own children through deployment, as they were so young and unable to use their words to express their feelings. I needed a book that was narrated in first person to give them an example of how to communicate their emotions. I also struggled to find a children’s book that was military branch neutral, so I decided to write my own! This book is narrated through the eyes of a child missing their daddy and feeling alone. But through the loneliness, the child recalls good memories, is reminded of the importance of daddy’s job, and most importantly, is constantly reminded that they are still loved despite the distance.”
Recently, you have collaborated with other military spouses to create a new social media platform. What is the main intent for your platform, and where can we go to find this new community?
“Yes! From my time on Instagram, I have connected with amazing military spouses stationed all around the world. I built a relationship with these friends through their genuine comments that showed their amazing character and kindness. The military spouse community is tight because we share similar struggles that make it easy to empathize. This new Instagram group @MilspouseCommunity is to share our stories to build relationships, connect with other spouses stationed close to us, and support each other through the tough times.”