AMVETS in Action

Category: Frontpage

AMVETS Announces Thanksgiving Sweepstakes Winners

LANHAM, Md., November 23, 2015 — AMVETS leaders this week congratulated AMVETS 2015 Thanksgiving Sweepstakes grand prize winner Perry Tucker. AMVETS National Executive Director James B. King personally called Perry Tucker to congratulate him on winning the $10,000 sweepstakes grand prize.

AMVETS selected the 10 lucky sweepstakes winners from approximately 105,000 entries from around the country for prizes ranging from $500 to the $10,000 grand prize. The drawing took place today at the AMVETS National Headquarters in Lanham, MD.

Proceeds from the sweepstakes help support AMVETS’ continuing mission to deliver quality of life programs for veterans and their families. Be sure to look for the next AMVETS Sweepstakes entry form in the mail in February 2016.

2015 Thanksgiving Sweepstakes winners:

$10,000.00 – Perry Tucker, Burke, NY
$5,000.00 – George Swanson, Naples, FL
$2,500.00 – David D. Vander Hyde, Newaygo, MI
$1,000.00 – John T. Heron, Edmore, MI
$500.00 – Brett Thomas Lamour, Lambertville, MI
$500.00 – G. Northway, Clarence, NY
$500.00 – Edwin Sanborn, Medway, OH
$500.00 – Darrell E. Jensen, Audubon, IA
$500.00 – Bryant S. Mitchell, Louisville, TN
$500.00 – Rose Nemeth, Hillsboro, MO

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit

An Open Letter to Dr. Ben Carson from Leading Veterans Organizations

Dear Dr. Carson:

As leaders of the nation’s largest veterans organizations, with more than 5 million active members, we vehemently disagree with your dangerous proposal to eliminate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system for America’s veterans. Eliminating the VA health care system – considering all that it has done in the past and all that it could be in the future – would inevitably endanger the health and well-being of millions of wounded, injured and ill veterans, an outcome that we cannot allow to occur.

Dr. Carson, we do not question your intentions to improve the lives of those who have served; your life’s work speaks clearly to your dedication to the lives of others. Nor do we dispute your observation that VA today faces very serious problems and challenges in providing health care and benefits. Each of our organizations has criticized VA whenever it has faltered or failed, as has too often been the case in recent years. But because our primary concern is about ensuring the best possible outcomes for the men and women who served, we have also proposed thoughtful and responsible reforms that if enacted, and properly resourced, could make VA great again.

While we certainly respect your medical credentials, we are concerned that your current knowledge of the VA is both outdated and inaccurate. We recognize that you received a significant part of your medical training in the VA (as has the majority of America’s doctors); however, the VA you worked in over three decades ago is dramatically different than the VA of today or even ten years ago. The post-Vietnam VA health care system that you observed firsthand during your medical education and subsequent residency operated a system of large hospitals typically located only in major cities. That VA no longer exists. Today the VA system is an integrated, tiered network of more than 1,400 outpatient clinics, medical centers, hospitals, and clinical research facilities, affiliated with hundreds of medical schools and universities.

In reading your recent op-ed in USA Today, it appears to us that you have not been provided with complete and accurate information on how the VA health care system has evolved. Your claim that VA health care has not modernized to meet the changing needs of veterans is simply not borne out by the facts. For example, in just the past dozen years, VA has developed a national integrated system of polytrauma centers and research efforts to address the devastating traumatic injuries from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly traumatic brain injury (TBI). Long the world leader in diagnosing and treating PTSD, VA also has now become the first and perhaps only large scale health care system to fully integrate mental health into its primary care system nationally. Over the past five years VA has also updated its model of care to integrate and support over 20,000 family caregivers of severely injured veterans, not only to allow them to receive care in their homes and reduce government spending, but also to increase the emotional support so critical for their recovery and healing.

VA’s clinical research programs have helped to improve medical diagnosis, treatment and health outcomes for the entire U.S. population. It was VA scientists who developed the original nicotine patch and proved the benefits of low dose aspirin therapy to prevent heart attacks. Closer to your own field of medicine, VA researchers demonstrated that therapy with electrodes implanted into the brain was better than medication at controlling tremors and movement problems in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Carson, do you really think that veterans would be better off today had VA not existed, or that they would be better cared for in the future in a world without a national VA system dedicated to their unique and often complex needs?

Furthermore, your suggestion that giving veterans health savings accounts in lieu of access to a VA health care system would effectively diminish our nation’s sacred obligation to “care for him who shall have borne the battle…” It would put the onus on the veteran for finding their own health care providers, navigating through the private market-based system, determining whether it meets the standard of care they require, and dealing with the consequences if it goes awry. To suggest that disabled veterans could be sent out into the private economy with a health savings account card overlooks the fact that civilian health care providers have waiting lists of their own, that private practices often limit the number of government plan patients they accept due to low reimbursement rates, and presupposes that civilian doctors have the necessary skillsets and training to meet the unique health needs of military veterans.

Dr. Carson, as one of our nation’s preeminent medical practitioners, you are well positioned to work with us to promote needed reforms at the VA, reforms that will ensure this country keeps its promises to America’s veterans. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and open a dialogue about the benefits of a national health care system focused exclusively on veterans. America’s veterans have earned the right to a VA system that provides veteran-centric, high quality, accessible health care. We invite you to join with us in an effort to strengthen and reform the VA, not destroy it.


Garry Augustine, Executive Director, Washington Headquarters, DAV
Robert E. Wallace, Executive Director, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Verna L. Jones, Executive Director, The American Legion
Homer S. Townsend, Jr., Executive Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America
Stewart M. Hickey, National Executive Director, AMVETS
Robert Puskar, National Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Paul J. Rieckhoff, Executive Director, IAVA
VADM Norbert R. Ryan, Jr., USN (Ret), President, Military Officers Association of America

Fixes to Reform VA Put Veterans First

LANHAM, MD, Sept 9, 2015 – Veterans must come first. The AMVETS (American Veterans) support viable plans and initiatives that provide veterans with real choice and that ensure the VA is held accountable for the services it provides to our veterans and their families.

Because AMVETS firmly believes veterans should have the liberty to take advantage of the benefits they have earned, we are proud to support the core principles embodied in the “Fixing Veterans Health Care Bipartisan Policy Taskforce” report, sponsored by Concerned Veterans for America (CVA).

These core principles, embodied in the taskforce’s reform proposals, are a necessary first step in implementing viable solutions that benefit veterans and address the problems impacting them and their families.

The taskforce’s proposals give veterans true health care choice, whether they want to keep using the VA system, or use their benefits at a provider better suited to their needs.

Specifically, the taskforce’s proposed reforms transfer ultimate authority on health care decisions from the VA to the veteran, while also preserving the current “brick and mortar” VA hospital system, supporting the important research and training functions the VA has so long provided, and modernizing it so that it can provide the highest quality of care and effectively respond to the challenges represented by the coming demographic changes in the veteran population.

Ultimately, veterans should be able to choose where, when and how to get their quality health care. Under the reforms of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA), passed by Congress in 2014, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) serves as the “gatekeeper” for care and limits the number of veterans who qualify for private health care choices. Geographic restrictions are made based on VA facilities, not where veterans receive care, and wait-time restrictions are based on what the VA deems “medically necessary,” not when a veteran requests an appointment. Even with the choice card program, the VA still exercises significant control of veterans’ health care choices. The VA’s self-determined role as the gatekeeper of Veterans’ health care choice must stop. The VACAA is a good first step, but it is a temporary one whose funding is expected to run out in a few years. In the end, VACAA has kept the VA bureaucracy in control, and offers few real choices to veterans.

Some of the taskforce’s core reform principles AMVETS endorses include the following:

  • The veteran must come first, not the VA. The institutional priorities of the VHA weigh too heavily in current planning, funding and care delivery decisions. The interests of veterans should be paramount.
  • Refocus on, and prioritize, veterans with service-connected disabilities and specialized needs. Veterans with service-connected disabilities and specialized health care needs should be heavily prioritized; any reforms should ensure that VHA health care delivery centers on service-connected veterans and leveraging the VHA’s comparative advantage in specialized areas.
  • VHA should be improved, and thereby preserved. Those veterans who choose to use VHA facilities should receive timely and quality care. In order to achieve this goal, the VHA should be restructured—in theory as an independent, efficient, and modern organization—that can compete with private providers.
  • Grandfather current enrollees. Veterans should have the option to seek care outside of VA system but current enrollees who wish to continue to receive care within the system should retain the option to do so. Currently enrolled veterans will also have the option to “opt-in” to the reformed system.
  • Veterans should be able to choose where to get their health care. Based on eligibility, veterans should have the option to take their earned health care funds and use them to access care at the VA or in the voluntary (civilian) health care system. Because private health care is somewhat costlier than VHA-based care, most veterans who choose this option will be expected to share in some of the costs of such care, through co-pays and deductibles.
  • Veterans health care reform should not be driven by the budget. More efficient health care for our veterans may reduce the cost of their care, but reform should not be viewed as an avenue to reduce federal spending. Conversely, increased funding is insufficient to address VHA’s deficiencies. Thankfully, our fiscal modeling suggests reform can be achieved in a revenue-neutral manner.
  • Address veterans’ demographic inevitabilities. The VHA must be reformed now, or demographic changes in the veteran population will force difficult—and inevitable—changes in the future. Any reform proposal must consider substantial forthcoming demographic shifts in the veteran population, including substantial shrinkage in overall numbers—save for another protracted conflict—and disproportionate decreases in future enrollment.
  • Break VHA’s cycle of “reform and failure.” Minor tweaks to the current system may incrementally improve health care in the near term, but the monopolistic VHA bureaucracy is likely to return to a standard operating procedure heavily influenced by the desires and concerns of the institution and its employees. Only fundamental reform will break the cycle and empower veterans.
  • Implementing reform will require bipartisan vision, courage and commitment. A well-connected VA bureaucracy, parochial congressional concerns, and powerful outside groups frequently stifle difficult reforms across the government—and the same could happen with VHA reform.
  • VHA needs accountability. The VHA must be accountable to both veterans and taxpayers for its performance. An independent VHA will have more latitude to reward high performers, fire poor performers, and monitor the quality of health care delivery.

Congress must be aggressive in its oversight of VA health care delays and abuses. But turning principles into policies will be its greatest challenge.

AMVETS, along with other veterans service organizations and veterans advocacy groups like CVA, will continue to serve veterans and their families by encouraging hard looks at why the VA health care system and claims process have been overwhelmed, and providing reports that offer a strong start for policymakers. Because no plan is perfect, the specific merits of our recommendations and initiatives will benefit from further examination, refinement and fiscal modeling. Viable solutions could reshape the VHA reform debate and truly place veterans at the center of their own health care.

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit

Iran Nuclear Agreement

Hon. John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
US House of Representatives
1011 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515-3508

Hon. Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
US House of Representatives
233 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515-0512

Hon. Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1702

Hon. Harry Reid
Minority Leader
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2803

Dear Representatives Boehner & Pelosi and Senators McConnell & Reid:

On behalf of the 23 million American Veterans in this country, AMVETS, a leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces and providing support for Veterans, Active Duty military, the National Guard/Reserves, their families and survivors, I would like to offer our staunchest opposition to the proposed Iran Nuclear Deal.

The most important reason that AMVETS opposes the Iran Nuclear Deal is because, as currently written, it does not adequately eradicate the threats to our national security or other vital interests of the United States.

Among the many concerns AMVETS has regarding the Iran nuclear agreement are the following provisions, that:

  • Iran gets to keep the majority of its nuclear infrastructure;
  • intercontinental ballistic missiles are NOT banned;
  • surprise inspections by outside entities are not permitted;
  • approved or not, Iran will still get $150 billion out of the nuclear deal;
  • the agreement allows Iran, and most importantly, only Iran to inspect itself;
  • the restrictions are short-term rather than permanent; and
  • Iran gets to continue conducting nuclear research

AMVETS is also greatly concerned that Iran, which historically has violated over 20 international agreements and is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, is simply not trustworthy.

Perhaps our biggest concern is the fact that Iran and the United States are not equals in the global scheme of things, so why are we allowing them so much power in these proceedings?

Finally, what are the tangible benefits to the U.S and out allies, especially, Israel? This agreement will actually enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies.


Diane M. Zumatto
National Legislative Director

2015 Poster and Essay Contest Winners

AADAA Contest Winners

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Dayton Dawson, Baltimore, MD – 1st Place
Latonia Harris, Killeen, TX – 2nd Place
Alexadra Helbing, Berwick, PA – 3rd Place

3rd – 5th Grade
Madisyn Fogle, Sabillasville, MD – 1st Place
Brianna Hoyle, Lincoln, NE – 2nd Place
Jiselle Sanchez, Killeen, TX – 3rd Place

6th – 8th Grade
Jeremy Jackson, Rosedale, MD – 1st Place
Avery Johnson, Hayes Center, NE – 2nd Place
Lauren R. Reinhart, Lititz, PA – 3rd Place

9th – 12th Grade
James Stauss, Grand Island, NE – 1st Place
Rachael Lozano, Mexia, TX – 2nd Place
Austin Growney, Fawn Grove, PA – 3rd Place

Americanism Contest Winners

Ethan Peppers, Paris, TN – 1st Place
Aubrey Phillips, Toledo, OH – 2nd Place
Erika Cruikshank, Valley, NE – 3rd Place

1st Grade
Adrian Lang, Bismarck, ND – 1st Place
Meghan Eagle, Kannapolis, NC – 2nd Place
Anthony Hoyle, Lincoln, NE – 3rd Place

2nd Grade
Alexandria Helbing, Berwick, PA – 1st Place
Jasper Mitchell, Grand Rapids, MI – 2nd Place
Grace Johnson, Stafford, NH – 3rd Place

3rd Grade
Kacy Eggebrecht, Phillips, WI – 1st Place
Lynna Vu, Anaheim, CA – 2nd Place
Libby Kadrmas, Bismarck, ND – 3rd Place

4th Grade
Adrianna Oto, Monroeville, PA – 1st Place
Laci Hartman, Shasta Lake CA – 2nd Place
Ed Rosenthal, Arlington, NE – 3rd Place

5th Grade
James Corley Sanders, Trout, LA – 1st Place
Jada Eggebrecht, Phillips, WI – 2nd Place (TIE)
Brianna Hoyle, Lincoln, NE – 2nd Place (TIE)
Ellora Chapin, Milton, NH – 3rd Place

6th Grade
Peter Sinclair, Wortham, TX – 1st Place
Grace Barto, Findlay, OH – 2nd Place
James Mackinder, Grand Rapids, MI – 3rd Place

7th Grade
Dalton Rudd, Ellsinore, MO – 1st Place
Jack Conrad, Findlay, OH – 2nd Place
Chloe Hoffschneider, Blair, NE – 3rd Place

8th Grade
Madison Oliverio, Carlisle, PA – 1st Place
Alejandra Collier, Liberty Hill, TX – 2nd Place
Trevor Lambert, Columbus Grove, OH – 3rd Place

9th Grade (all expense paid trip to Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge)
Seth Lippincott – Tulare, California
Ellie Rynders – Mt. Pleasant, IA
Katelynn Greene – Portland, ME
Alisha Smith – Smithsburg, MD
Carolyne Elias – Leominster, MA
Morgan Gust – Port Hope, MI
Maya Henderson – Grandin, MO
William Tidyman – Maywood, NE
Joshua Ticcino – Sewell, NJ
Kalyn Maureen McComas – Louisburg, NC
Andrew Peterson – Bismarck, ND
Morgan Chesire – Lisbon, OH
Ilya Chernyklh – Philipsburg, PA
James Lichlyter – Dandridge, TN

10th Grade
Kenneth Ray Gregg III, Robinson, TX – 1st Place
Pierce C. Burgin, Sewell, NJ – 2nd Place
Hunter Olstad, Valley City, ND – 3rd Place

11th Grade
Sarah Prohaszka, Armada, MI – 1st Place
Austin Stone, Newport, TN – 2nd Place
Rebecca Schmidt, Steele, ND – 3rd Place

12th Grade
Rachel Trexler, Lexington, NC – 1st Place
Michael Wilt, Washington Court House, OH – 2nd Place
Matthew M. King, Poplar Bluff, MO – 3rd Place

America Works Campaign

America Works Because... Download PDF file
Click to download
Download your postcard here. Learn how to print double-sided here, courtesy of Adobe.

Use the space on the back of the postcard to tell us why you think America Works! When you mail in your post card, AMVETS will collect and sort it with the others. It will then be hand-placed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for Veteran’s Day 2015.

Don’t have a printer? Fill out the form below and submit your thoughts digitally!

There are more than 1.2 Million post cards being distributed this Summer, 2015. Please take the time to share one with family, friends, grandchildren, neighbors and any other members of your community. We invite you to come see it on the National Mall on Veteran’s Day, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @mericaworks #mericaworks

AMVETS Supports Veterans, Not Politicos

Lanham, MD – In response to the comments over the weekend from Donald Trump in regard to Senator McCain’s military service and record on VA reform, AMVETS (American Veterans), National Communications Director, David Gai, issued the following statement on behalf of AMVETS.

“When the dust settles and the rhetoric is gone, what is the true impact on veterans? Let the politicos open their mouths and insert their foot. That’s what they do; they don’t need our help. We refuse to sink low and get involved in the mud-slinging and political jabs because it has no benefit to supporting veterans, which is our organization’s focus.”

For media inquiries, please contact

A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit

AFGE Opposes VA Accountability Act

Congress’ latest attempt to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs by expanding firing authority to include all employees has been met with stringent opposition from the American Federation of Government Employees.

Last year, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. This piece of legislation allowed Robert McDonald, the secretary of the VA, to fire senior executives in the department. Critics noted that the act neglected a very large portion of the employee population also engaged in questionable activities.

Some have pointed out that the legislation doesn’t have much to show for itself. Since it was passed, McDonald has only fired two senior executives. Those firings came within the last couple of months, which is over a year after President Barack Obama signed the legislation. None of the firings were in connection with manipulated waitlists. Two executives at the Phoenix VA, the branch which kicked off the scandal resulting in increased scrutiny of the department, are still on paid leave.

Firing regular employees is also incredibly difficult. In another recent example, it took more than a year to fire a VA employee in Alabama who brought a veteran suffering from drug addiction to a crack house and left him for the night. Legislators have continually expressed frustration in hearings that the VA has refused to exercise any measure of internal accountability for inexcusable mistakes and problematic behavior.

A new House bill, HR 1994, aims to expand firing authority to all VA employees. Veterans’ advocates like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, have backed the VA Accountability Act of 2015. The bill would allow McDonald to remove employees for performance or misconduct.

Employees would be permitted to file a claim with the Merit Systems Protection Board within seven days, which then would need to provide a decision in 45 days.

When testifying before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on the Senate version of the bill, Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, stated that “all VA workers will retain the same federal protections afforded other government workers. S.1082 simply condenses the appeal and adjudication period for fired workers—placing them on unpaid administrative leave in the process. VA workers retain full protections and full appeal rights; they just won’t be sitting on paid administrative leave for months and years.”

But a union representing federal government workers stands in the way. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) argues that the move would endanger its employees.

Beth Moten, legislative and political director for AFGE, asked legislators in a letter to oppose the legislation, saying House Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman Jeff Miller misrepresented the purpose of HR 1994. According to Moten, the bill removes fundamental due process rights from employees, including the small subset of whistleblowers.

But Shaun Rieley, outreach and research analyst at Concerned Veterans for America, thinks the fears over decreased protections for whistleblowers are over-hyped.

“The legislation plainly states that the Secretary cannot use this new power against whistleblowers who have an active case with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC),” Rieley told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

While Moten does take note of this provision in the letter, she thinks the legislation will create a perverse incentive and overwhelm OSC with bogus claims from employees who are only declaring whistleblower status to avoid termination.

“This is unlikely, not least because it’s not exactly true that the employees will be “at will” — they still must be fired for cause, and the burden of proof remains the same under the new law,” Rieley added. “The difference is that if the Secretary determines that the employee needs to be terminated, and the OSC approves, the employee can be immediately relieved, instead of the red-tape that currently keeps bad employees from simply being shifted to another assignment, or being placed on taxpayer-paid leave for months.

Courtesy of Jonah Bennett, The Daily Caller

Republishing does not constitute endorsement or political stance of AMVETS. For an official statement, please contact the Communications Department.

AMVETS Featured on SCOUT Military Discounts

Every month, SCOUT Military Discounts​ selects two nonprofits to be featured on their loading screen. #AMVETS will be featured for the second half of July, from the 15th-31st as the Scout Featured Nonprofit of the Month.

SCOUT Military Discounts is the most comprehensive military discount app. It puts information about hundreds of thousands of military discounts, freebies and more at the fingertips of veterans, active military & their families. SCOUT is now available on iOS and Google Play.

Free to download. Free to use.

Find #SCOUT on Google Play and iOS.

Daddy’s Deployed Helps Military Children Cope

This Company Helps Military Children Cope When their Parents Deploy

One toddler helped inspire a company that now helps hundreds of military children deal with one of the most stressful times of their lives: seeing their parents leave for deployment.

“It doesn’t have to be sad,” said Bridget Platt, the founder and CEO of Daddy’s Deployed and wife of a Marine Corps aviator. “And that’s what I wanted to do. Create this story where [kids] are the star even if their family is separated at the time.”

Founded in 2012, Platt’s company creates custom-designed children’s books that explain where mom or dad are going, what they’ll be doing, and how they’ll stay in touch through tools like Skype. The first book she ever created was for her own daughter, with pictures of the family literally cut out and glued onto the pages.

But her inspiration came three years before, while working with a two-year-old girl named Claire at the child development center on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.

“She was perfectly behaved, would eat every meal, play outside, and she shared. She was potty-trained and would nap everyday,” Platt said. “And then her dad deployed and all of that changed. She started having accidents. She wouldn’t eat. She would literally cry out for him at naptime. And I remember thinking that somebody has to do something to help these kids but I was just too far from it at that point. We were newlyweds. We didn’t have any children so I couldn’t wrap my head around what that concept might be.”

Once she had her own children, and with the help of her brother — a Harvard Business School graduate — she put together a business plan, copyrighted a logo, and brought on a great illustrator to help with creating the book’s artwork.

Now, parents can go on the Daddy’s Deployed website (there’s a Mommy’s version as well) and order their books, after putting in their information such as their name and rank, branch of service, what kind of job they have, and their children’s names. In about three weeks, Platt and her team will send back a personalized book with the family drawn into their own story.

“The whole point of it is that when the kids open page one they see their family in the story,” Platt said. “They see themselves in the story. They see their dog in the story. So that they know that it’s this happy, brightly colored vision of what their life could be or is going to be.”

Beyond the custom books relating to deployments, Platt told We Are The Mighty she has plans to expand her offerings. The company recently launched a book about military moves, and it is currently looking into selling eBooks and other interactive materials, such as audiobooks where the deployed parent can read the story to their loved ones.

“My favorite thing is when people first look at the book that didn’t know about the company beforehand,” she said. “The most common thing that is said to me is, ‘why didn’t I think of this?’ And that shows me that there was a problem and we are answering it. And that is the best thing. My response is always the same: ‘I’m really glad you didn’t.’ But in my mind I’m like, ‘Yes! Thank you for saying that.’”

You can see more of Platt’s work on her company’s Facebook page or website.

Paul Szoldra
Executive Editor at We Are The Mighty

After serving nearly a decade in the U.S. Marines, Paul created Duffel Blog, a site often called “The Onion of the military.” Before joining WATM, he reported on defense, tech, and breaking news as the west coast editor for Business Insider. You can learn more at his website.

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We Are The Mighty (WATM) is the first entertainment and lifestyle brand for and by the military community and those who love it. We create and distribute authentic content across all genres and platforms that entertains, informs and celebrates military life.