Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day treat: Soldiers record themselves reading books to their kids

This past Sunday, many families honored their fathers and grandfathers on Father's Day. But for some Oregon Army National Guard soldiers who are preparing for a year in Iraq, their Father's Day observances started about a month ago.

Back in May, before members of the Oregon Army National Guard's 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team headed to pre-mobilization training at Fort Stewart, Ga., a group of Oregon National Guard members spent the day recording themselves reading books to their kids at the Tigard Armory.

According to Blair Brettschneider of USA Today, the Junior League of Portland recorded troops who are heading to Iraq reading books to their children, so that it can be played back to the kids during the time their fathers are deployed.

The project, called Between The Lines, is an extension of the league's program to connect children of parents who are in prison. Go here to see the Oregonian article.

Guard members read books or stories of their choice into tape recorders. The League will distribute CDs of the recordings in addition to the books or stories the soldiers chose to the children.

Capt. Erin Bagley, who recorded stories for his two children said it's important to connect with family members while deployed. He said while e-mail and letters help, there's nothing like hearing a family members' voice. On a previous deployment, Bagley had an audio picture frame of his children which featured recordings of them saying how much they loved and missed him.

"I played it over and over again," he said. "It's just nice to hear those voices."

Nearly 3,000 Oregon Guard members are preparing to deploy to Iraq for one year. They are currently training at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager

Special thanks to KATU and the Oregonian for information for this post

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