How one couple is giving back to our troops.
Audrey Malmont had her first child in 2001. Back then, the young mother had no way of knowing that she had also given birth to a chain of events that would help military families at home and overseas.
It was by no means an easy pregnancy or recuperation. Audrey spent weeks on bed rest and after her son Nathaniel was born, she would undergo the first of 13 surgeries required to repair the damage done to her body. Allowing Audrey to get some much needed sleep, Audrey's husband Paul would get up with their infant son every morning. While Nathaniel watched "Barney" and "Sesame Street," Paul sat at his computer and took a crack at writing a book while his wife slept. A year later on Mother's Day, Paul presented Audrey with a gift; the title page for his completed novel. That novel, "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril," became a best seller.
As a best selling novelist, Paul received fan mail from around the world, but one letter stood out. It was a letter from a colonel serving in Iraq who wrote Paul to say how much he had enjoyed the book. Paul shared the letter with Audrey and they immediately sprung into action. Audrey sat down with momlogic to explain why she was compelled to help. "There are so many mothers out there. I thought of them serving our country, separated from their own children so that ours could be safe. We had to do something for them."
Together, Paul and Audrey began a campaign to get other best selling authors to donate books for our troops oversees as well. Authors like Alice Sebold, Brad Meltzer and Ellen Shanman jumped on board to offer not only their books, but also time - writing letters and lending some much needed support to our men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program quickly gained popularity among the troops and was given an official title -- "Operation Warrior Library" was born.
Paul and Audrey continue working tirelessly to provide our military men and women with current, best selling reading material. In fact, Paul just recently shipped off several boxes of his latest novel, "Jack London in Paradise." And although Audrey, now a mother of two, has her hands full on her own home front, she's not content to rest on her laurels. Imagining the parents who are serving oversees and are separated from their children, or those left home with the children while their spouses complete their tours of duty, has inspired this warrior mom to keep fighting as well. Audrey explains, "There are so many mothers out there, so many fathers. The next step is to send children's books so the moms and dads can read stories to their children over the webcams that the Army has set up. These people are special. They deserve our help. They deserve the very best"
It's pretty clear that not every American hero wears a uniform or rides around in an armored convoy. Some, like Audrey and Paul, live in the burbs and drive an SUV.