I have two dedications in my Civil War novel, Hagridden: the first is to my wife, the second is to “every civilian who ever lived through a war or is living through one now.”
In public appearances, I tend to tell people that my novel is about the people that war leaves behind.
Both of which are to say that, having written this novel about the desperate circumstances of a mother and her daughter-in-law left alone when their son/husband goes off to war — and as a brother-in-law to a man who has served in our own wars today, the nephew of an Air Force colonel, and the grandson of men who served in WWII — I have a special place in my heart for military families.
So this holiday season, I’ve decided to donate a portion of all my Hagridden sales to the National Military Family Association. Founded in 1969 by military spouses, it has become an impressive organization whose mission is to help provide “comprehensive child care, accessible health care, spouse employment options, great schools, caring communities, a secure retirement, and support for widows and widowers” in American military families.
As a pacifist, I abhor war itself, but I have always honored the service that military life represents, and I think that too often we forget the sacrifice of those that military service leaves at home. And I figure this season of compassion and generosity is the perfect time to help families who face hardship because of their service and sacrifice, and the mission of this organization fits perfectly with the themes of my novel.
So every time you buy a copy of Hagridden — for yourself or as a gift, or both — I’ll donate a portion of that sale to military families.
This will carry on the whole month of December, so if you’ve already bought copies of Hagridden this month, you’ve already helped military families; and if you are still doing your holiday book-buying, you can still help military families.
And if you’d like to donate directly, you can do so at the National Military Families Association website, where you can also find information about other ways to get involved.