James R. Elstad, author of the novel "Comes the Southern Revolution," donated a portion of the proceeds from his book signing to the Family Readiness Group of the 94th Division's Headquarters Company, Friday, July 20, 2012.

In 1996, during a tour of the Petersburg National Battlefield, Elstad got his idea for the novel about an Army National Guard General who resumes the war between the states in 2016. He also trained at Fort Lee during different stages of his military career and thought that donating to a unit on the installation would be appropriate.

"I wanted to come back here to do a book signing; I wanted to support a Family Readiness Group," said Elstad. "I contacted the Family Readiness Groups and wound up with the 94th."

Elstad, a retired Army National Guardsman, said he saw the importance of Family Readiness Groups during his time as the readiness Non-Commissioned Officer of a California National Guard Unit.

"There were times when Soldiers were really desperate with family issues," said Elstad. "Losing a job, or their family member losing a job, the FRG was able to help them."

Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Walker, an assistant inspector general with the 94th, purchased a copy of the novel which Elstad signed and dedicated to the unit's Soldiers.

"That's the support channel that soldiers are going to get in case of mobilization or deployment," said Walker refering to the importance of FRGs. "They know that someone back at home is looking out for the well being of their family members."

Master Sgt. Edgard Valdiri, the 94th's senior logistics NCO, accepted the donation from Elstad following the book signing at the Fort Lee Post Exchange.

Elstad said, the donation was a way of giving back to the Army for what the Army has given to him.

Page last updated Mon July 23rd, 2012 at 00:00