By Eve Meinhardt/ParaglideAugust 20, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The library became a kitchen Aug. 10, as children ran up to a big pot, adding vegetables, chicken and beef to enhance the flavor of the bubbling, stone soup. While the pot and its contents were imaginary, children got the chance to see that they can overcome adversity by working together.
Storyteller Barbara Armstrong White brought the children into her version of the folk tale "Stone Soup" during story time at the Throckmorton Library as part of the Blue Star Families Books on Bases program. The story is about a starving town pooling resources to create a hearty soup when each of them only had a little bit of food in their own homes.
Crystal Cavalier is a military spouse whose husband, Sgt. Danny Cavalier, has deployed four times. As the chapter director of Blue Star Families, she said she understands the challenges military Families face. She said that the books the program presents the children are selected to do more than just promote literacy.
"Books on Bases is intended to help military children cope with the deployment experience. I know it has helped my kids," said Cavalier, the mother of three.
Ariana Aguilar, 8, is one of the children who intends to use the book she received. She has also experienced the deployment difficulty and just welcomed her dad home from Iraq a few weeks ago.
"(The worst part) was him not being home. I missed him," said Aguilar, who added the first thing she did when he got off the plane was to give him a big hug.
After listening to the story, the children got the chance to decorate their own Krispy Kreme doughnut before getting their book.
While the children were excited about the temporary sugar rush, the book is the present that will stay with them as the watch their parents prepare for another journey to Iraq or Afghanistan.