09/24/09 — Air Force wife writes new book for children

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Air Force wife writes new book for children

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 24, 2009 1:46 PM

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Air Force wife Carla Nolan, left, and local artist Brenda Behr show off their new children's book, "Someone I Love Is In the Air Force." Mrs. Nolan got the idea to write the book some 16 years ago when her 2-year-old son asked her why his father was leaving in an F-15E Strike Eagle.

Carla Nolan still gets emotional when she looks back some 16 years to the day she decided to write a children's book about being a member of an Air Force family.

She can still hear her then-2-year-old son ask why his daddy, Trey, was going away.

"His dad left us for Christmas to go to Turkey and fly for six weeks so it was just he and I," Mrs. Nolan said, wiping tears from her eyes. "I was trying to explain to him where his dad was and ... he was asking me about other planes and parents."

What started that day as a mother's explanation to her child evolved into something more.

"That's how the book got started," she said. "I decided I wanted to do it basically as a tribute to Air Force families."

And this year, after more than a decade of work, the Air Force wife's idea finally came to fruition.

Mrs. Nolan's "Someone I Love Is In the Air Force" is now available for purchase.

But the book, she said, is more than simply a collection of Air Force job and aircraft descriptions through the eyes of a child.

It's personal -- both for the author and illustrator.

The detailed illustrations of everything from Air Force One to F-15E Strike Eagles were drawn by local artist Brenda Behr as a way to connect with her father, a man who once worked in the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base control tower.

And for Mrs. Nolan, they were a chance to highlight some of the families hers has met during its travels from base to base.

"The drawings are beautiful and all of the kids in the book are Air Force kids ... people we were in the Air Force with," Mrs. Nolan said. "The people we have shared our Air Force experiences with, I wanted them to be a part of it."

And she wanted them to benefit from it, too, so 20 percent of the proceeds from the book -- which costs $15.99 and is currently available at www.intheairforce.com and www.amazon.com -- will be donated to the Air Force Aid Society, "which just basically takes care of Air Force families who need it," she said.

Mrs. Nolan hopes the book sells well but has perspective.

It was never about the money, she said.

It was a labor a love -- a way to help her own child, and now others, cope with being in an Air Force family.

"That was the original reason to do it," Mrs. Nolan said. "And so far, all my friends (in Air Force families) seem to love it and want it for their kids. Especially the little boys."