By Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:
(El Paso, Texas, July 20, 2017)
After serving her country for 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, Juanda Ruth Bryant felt the need to do something more for military families and civilians. Bryant, a first grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School in Port Arthur, Texas, has a special place in her heart for the military community.
Bryant regularly brings in Soldiers from the local recruiting station and Soldiers from U.S. Army Reserve units to read to her class, as well as interact with them. The children get to hear firsthand what the Soldiers do for the military.
“As a veteran, and now educator, my students consider me a hero for being a Soldier so I expose them to Soldiers,” Bryant said. “Children’s eyes light up with great expectation to be in the company of Soldiers.”
Bryant published her first book, “The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer” April 8. This book is the first of a potential series Bryant hopes to have published.
“I’ve always wanted to write, I just never knew what I wanted to write about,” Bryant said. “This is my way of giving back to the country now that I’m no longer in the service.”
Bryant has always offered support to the Army’s Family Readiness Groups and discovered a way to use her talents by creating a tool for families of deployed Soldiers and their civilian counterparts.
“My military and teaching experience has inspired me to write a children’s book concerning the area of deployment where children can understand and relate,” Bryant said. “The goal is to help military families and civilians communicate deployment to children.”
Bryant hopes to achieve this goal by developing a character that children can grow with and learn to love.
“My book, ‘The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer,’ characterizes a little boy learning to cope and understand his father being deployed. Danny will do small missions at home and build his reading and writing skills as he communicates with his dad through letters,” Bryant said. “‘Danny and the Deployer’ are a representation of what the children might be going through, so it become relatable.”
Through Bryant’s book, children are not only learning valuable coping skills, they are also fine-tuning their reading and writing skills. More than just developing the book series, Bryant hopes to create an entire platform around her book.
“My desire is to partner with Army so that I can have a custom costume of ‘Danny and the Deployer’ so that children can engage with them at community or family readiness events,” Bryant said. “I believe there should be a cartoon and toys of the characters.”
Bryant has been actively engaged with her fans at book signings, readings and even coloring contests.
“I appreciate everything that the military service and families do for our country, because it’s not only the service member that is making a sacrifice,” Bryant said.
Bryant’s book can be purchased anywhere books are sold. For more information on the “The Mini Adventures of Danny and the Deployer,” visit www.juandabryant.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under Juanda Bryant.