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  • Valerie King

Starting Them Young

Updated: Jul 20, 2018

Zack had our Back" is a rhyming picture book for kids, ages 3-8, about a deceptively kind but #homeless veteran named Zack. Why direct this difficult topic toward such a tender age? Because if sensitively handled, as it is here with rhyme and illustration, it can divert and intercept misguided prejudice before it takes root. If children are given a lens to see #homeless veterans as the people they truly are rather than the frightening apparitions they appear to be on the street, an era of compassion, empathy and healing rather than ridicule and shame may become the standard way we in which homeless veterans are often viewed. While we have learned much since the cruel and now unthinkable homecoming given veterans after Vietnam , much remains to be done. There are many exciting possibilities on the horizon in fields such as #PTSD, #addiction, #brain trauma, and #rehabilitation that are yearning for a whole-hearted embrace. These possibilities may be unreachable, however, if basics such as transportation, communication (phone) , therapy and regular health care are inconsistent or out of reach for those that live on the street.

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