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Families Separated

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-Hi, everybody. One of the stories that touched our hearts here at Parents TV, making the pages of American Baby Magazine. Editor-in-chief Judy Nolte featured five men and women who are serving in our country in Afghanistan but are missing their children's first birthday back home. Judy is joining us now to talk about how they started ever plans to continue this in the future, it's so great to have you back. -Thank you Julie. -Thank you for coming in. First tell us how you found out about these men and women and the fact that they're missing their child's first birthday? -I just got an e-mail one day that popped up right before the 4th of July holiday, and the lead-- the First Lieutenant said that one of his-- one of the women in his unit, they're a medical unit over in Afghanistan, had received American Baby and thought it would be a great idea if I would feature a picture of the five officers in front of their base and then pick up pictures of the kids back home, all of them were turning one on either, in August or September, and I thought this would be a great idea, would you consider it? And, you know, my first reaction was oh my gosh this has just fallen in my lap. What a great opportunity to give something back to these people who are serving our country. We have been asked to do actually nothing except keep living, keep shopping, keep doing what we've been doing and these people, especially the families who are separated with the young, young children are suffering over there and it was such a simple thing to do to put together this story for them. -A great way to give something back. -That's how I felt about it. -So, after the original article was published you got to talk to one of the dads, David Wasson, on CBS's Up To The Minute, and it's a great segment. He is here in the States right now while his wife, Sergeant Tina Wasson, is in Afghanistan and she was actually shipped off just three months after their baby was born. Now, he had a very special request. -Judy, I think that if you did this every month, maybe have the writers or the other readers write in and submit those pictures or maybe just submit a page every month, that's a great moral booster for not only the families but those children. Just to know that someone is thinking about them that would be great. -So, Judy, first of all you were not expecting to see him there? It must have been a big surprise for you. -I was not expecting anything of this sort. I had my little speech prepared, and all of a sudden there he was. -There he was and he had a request for you, and he asked you to make this a regular feature. What did you think when you heard that? -Well, I said it was a terrific idea and I thought why didn't I think of that. -Right. -But obviously it meant so much to him and to the families just to have that record of the baby's birth and the parents, and why they were separated, to have that, to put into a scrapbook for the rest of their lives meant so much. And I thought if I could do this for other families in similar situations what a great idea. -So, what do you think, is it gonna be a regular feature? -It is in fact going to be. -Oh, it's great. -I'm working on our January issue right now, I've just used the picture of the Wasson family to sort of spur other people, other military families to send in similar stories, similar pictures, and Tina Wasson, the officer, she is a combat medic. She has just relisted for 6 years, if you can believe that. -Oh my goodness. -And he explained that it's because of the economy, they need the money and this is their security. -How difficult for her with her baby? -I don't know how she does it. I'm not sure when she's coming home, she's only seeing him once, maybe twice, and dad is staying home obviously taking care of the baby with help from other family members. He was once in the service as well but he is no longer enlisted. And she just re-app which I found shocking. -They're making it work the best way that they can. -Absolutely, and the most-- anything we can do to give them a little bit of pleasure and joy in their life. I think that's the least we can do and I'm so happy that I have the vehicle of American Baby to do it with. -And obviously this is special to you not just as editor-in-chief of the magazine but personally too. -Yes, it is, I don't know why I have nobody in the service. I never had a family member who served but somehow the way he phrased this and what it meant to him, and I thought it's so much more important than what I was seeing on my page. So, every month on my editor's page there will be a featured soldier or soldiers who are going through similar circumstances, and missing their children's highlights or developmental; walking, first word, all of those things that are so important to parents, and they have to see by film or, you know, talk to them on a phone, thank heavens, but they're not there with them in their arms and that's really heartbreaking. -So, difficult. Judy, such a nice thing that you're doing. Thank you for sharing your story and their story with us today. -Thank you. -All right. And if you wanna read more about these stories you can subscribe to American Baby Magazine. Thanks so much for watching Parents TV. We will see you soon.