[caption id=“attachment_495” align=“alignright” width=“300” caption=“Sophia Konopa and Isabella Segovia Reading Their USO Books”][/caption]

Deploying during the holidays is never easy, but one program eases the strain of separation through books.  United Through Reading lets Troops record of DVD of them reading a story to their children, then a copy of the book and DVD are sent directly to the kids. As Washington Post staff writer Hamil R. Harris reported, those who work on the front end of the program - like Jim Kinnear at BWI Airport - instantly see the positive effect it has on Troops: “‘They love sending a video of them back to their children,’ he said of the military men and women. 'The children can watch it whenever they want.’”  You can read the full article and see an interview with Jim Kinnear in Washington Post online. On the receiving end of all those stories are the families.  Major Matthew D. Konopa recently sent an email to the USO detailing his own family’s experience with United Through Reading: “Attached is the photo of my youngest daughter, Sophia Konopa (6) and Granddaughter, Isabella Segovia (1) back in Wade, North Carolina (near Fort Bragg) reading their USO Books recorded and mailed from Sather Air Base, Baghdad, Iraq.  The Service member of course is me, Major Matthew D. Konopa, Chief of Human Resources (S-1) of Task Force 28 and the Hospital here on Sather.  This is a wonderful program that is truly appreciated.  Thanks and have a great day.  -MAJ Konopa” We will have a great day, knowing that another family has remained connected through this wonderful program!