Helpful Mission

Mary Linda Sather, author of "Boo Boo Bear's Mission," signed copies of her book at Fitger's Bookstore Dec. 5, 2009.  Illustrated by children of both civilian and military families, the book details Boo Boo Bear's journey to Iraq and back home.

Mary Linda Sather, author of "Boo Boo Bear's Mission," signed copies of her book at Fitger's Bookstore Dec. 5, 2009. Illustrated by children of both civilian and military families, the book details Boo Boo Bear's journey to Iraq and back home.

DULUTH, Minn. -- Mary Linda Sather, author and mother of 148th Fighter Wing member Senior Master Sgt. Ronald Waterhouse shared her message of how families can deal with separation during a book signing at Fitger's Bookstore on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009.

Sather's book Boo Boo Bear's Mission tells the true story of a teddy bear who travels to Iraq to carry a family's love until they can be together again.

"The book really stresses the importance of family connections," said Sather. "We spent a lot of time together as a family when Ron was in Iraq and when he got back, so I wanted to use our experience to help other families."

Boo Boo Bear's Mission is a true story of how Ron's daughter (Shea Leigh) sends Boo Boo to him in a care package to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Ron then gives Boo Boo the trip of a lifetime; spending time on the base, dining in the mess hall, even getting a ride in an F-16 until Boo Boo and Ron can return home together.

"The message I want to get out with the book is that the difficulties of family separation can turn into opportunities of growth," said Sather. "Both children and adults can learn from the book. And it has a positive ending."

Being an educator all her life, Sather hopes the book will educate families on the importance of staying positive, communicating and sharing feelings. The book contains some helpful tips on how to use the book to connect with each other through activities and conversations. She also works with families to aid in how to deal with separation.

"My mission is to make sure that people who need to know about or could get help from the book get it," she said. "I'll try to get the word out any way I can."

Boo Boo Bear's Mission is available at most bookstores for $17.95. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to military family programs. More information as well as contact information can be found at boo-boo-bears-mission.net.