American Hero Books® were conceived when Alia Reese, a Marine spouse, was trying to figure out how to keep her husband present in the mind of their 18 month old daughter during an impending military deployment. At that time their daughter loved looking through family photo albums and enjoyed hearing stories about the people and places in the pictures so Alia began to make a small Marine Corps scrapbook that explained, with simple terms and photographs, the job that her husband did. Their daughter loved the book, and over the course of the deployment Alia updated the album with pictures her husband sent home.
Much to Alia’s surprise their daughter’s love for the book did not wane after that deployment, and the then 2 ½ year old began to incorporate the book into her regular discussion of the job her father did and her comprehension about why he sometimes needed to be away for so long. Needless to say, this made things easier when the next deployment orders came in, and the next…
After 3 deployments in a 3 year period, Alia consolidated the pictures and phrasing that best captured their daughter’s sense of understanding and pride in her Daddy and his very important job, and then realized that she had captured a product that could benefit all service member families with young children. And so American Hero Books® were born.
A few years later, after another move, another child, and another deployment, Alia established Heart Star Press, LLC for the purpose of publishing insert your own picture books such as the American Hero Books® series. We also create other gifts that help our service member families show pride in their heroes and the important jobs they do, and stay close through separations due to training and deployment.
DO THE RIGHT THING
We believe that giving back to our commmunity is just the right way to do business. We do this in several ways:
- A portion of the profits from books sold goes to support United Through Reading – the nation’s first nonprofit to promote the read-aloud experience for military families;
- Most of our products are made by Veteran or Military Spouse owned businesses. Also all of our administrative needs are met using military family businesses and military friendly businesses;
- We have created the Heart Star Project as a way for individuals and businesses to purchase our products at cost for deserving military families in the local community. Books purchased through the Heart Star Project are distributed by Chaplains to families they identify;
- We also strive to be environmentally and socially responsible. Our office endeavors to maintain a low carbon footprint through the use of Energy Star products, recycling, and use of recycled products. And American Hero Books® comply with CPSIA standards for children’s book safety. Plant based inks and materials from sustainable sources are used in the production of our books. Additionally, Heart Star Press, LLC and Crown Media & Printing, Inc. print American Hero Books® in an ISO 9001 certified workplace that has been approved by the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alia Reese is the spouse of a United States Marine and mother of 2 young children. She holds a Masters degree in Psychology and spent 5 years as a volunteer helping military families learn about resources available to overcome the obstacles inherent to military life. Alia developed American Hero Books: My Daddy is a Marine to help her children understand “what Daddy does” and to keep him present in their minds during separation due to training and deployment. Alia began Heart Star Press, LLC to create and publish insert your own picture books and to help children of special communities understand and stay close to their loved ones.