Colonel Christine D. Cook, USAR
This journey started almost 5 years ago when I deployed as a battalion commander in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II. To let my friends and family know that I was still alive and well and had a bit of a sense of humor left, I wrote weekly email letters home. I thought my deployment site in Kuwait looked a lot like Tattooine, the desert planet in Star Wars, so I used plenty of sci-fi imagery in my “missives.”
When I came home, many people told me I should publish the missives in book form. I thought there was good material, but there had been a lot of information I would have to leave out. I added that information to the missives in italicized font to differentiate the new information from the original letters. Living on Tattooine (a.k.a.Kuwait) was the resulting book, which was published in December 2005.
I sold many of the books in the last 3 years, but I always found it most fulfilling when I know the book is going to a fellow soldier. I have gotten emails, letters, and phone calls from those who have received the book. Some have been from soldiers who are deployed, saying they have found the book informative and helpful. Family members sometimes appreciate the book even more because they feel as though they can understand better what their loved one(s) are going through during deployment.
Thus, Living on Tattooine has had a successful run, in more ways than one. But I started to realize it was not a stand-alone book. First, I kept talking to recently returned soldiers who seemed to need a shoulder to lean on. Many of them, especially the officers, seemed out of sorts.