The Read Aloud Experience: Impacting the Whole Family

May 13, 2018

United Through Reading has been serving military families for more than 28 years; every year we meet extraordinary families and hear heartwarming stories of the impact UTR has on their ability to survive …thrive…during separations. The read aloud experience that is captured on a UTR recording touches everyone in the family—the service member, the caregiver at home and the children. The psychological impact of this unhurried, focused time with each other during these recordings is significant.

Hannah and David Simmons are expecting their first child, a daughter, on July 4th, 2018. David is a Marine and currently on his first deployment with the 26th MEU aboard the USS Iwo Jima. He will miss their daughter’s birth. Hannah, like many other military spouses, currently lives in an area that is far from family and close friends, so this deployment and pregnancy have been especially challenging.

Five weeks into the deployment, she received a UTR recording of David reading “Daddy’s Lullaby” to their daughter. In her words:

“..receiving this DVD and hearing my husband’s voice reading to our unborn baby truly melted my heart.

To some it may just be a man being recorded reading a book but to me it was so much more. It was reassurance from my husband that I am not alone, that despite the miles, he is supporting me, supporting our family and the new chapter of parenthood we are crossing into.

So, while I am sure you get tons of these stories, which your organization thoroughly deserves, I had to express my gratitude because your organization has not only given me the strength to keep going through this deployment but will also give our daughter a piece of her daddy while he is overseas serving our country.”

According to Hannah, David’s biggest concern was that his daughter wouldn’t know who he was when he got home, “…wouldn’t feel that ‘daddy love’ that other babies get while in utero or right when they are born. He was worried about ‘connecting’ with his baby girl.” United Through Reading recordings are reliable, repeatable and accessible 24/7. On some of her toughest days, Hannah admits to playing the recordings for both of David’s girls!

Our 40 Million Stories campaign will make a difference for other military families like the Simmons. We are already halfway to our goal, but we need you to help close the gap!

Your donation impacts the whole family.