As the wife of a Cherry Point Marine, Bridget Platt knows the impact deployments can have on children.
To help those children, she developed Daddy’s Deployed, a business that creates customized and personal books that can serve as a guide for the children during the deployment while helping them cope with being apart from their parents.
And now, she is one of three semifinalists for the Marine Corps Military Spouse of the Year.
“It’s really crazy,” Platt said of being a semifinalist. “I didn’t think I would make it this far, but now that I have, it’s been this really awesome experience where I feel I can really make a difference. I hope I can keep going.”
The Marine Corps Military Spouse of the Year is scheduled to be announced on Feb. 20. Should Platt receive the selection, she would get the opportunity to attend a celebration in Washington where the national Military Spouse of the Year is selected from a panel of six winners from each service branch. Currently, there are 18 semifinalists for the national award from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard.
“I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking,” she said. “I have a white board where I write things that I want to achieve, so I wrote on there that I would be nominated for the top 18. Now, I’ve written on there that I will be nominated as Marine Corps Spouse of the Year.
“I look at that every day and try to imagine what that would feel like or what I would wear in Washington, and it’s really exciting. It’s a little intimidating, but it’s really an exciting feeling.”
Platt said a friend from San Diego nominated her for the honor but said so many spouses do so many good things that she wasn’t expecting to become a semifinalist.
“I was really surprised,” she said. “There were some very strong contenders.”
Platt’s husband Craig is a Marine Corps captain who serves as an electronic countermeasures officer in the EA-6B Prowler. The couple has one daughter, Charlotte, who turns 2 at the end of the month.
Platt said she got the idea for Daddy’s Deployed when her husband deployed about a year and a half ago.
“It’s been growing exponentially since then,” she said.
Families can go to the website www.daddysdeployed.com and submit information that is used in the book. When the book arrives, it’s personalized with the child’s name as well as cartoon illustrations that depict the child and parents.
“It explains deployments to small children,” Platt said of the books. “It takes it through the entire process, from him leaving to the homecoming day. We’re really proud of what it’s become.”
Platt said she forms personal connections with those who purchase books.
“I was talking to one of my business associates the other day, and it’s almost like we’ve become this giant family because they all tell me their stories,” Platt said. “It’s cool to get to know people in Japan that I would never come in contact with. We had one family in Germany that I got to know through the process.
“It’s really awesome. It’s such a great feeling know that you’re making a difference all over.”
On top of that, $3 from each book is donated to the Lone Survivor Foundation.
“I try to make everyone as aware as possible of what some warriors go through on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s a really cool organization with everything they do with their healing retreats. Reading the stories and the testimonials of those people, it makes you want to change your life and help people.”
The Military Spouse of the Year award is sponsored through Armed Forces Insurance.