Brat Town Bugle™, a downloadable newspaper template, was developed by Benita Koeman, founder of Operation We Are Here, to help bridge the gap between kids on the home front and their geographically separated parent. When Benita's husband returned to the U.S. for R&R, their family went on a ten-day action-packed vacation and built a wealth of family memories. However, when Benita’s husband returned to Afghanistan, she became aware of all the family experiences he was missing out on. She noticed that her children were not good at sharing these experiences by phone or in journal form. To solve her problem, she developed the idea of creating a family newspaper, which allowed their children (ages 7, 8 and 10) to have fun writing articles and drawing pictures for their dad. The newspaper format allowed the children to write in small sections that were manageable and easy to do.To add a more creative flair to the newspaper template, Benita sought help from Beth Allen, a military supporter and creator of Troops in Touch, which provides interactive postcards for families separated during deployment. Beth also designs free, downloadable coloring pages at Brat™ was also developed as a joint effort by Benita and Beth to bring another art project to military kids that could help them through deployments. Flat Brat™ is a downloadable PDF image of a military kid that a child can color, cut out, and then send on an adventure to visit a deployed parent, faraway relative, or a service member who may not get much mail. In the envelope, kids can include a journal that tells a little bit about themselves and contains blank pages so that every person Flat Brat™ visits can write or draw more about Flat Brat’s™ journey.For more information about these activities, and to access Flat Brat™ and the Brat Town Bugle™, please visit