Hero at Home
by Sara Verardo

"Grace’s Dad tells her that sometimes people get hurt and their bodies change, but they still have the same heart.”"

A cruel, thoughtless slur motivates a caregiver wife to reveal the endless challenges faced by Michael Verardo, her injured war hero husband, in this slim Children’s volume. Simultaneously, she pleads her case for treating everyone with dignity, respect, and understanding. Michael’s inner calling was to serve his country. So, he joined the United States Army as an Infantryman with the 82nd Airborne. Following near-fatal combat injury, he returned home with a robotic left leg and a technologically enhanced, rebuilt arm.

Four-year old Grace, the eldest of Michael and Sarah’s three young daughters, also helps Dad. Complicating Michael’s recovery, his injuries extend beyond his limbs to the brain. Consequently, he does awkward things such as placing keys in the refrigerator and storing milk in the closet. Michael’s long, exhausting road to wellness has already included 119 surgeries, and years of speech, visual, physical, and occupational therapies.

Dedicated to the Brave Company, 2-508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne, the book has a heartfelt foreword by Senator Elizabeth Dole. When Grace returned from pre-school, telling her mother, “Someone said Dad is gross,” this book was born. Verardo deftly reminds all: While sometimes people’s bodies change, their worth and value remain intact and undiminished. Using brevity, clarity, simplicity, and heart, she makes her point. Heroism often comes at a great cost, but that personal ransom should never include the surrender of one’s dignity and respect, value, and worth. Nor, should the nonheroic majority cast aspersions upon those who sacrificed themselves upon the altar of freedom.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home