Trooppaws Giveaway: A Perfect Deployment Friend for Kids

When Trooppaws contacted me to ask if I could share their sweet stuffed animal plush puppies, sewn from authentic military uniform fabric, I immediately asked if I could offer one to a reader, instead.

My husband was deployed while I was pregnant with our first child. And, as difficult as that was, not sharing that special experience, the stress after hearing of our daughter’s heart condition, and the early colicky weeks, I cannot compare it to telling children that their beloved father will be gone for an entire year.

Nothing can take the place of a parent or other loved one in a child’s life but offering a special, personalized gift can help ease the anxiety of separation.

The creator of Troopaws explains her inspiration: “The courage of family members left behind is so admirable that my hope is that loved ones find strength and comfort in this personalized keepsake. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Folds of Honor Foundation.”

From the website: Each Troop Paws measures 14″ in height and is made of authentic military camouflage. They each are adorned with a gro-grain ribbon bow tie and attached to the neck is a metal logo printed dog tag on a key chain. The filling of the Troop Paws are 100% soft poly hypoallergenic. On the right sleeve is a woven American Flag label. The front of the Troop Paws has a clear pocket which is where the photo of your troop goes. They are proudly made in the USA.

If you would like to enter to win a Trooppaws of your choice, you may enter one or more of the following ways:

1. Leave a comment below with a tip or question about easing deployment fears for family members.
2. Like Troopaws on facebook and Army Wives’ Lives on facebook and leave one, additional, separate comment saying that you did.
3. Share the giveaway on the social network of your choosing. Leave one, additional, separate comment saying that you did and input the URL of what you shared as your website.

Rules/Disclosure: I did not accept any fees or products for offering this giveaway. I am simply choosing to support this small business that supports us. Giveaway ends 11:59 PM EST, July 6, 2011. Winner chosen at random. Prize will ship to US postal addresses, only. Please do not put your e-mail address in the body of your comment. If you leave your address only in the e-mail field, I will be able to see it and spammers will not.

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  1. Heather Sosa says:

    Deployments are never easy, but as time goes on, finding ways to be involved and get your kids involved in care packages for their loved ones can help the time go by faster. I have a lot of great care package ideas that will make time fly and help the kids have fun during their rough days. =D

  2. Rebecca C. says:

    My husband is deployed for the second time right now, and we are expecting our daughter in August, hewill get rr then and then have to go back for a couple months. I think this would be perfect for our daughter to have, to get attached to so she always knows Daddy is always with her!

  3. Scarlett Caudill says:

    always try to keep yourself busy as well as your kids, pick up a new hobby or try something that you have always wanted to do but never had the time for.

  4. Sherrie Combs-Thornton says:

    The thing that seems to have helped my children and I get through deployment is taking it one day at a time and staying busy. The kids love doing a countdown to the expected return date. Make sure you take time to get involved with the unit FRG or stay in contact however possible. Hang in there guys…=0)

  5. Sherrie Combs-Thornton says:

    I am following Troopaws and AWL on FB.

  6. Sherrie Combs-Thornton says:

    I shared the giveaway~!/louthorn1/status/83863550166175744

    Also shared on FB

  7. Christina Dieters says:

    Deployments are hard and even worse on the children. It is always a great Idea for us to get the kids involved with sending our soldier mail and care packages. Also if Skype is available that is the best way to connect with our soldier, and a great way for the children to see daddy.

  8. Holly Patkowski says:

    I make a deployment wall for my 5 kids. We have a calendar for a countdown, memory board with pictures, a clock to show the time where he is at & a map so they can see exactly where he is. It really helps all of us while he is gone. He is currently deployed to Afghanistan.

  9. Holly Patkowski says:

    I liked Troopaws and AWL’s on FB! :)

    Shared it on my FB page..

  10. Caroline Garner says:

    We have andeployment at our door. This will be my first and we have a two year old daughter. I have always told her when her daddy was away he was at work, but daddy has always been able to call. When he deploys and cannot call on a regular basis, how can I explain that to a 2 year old??

  11. Caroline Garner says:

    ‘like’ed army wives lives on FB

  12. Caroline Garner says:

    ‘like’ed troopaws on FB.

  13. Beth Clopton says:

    Daily chats and frequent picture viewing helps !

  14. Scarlett Caudill says:

    I liked both on facebook and shared the link~

  15. Michelle Rollins says:

    I love this! When my husband was deployed he went to the Bear Factory and made a bear for our oldest and me with a special voice message. He is gearing up for yet another one and our son is no longer a baby he is now almost six and our youngest is one and this would mean so much to them!Way to go the makers of this bear!

  16. lacrishia Miller says:

    This is our third depoyment with my husband and it does not get easier since each deployment is different. My best recommendation is to stay busy with life things. Fill the days with fun and don’t push your kids to talk about the deployment. If they or you need help Military one source is great to help you out with many things. Also remember that you are not alone but there are days that you will feel that way and it is ok.

  17. Hillary Abernathy says:

    Talking about everything helps. We explained to our kids what daddys going to be doing in a kid apporate way. ” daddy is going to be keeping us safe, and making sure the ones who dont want to be nice behave.”

  18. Amanda gardner says:

    Through all our deployments we stay super busy. Visit with family alot and we always talk about daddy and keep him here everyday. With a 6 year old that gets some of the danger I have to keep him busy to keep away the what Ifs and how’s. Of course we make daddy handprints on paper plates and keep a growth chart too- the kids are always super excited to see how big they’ve gotten while dads been gone :) I love the idea of these puppies!!! No matter what we do it’s always going to be hard but this is a great way to keep dad close to us all. I’ve entered the giveway and shared the link on my facebook page. Awesome Jon troop paws!!! :) and Godspeed to all of our husbands, dads,sons, uncles, nephews, mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, etc!!! ***** until they ALL come home keep them and their families in high spirits***

  19. Cintia Buxton says:

    My husband was stationed in Korea while we stayed in California for a year. it was difficult for my son at first but it got easier after i start making a scarp book of what daddy does when he is gone. Skype helped a great deal but sometimes the time difference can get a little confusing and we would end up missing each other. I also made my son shirts with his daddy on them and hats. I found this help my son deal with daddy being gone..

  20. Ashley says:

    I shared the URL on my facebook. These are adorable, my 2 year old would love one to put a picture of Daddy in.

  21. Ashley says:

    OH here’s the link to my page where I posted the URL.

  22. Ashley says:

    I saw your comment about explaining why Daddy can’t call.

    I have a 2 year old son and I explained to him that Daddy is going to work far far away for awhile but that he will be back home when he can. I don’t try to sugar coat it because it is hard any way you explain it. Luckily we get to talk to my husband about every other day so my son see’s him on the computer and even when he hear’s Skype ringing he knows it’s daddy. The beginning was difficult because at first my son thought daddy was at work for a little while (like field time) but after he realized it was longer then usual he started looking for daddy whenever we were near other soldiers. I would tell him, no hunny daddy is working far away. Eventually he understood and when you ask him where daddy is he will tell you. We are about half way and he has had one rough night where he cried about missing daddy but other then that he has been very strong.

  23. Mama Zen says:

    In our neighborhood, we pitch in to help with yard work.

  24. Amber Taylor says:

    To make deployments easier on our small children I make sure they have pictures of their daddy everywhere! Including stuffed animals that you can put pictures on as well as voice recorders so that they can hear his voice when ever they want. Troopaws is a great example of keeping their loved one close! I shared the link on my page as well!

  25. My brother will probably be deployed soon and he just had a little girl. This would be wonderful for her and her mom to have around the house. I suppose, even though I haven’t gone through it yet, my tip is to stay focused on the good and not the negative.

  26. Susan Ladd says:

    Hope to win :)

  27. Bree Nelson says:

    We keep busy, but mainly I always do a countdown with my kids while my husband is away and we take comfort in knowing he is doing the same. Right now we’ve got 26 days and a wake up. Hooah!

  28. Bree Nelson says:

    Following both on facebook (

  29. candice ortenzo says:

    This is a very special thing for a military child to have. My family has already been through a few depolyments along with my husband also doing a tour in Korea. A child can relate and tote this along with them with the simple reminder of their dad – and something to cullde with!

  30. Kowanda says:

    Talk about it. We all have some fears about deployments. Talking about can help keep the fears from festering.
    kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

  31. Kowanda says:

    I like Trooppaws and AWL on facebook.
    kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

  32. libertie says:

    i have shared this with my business, my neice and nephew love my husband/ uncle, very much, he will be soon deploying, this would be a wonderful gift to provide to them , seeing and hugging something so close to your heart during hard times will always help you through them.

  33. [...] you are here, I hope you will enter this Trooppaws Giveaway I am hosting for this clever and compassionate entrepreneur who designed these stuffed animal dogs [...]

  34. Ashley says:

    During my husband’s first deployment, our son was in my belly…so when it came time for deployment number 2 we hoped our son was “born to handle deployments”. HAHA, Seriously though, no deployment is ever easy for a child. But we found it extremely helpful to talk about the deployment with our son months before my husband left. Every night as my husband tucked our son into bed, he explained to him that he would soon have to leave and that he didn’t want to leave our son, but it was something he had to do to keep him safe. Our son is only 3 so we figured it would be hard for him to grasp the concept of a deployment. I feared he would think daddy left us. But because we constantly reiterated the situation to him, he completely understood what was happening. We also find it very important to constantly communicate. My husband calls nearly everyday, even if it’s just for a second or two to say he’s okay, just to comfort us. Sometimes my son says, “Daddy, you okay? You fighting bad guys?” It’s so sweet and also comforting knowing that my son not only understands what’s happening but also deals with it so well.

  35. Clutterhome says:

    These are wonderful!

    I’m pregnant with our first and the hubs is deployed. For me, a big part of easing the fears is making sure I have all of my ducks in a row as far as contact information, and I like to keep all emergency phone numbers (Red Cross, the unit Ombudsman, Family Readiness Group #’s, etc) in the same location so I can easily get in touch with SOMEONE if I need to. They’re in my phone, but I like to have a hard copy, just in case! It’s also helpful to have some of my husband’s friend’s e-mail addresses (even if I don’t use them) so that if I’m having trouble contacting him, I can also try his friends.

  36. Clutterhome says:

    “Liked” Trooppaws on Facebook. Too cute!

  37. Clutterhome says:

    “Liked” Army Wives Lives on Facebook!

  38. amanda says:

    my boyfriend and i tried our best to write each other and share jokes in each letter to try to ease the longing for him to be home.

  39. [...] you are here, I hope you will enter this Trooppaws Giveaway I am hosting for this clever and compassionate entrepreneur who designed these stuffed animal dogs [...]

  40. Trooppetrie says:

    we take pictures of the child with dad and put in there room. we make sure they know where dad is coming home. we talk about dad while he is gone. sometimes it is hard to not forget to talk about dad. we pray for him. it empowers my kids to know they are praying for him

  41. Trooppetrie says:

    facebooked both of you

  42. Trooppetrie says:

    shared it on facebook

  43. April Bever says:

    Liked both on FB

  44. Brooke R. says:

    My tip would be a simple one: support our troops. Be proud of them. In our family, whenver we see someone in their military clothing, we go up to the person and just say “Thank you for serving.” We have quite a few vets in our family and we know they appreciate that too.

  45. Erin Cook says:

    I would say keep busy and hang with other army wives and surround yourself around friends and family

  46. Erin Cook says:

    like you on facebook ERin Cook

  47. Erin Cook says:

    like trooppaws on facebook ERin Cook

  48. Happi Shopr says:

    Like Troopaws and Army Wives’ Lives on facebook – happi shopr

  49. Rachel R. says:

    My sister-in-law keeps a slideshow screensaver running on the computer which has pictures of my brother. That way the kids still get to see their dad everyday.

  50. susan smoaks says:

    the only way to ease their fears is to pray!

  51. Rosey says:

    Keep friends and family close who love you and understand. It helps more than you can know.

  52. vivian says:

    think positive ty.

  53. Gianna says:

    Try to keep yourself busy.

  54. Rosey says:

    I like you both on FB (Sarah Smile).

  55. Rosey says:

    I liked this post on FB (Sarah Smile).

  56. My Deployment tips are keep a structured schedule. I had something to do most days that way we were too busy to worry SO much about daddy and waiting on him to call or email us.

    Reassure children he will have some contact when he can

    Have the service member read books on webcam my daughter LOVED that.

    Make sure your getting the one on one time.

  57. [...] Troopaws giveaway winner is: Amanda Gardner. I’ve sent you an e-mail so please check and [...]

  58. John says:

    The Joint Online Community, the military’s newest social network, is looking for military bloggers. Join today and share your stories and experiences.

  59. Kali says:

    where can i get this?! and how much?

  60. Courtney-Jo Arrants says:

    I have found that the creation of Skype makes it much easier to deal with a deployed family member as you no longer have to rely on only letters or phone calls. You can now see your loved one while talking to them.
    My husband is on his first deployment and I am 21 weeks pregnant. We bought a record-able children’s book so he is able to “read” to baby every night. We’re hoping that by the time little one gets here, he will recognize Daddy’s voice.