Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Personal and Meaningful Text-to-Self Connection to Nubs

As I read Nubs: A Mutt, A Marine, and A Miracle by Kirby Larson, yesterday, for the last time of the cycle to students in grades K-2, I was bummed that this cycle's 2013-14 Iowa Goldfinch nominee book and lesson ended.


A few days ago, I had blogged about Nubs and how I read the book and showed two video clips to students in grades K-2.  You can review that blog post by clicking here .

There is so much more that I could do with this particular book.  I would have had students do the following:

  • write a letter to Major Brian Dennis and Nubs
  • write a letter to Author Kirby Larson
  • map activities
And, probably the main reason I am bummed that this cycle's book and lesson ended, is that I could easily make a personal and meaningful text-to-self connection.  The connection hits really close to home, literally.  By sharing my connection, I believe it would leave a lasting impression with students.

In the video clip of Today Show, Major Brian Dennis explains how military people easily form a bond between man and dog, and that he "gets it" when it comes to a bond between man and dog, especially with military personnel.  Both the book and the interview video clip illustrate the bond built between Major Brian Dennis and Nubs, which sparks a connection for me.


Rockford, Iowa is the home of NAVY Seals Chief Petty Officer Jon Tumilson and his family.  My husband, father-in-law, and our family have connections to Jon and his family, as my husband and father-in-law are carpenters, and they have done work for the parents of NAVY SEALS Chief Petty Office Jon Tumilson.

Rockford is approximately 20 miles from Mason City, Iowa.

Jon Tumilson is best known for his heroic efforts in the war in Afghanistan.  According to the website 3 Minutes Out (3 Minutes Out is an organization and foundation created by Jon's family)...

On August 6th, 2011 a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. In the dark of night, America lost 30 of its finest soldiers while they defended the freedoms Americans enjoy daily. SOC Jon Thomas Tumilson was one of those brave Warriors who laid it all on the line that fateful summer night.
While most of us were going about our lives and anticipating the comfort of another summer weekend; Jon and his team-mates were going about their lives in anticipation of another successful mission. The only comfort they had was being with each other and the knowledge that the night's task would make us safer at home. Many of us took our ease in our favorite chairs that night as the evening's meal melted in our stomachs. Jon and his team-mates settled into their places in a dark and uncomfortable bird without a home cooked meal and set off into the dangerous Afghan night. At the closing of the door their fates were sealed. Yet to a man none would have left the sides of their brothers had they known how the mission would end. This is why we call them Heroes. Warriors, who without regard for their own lives, put themselves willingly into danger because of the love for their families, their team-mates, and for the United States of America.
May God bless and protect our soldiers. 


I will never forget the day the event mentioned above was nationally broadcast.  This news came 20 days before my second child, Jacob was born (born August 26, 2011), which makes this particular event even more memorable.

While NAVY SEALS Chief Petty Officer Jon Tumilson is remembered for lots of things, he is also remembered across the world for this picture...
This picture illuminates the strong bond between man and dog.  It is this particular picture that I vividly pictured while listening to Major Brian Dennis describe his bond with Nubs in the Today news video clip, and when I read aloud the book to the students.

So, as you can see, the book Nubs: A Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle would have allowed me even more teachable moments, connections, and opportunities, particularly share the awe-inspiring story of NAVY SEALS Chief Petty Office Jon Tumilson.

This summer I had the opportunity to run my first ever 5K in the Jon Tumilson Go Crush It Warrior Dash in Rockford, Iowa.  This was the second year for the event, which was organized by Jon's family.  In two short years, it has gained runners from all over the United States, to travel to Rockford to run in this annual 5K.  This year was particularly even more special as a statue of Jon and his dog, Hawkeye, was unveiled at Rockford Fossil and Prairie Park.  You can read more about this special day by clicking here and clicking here.

You can find out more about NAVY SEALS Chief Petty Officer Jon Tumilson by clicking here on 3 Minutes Out website .