Yearbooks for Deployed Military and their Families

The U.S. Military has documented their various missions and deployments in official book format for decades. The U.S. Navy, for example, has published what they call “cruise books” since the Spanish American War in 1898. These military yearbooks, or deployment books, record the everyday life of the military personnel and important goings-on of the unit.

Picaboo has taken these military books one step further. Just like in school and group books, Picaboo’s military books also have personal pages. These personal pages can be used by the servicepeople to document their own individual journey in the deployment: the time they spent in downtime hanging out with friends or on duty performing specific assignments. These personal pages are also a great way for the families of the servicepeople to interact with their deployed loved ones. The families can make pages showing the activities that were going on at home while the serviceperson was away. When this happens, the deployment books become a combination of the military-and-home experiences for that particular period of the military person’s life. And as they say on the Visa commercials, the end result is something that is “priceless.”

Picaboo Yearbooks sat down with Sallie Spangenberg whose husband is serving as an officer in the US Marine Corp. Here’s what she had to say about Picaboo’s Military books:

Generally, who is in charge of putting these military books together? 
Usually the Public Affairs Officer or the Combat Camera section have this responsibility. Sometimes they are ‘voluntold’ to do it and other times there are Marines that like desktop publishing and are assigned to do it. In the past, it used to be a hassle that was ‘extra’ work, but the Marines I’ve worked with using Picaboo Yearbooks have said wonderful things about the software and the results.

How can Picaboo’s Military yearbooks be helpful for families while troops are deployed?
The best reason for military units to choose Picaboo Yearbooks for the deployment book is the offer of pages of personalized pictures. So many events happen while the military member is deployed:  first days of school, first soccer games, Thanksgiving dinner, piano recitals, Christmas morning, birthdays, etc. While the unit is making a book capturing the activities the troops are doing, families can be building their own digital scrapbook of events happening at home. So when the final book is printed, the service member sees what happened while he/she as away and the family can see some of the activities that were happening overseas.

How can the books be helpful for the soldiers while they are away from home?
Having those memories preserved for later in the service person’s life or career can be a keepsake just like a yearbook forever captures those memories of our teenage years.

Are these books shipped overseas to the military members, or must they wait until they’re home to receive them?
The books are usually finished with the homecoming pictures once the unit returns. That’s another great thing about Picaboo Yearbooks is having only three weeks turnaround time. Usually in the Marine Corps, the units come home, have a week of half-day special classes to reintegrate from a war zone then take two weeks leave. So when they return from leave, the books can be there ready to be handed out. It’s also nice to have the books stay in the online bookstore so if someone wants to order it later or loses one in a move, it can be reordered.

How could QR codes be incorporated into these books?
They could easily be used for promotion videos, videos of training exercises, fun clips of flag football or PT exercising.