• Britt Riner

Bookshelf Spotlight: Goodnight Marines

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

In celebration of tomorrow’s 245th birthday of the Marine Corps, the Primerrily community is reading a very special book with our kids, written by Marine Lt. Colonel David Dixon and illustrated by Disney’s Phil Jones: Goodnight Marines.



Our thoughts about the book are put best in the words of the author himself:


"As a Marine and Iraq War veteran, I feel honored to represent the Marine Corps and the traditions that I hold so dear. I believe that Marines, both active duty and retired, must learn to engage the younger generation and share our proud culture of leadership. In this spirit I authored Goodnight Marines. All who read Goodnight Marines will appreciate the patriotism, heartfelt emotions, captivating illustrations, and richness of symbolism. In this book a young child gazes proudly at a photograph of his father - currently deployed to Afghanistan. The child’s room is adorned with toy tanks, planes, radios, and trucks that he plays with to feel connected to his father. Then, as the child says goodnight to his dad and all of his military memorabilia, the toys come alive in his vibrant imagination. Kids, of course, love the quiet protagonist - the child’s best friend and stuffed animal Teufel Hunden (Devil Dog). Unfortunately, this young boy cannot yet pronounce such a difficult German word, so he has named his friend ‘Tuffy Hound.’ The real spirit of Goodnight Marines culminates on the final page, where the moon shines on the father’s picture next to his son - sleeping safely in his room with Tuffy Hound. . ."


We also agree that “Goodnight Marines makes the perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, or during the holiday season. . . this hardcover children's book will warm the hearts of both young and old as the audience is taken on an imaginative adventure that teaches about the culture & traditions of the USMC.” And we love that a portion of the proceeds from this book will benefit Tillman Scholars through the Pat Tillman Foundation. The Tillman Scholarship supports our nation's active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses by investing in their higher education. This book and other “Semper Fi” goods can also be found at The Marine Shop.

For some more ways to observe this anniversary holiday, we recommend reading these Marine active duty and veteran stories, and then sharing the values and life lessons with your kids:


Marine Corps Birthday Message 2020 -- Task and Purpose

"‘No matter who you are, do something of service for your country,’ Cole, a former sergeant, said in the video. ‘I've always been proud to say that I was in the Marine Corps’. . .


‘On this birthday, our nation finds in the U.S. Marine Corps men and women who know the meaning of patriotism, valor, duty, strength, discipline, and innovation,’ Berger said. ‘We must be faithful to our country, to our corps and to each other. This faithfulness must never be compromised. We must respect each other, believe in each other, trust each other.’”


2020 Marine Birthday Message from Commandant Berger

“‘If there were a watchword for 2020, the shortlist would certainly include ‘change,’ ‘uncertainty,’ and 'adaptation,’ Berger said in the opening sentence of the address. . . ‘While this year’s many challenges are significant and unique, they are not unprecedented, and it is important to remember that our Nation and Corps have endured difficult times in our past,’ Berger said in his message to the Corps. . .


In addition to marking the 245th birthday of the Marine Corps, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of World War II battles like Iwo Jima and Okinawa, in Japan, the 70th anniversary of Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, and the 55th anniversary of Marines arriving in Da Nang, Vietnam, Berger reminded the Corps.’”


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