A Hero with No Powers!
A Sailor encourages children through reading
Sailors have many options to spend the little free time they get on deployment; they can play video games or watch movies, but Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Alex Perez uses his precious minutes to make children's books for his family.
Perez, from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, has been drawing since he was in the first grade.
"It was always a hobby of mine," said Perez. "I would watch cartoons as a kid and just start drawing the characters."
Whenever Perez drew, he would usually stick to characters from his favorite shows, including Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon. He sometimes drew his own cartoons, but he never thought about writing children's books until he had kids of his own.
Being away from his family while deployed led him to the idea of making a kids book for his daughters and nephew.
"[My daughters] love playing as superheroes, but I keep telling them they don't need any powers to change the world," said Perez.
He wanted them to understand that treating people with respect and looking out for one another can be just as heroic as having super strength or being able to fly. Eventually, he had the idea to make a book that explained it to them, a book he called "A Hero with No Powers!"
The book stars his daughters, Isabel and Ivette, and his nephew, Ian. It explains what being a hero entails. Each page features an illustration by Perez and a short lesson to show the kids how to grow as a person. The small life lessons are simple, but provide a good base for values like treating others with respect and staying positive through adversity.