OLYMPIA, Wash. - Joint Base Lewis-McChord Sergeant Joe Wardell wrote a book to help his son deal with his father's year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

Wardell serves with the 14th Engineers clearing explosives from roads.

He brought his son's stuffed camel, Doodey, with him to Afghanistan and wrote a children's book about how the camel helped American soldiers.

I wanted him to know he was always with me on that deployment, said Wardell.

Wardell sent the toy home six months into his tour, to show his son that things that go away can come home safe.

When Wardell returned, he read the book to his son which included photos of Doodey in Afghanistan.

Wardell thinks the book could help other military families deal with deployments and the return of a soldier.

Doodey the Combat Camel is available on

Read or Share this story: