Helena Valley veteran wrote a children's book while deployed as a way to connect with his kids

Tyler Manning

Helena Valley resident Fred Terry never aspired to be a published author, but he wound up becoming one after writing a children’s book as a way to connect with his kids while deployed with the U.S. Army National Guard. 

His children’s book, “White Paw: Beyond the Gate,” tells a slightly fictionalized version of what took place on the Terry family farm while Fred spent nine months deployed to the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba. It is told from the perspective of a puppy that lived on the farm after being birthed by one of the family dogs, Prancer the Pup. 

The book is somewhat whimsical, as told to Fred by his children through their daily observations during his deployment. It features many talking animals like Mr. Magic, the family’s old billy goat that lives on the farm. 

Fred said he kept a journal while deployed on various assignments with the Guard. While in Cuba, he decided he wanted to do something more to create, as he puts it, “a record of my time away from my family.”

“I didn’t start off with plans to write a book. I always just keep a little journal to memorialize that time

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