AUBURN – Matthew Cote might be in the desert. He might be lonely. The Marine might yearn for gentle words or a picture of his children.

It’s the image that energizes his wife, Taylor-Paige.

After work, school and caring for her kids, ages 4 and 19 months, Taylor-Paige Cote is assembling a book.

It will be a book of pictures and sayings, small enough to be tucked in a pocket and read anywhere, even in a war.

“It will have some silly, little blurbs,” said Taylor-Paige. “They would be things to make you smile, nothing too serious.”

The intended effect is serious, though. The troops might feel a little connection to home. They might smile. They might need it.

Taylor-Paige’s project began as a gift to her husband. Matthew, a lance corporal in the Marine Reserve, was called to active duty in January. Since then, he has been in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He could get called to war any time.

Taylor-Paige managed to visit him at the base. She saw the dormitory-like barracks he lived in.

“There was a padlock on the door,” she said. “When I went in, there were guys staring at a blank TV screen.

“I got depressed just seeing the way they lived,” Taylor-Paige said.

They needed something more. She had seen a book called “Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11.”

The book, as the title suggests, features photos of children born on that tragic day. Its example, of finding something good despite the tragic events, led Taylor-Paige to imagine finding her own positive images.

She, too, could make a book.

She imagines it as having 365 pages, one page for each day of the year. There may also be a half version, for people on six-month deployments.

Each page would have a single photo and something inspirational below. She hopes to receive submissions from people around the area. They might be from veterans or people with friends in the military

Taylor-Paige is just beginning her compilation. She is working with the New Auburn American Legion and others to gather photos and text.

A title will come later. “I have no idea,” she said. “I think it’s going to come to me at the last second.”

She plans to have the book professionally published, even if she must pay a premium for a few books, for Matthew and a handful of other local troops. But she would like to do more. Many men and women need the connection to home, she said.

“They really need to know we support them,” she said.

Matthew will appreciate it.

“I think it would definitely touch him,” she said. “I don’t see him not loving it.”


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