Proud to be from Pittsburgh: 'What is a Veteran Anyway?'

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: 'What is a Veteran Anyway?'

PITTSBURGH — Dr. Robert Snyder is now in his third career. The retired Army captain is combining his love of military service and his love of teaching to create children's books on veterans, respect and honor.

Snyder served as an Army Reserve military police officer during the early years of the Iraq War. He also taught patriotism to hundreds of local elementary school students.  One Veteran's Day, he wore his uniform to class and realized it wasn't enough.

"One of my students just said 'Mr. Snyder, why are you wearing one of those old people uniforms?'  And it dawned on me that their only representation of veterans is from VFWs and American Legions.  That was sort of the big wake-up call for me," Snyder said.

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That's when his third career started and he became a children's book author.  His first book titled "What is a Veteran Anyway?" takes young students through the daily challenges of serving.

Snyder that  explained the book looks at, "How do we shower? What do we eat? How do we sleep?"

His second book was more of a personal journey.  It's called, "Why Did Daddy Have To Leave?" It's roughly based on his family.

"'Why did Daddy have to leave?' were the questions my kids were asking," Snyder told Channel 11's Katherine Amenta. "Will my dad be the same? Will he still love me?"

Snyder said it's up to adults to make sure children today learn where our country started, what military members sacrifice and, most importantly, to say thank you.

"When they see veterans when they're out at the grocery store to not be afraid and to just shake their hand and say, 'Thank you for you service,'" Snyder said.

A portion of the proceeds from Snyder's book sales this year will go to a program at Slippery Rock University that provides a service dog to a veteran on campus each year.

For more information on the books and how to buy them, go to