Maj. Johnathan Edmonds, U.S. Air Force Reserve, wanted a book to share with his unborn daughter. As a pilot of the KC-135R refueling tanker and a member of the 77th Air Refueling Squadron based out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Johnathan wanted his daughter to understand what he does in the military, but also wanted to convey that message in a happy light. His search for military-themed children’s books only turned up books dealing with deployments, so the expectant father decided since he couldn’t find exactly what he wanted, he would just have to create it himself. Johnathan discussed his idea with his wife, Alison, and then ran it by a few friends and family to gauge their interest. The book would feature the planes of the Air Force as the characters and he would call them the Service Pals. Totin’ Tony Tanker, Fast Freddie Falcon, Galloping Gale Galaxy, and others sprang to life. Two days later, he had written Air Force Service Pals in the Amazing Airshow and was on the hunt for a publisher. Within a week he had located a publisher and contracted for an illustrator, but why stop at one book? Why not do an entire series and include the other branches of the U.S. military? The Service Pals would participate in adventures together, but there would be no mention of deployments or combat. The books would focus on happy stories that children could enjoy, and military as well as non-military children would be able to relate to the characters and their escapades. The end of each book would feature a display of the characters along with some basic information so children could learn more about the vehicles used by the U.S. military. Johnathan quickly churned out three more titles: Marine Service Pals in the Honor Relay, Army Service Pals Search for Sergeant Mike, and Navy Service Pals Travel Around the World.
Six months after that first conversation with his wife, Johnathan held all four books in his hands and he could search the major online book retailers – Amazon.com, BN.com and Booksamillion.com – and find his books listed and available to the public. It began as a project for his daughter and grew to one he could share with the world. Johnathan has ideas for more titles, including a Coast Guard book, and hopes to eventually grow Service Pals to include other products in addition to books.