BUFFALO, NY - As a member of the Coast Guard, Petty Officer First Class Tyler Benson goes on duty for several days at a time.
There are plenty of nights he isn't home to read his three daughters a bed time story, and it was difficult to explain to his girls why he wasn't always there.
Benson and his wife found plenty of books geared toward Army and Navy families but never one about the U.S. Coast Guard -- so he wrote his own.
"When mommy and daddy are gone, this book can give some type of comfort that they are out there doing something very important," said Benson, a Michigan native now stationed in Buffalo.
The first book, "The Adventures of Onyx and the Guardians of the Straits" was just released. It's part of a 20-book series, and a new book will be released every six months.
The books are all based on real search and rescue missions Benson was a part of, but he removes himself from the story and instead tells the tale through the eyes of Onyx, a black labrador.
The real Onyx is a stray dog that Benson and his shipmates found and adopted in Michigan.
The book is available on amazon.com or at B is for Books in Orchard Park.
Book number two will be released in the late spring or early summer, and book three comes out next fall.
Book four is titled "The Adventures of Onyx and the Fight Against the Falls" and will be released in the spring of 2014. It chronicles Benson's move to Buffalo and his search and rescue missions here but through the eyes of Onyx.