Published May 27, 2007

Tampa residents Norma and Oscar Aviles lost their middle child, Marine Lance Cpl. Andy Aviles, in 2003 when he was killed as American troops advanced on Baghdad. Norma Aviles, a prekindergarten instructor, describes herself "not as antimilitary, but just as a mom whose son was killed. And I want peace."

What is on your nightstand?

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner, What Was Asked of Us by Trish Wood, and McCoy's Marines by John Koopman.

 I finished the first book right after Andy was killed. It helped me get through it. It reminds us that you are not alone, and suffering is part of life. It helped me to speak out, to remind parents that something like this could happen to you, when you and your child are planning the future. I can only read the other books a little bit at a time. In McCoy's Marines, Andy's group is in the book.

Piper Jones Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at pcastillo@sptimes.com.