Care packages are touted far and wide for their magical abilities. However, you will find yourself wondering what to put in these USPS delivered treasure boxes. Your soldier will be no help at all. There is even a chance that they will insist that they “don’t need anything”. Send snack foods… And baby wipes. Don’t expect a Thank you card. They may thank you in passing, while requesting that you send razors.
Everyone from family members to complete strangers at the post office will tell you to stay busy. After a while “stay busy” will begin to sound like “please hit me”. This goes away after homecoming.
Your soldier will never call at a convenient time for you. In fact the more important your plans are, the higher probability of receiving a phone call.
Case in point, I’ve considered making a doctor’s appointment any time I want to talk to Sweet Husband. It never fails, every time I’m in the middle of an examination, he calls. Every. Single. Time.
Don’t talk to other spouses about the frequency of phone calls. Seriously. Nothing good can come of this. If you are the one whose spouse has a hard time finding the Skype icon on their computer you will feel lousy that you don’t get to talk to your spouse that much. Feelings of bitterness, hurt, and distress may bubble up inside of you.
On the other hand, if you’re the one who gets to talk to your spouse every day…. Run. Your life is in danger. Especially if you’re having conversations that are hours long, everyday.
Don’t talk about it. It’s safer that way for everyone.
Don’t post photos of soldiers you know online without they‘re permission. And err on the side of caution, don’t post pictures of them in uniform with visible patches and name tapes. Familiarize yourself with OPSEC.
Don’t post your soldiers deployment information on the internet. Facebook does not need to know your soldier’s flight information or that the unit is stuck in Oz for the next seven hours. I promise.
Friends and strangers will try to make you feel better by telling you about the time they had to spend a week away from their significant other. DO NOT follow your instincts.
Though they mean well, They are clueless.
Don’t be afraid to take your friends up on their offers to help. I’m still working on this one. But I cannot describe the bliss of knowing that there are people able and willing to help you when you need it.
Deployments are rough. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first one or the eighteenth one. You will not finish it the same person you were when you started, and neither will your spouse.
Did I forget anything?