As a former sailor, it was always important to me to find people who supported me in journey as an enlisted woman. There were often times that I wondered what I had gotten myself into, and if I were to have to go to war, how that would weigh on my family. There was a lot going through my head. It’s nice to know that programs to honor the military such as #ChevySalutes exists because it’s more than just a day that so many of my friends need. It’s a helping hand, an ear to listen, or a shoulder to lean on.
I’m here to give some tips on how to deal with that family member or friend who is in the service, and how you can support them to the fullest extent.
First of all – write. I know that this is the day and age of quick technology. Text messaging and skyping is awesome, but sometimes, we need the words of our friends and family to go back on, and written letters and cards do just that. They allow us to hear you in our heads when it’s too late to call, or we’re not in an area to call. It lets us know that you took time out of your busy day just to think about us and put in on paper or a card. Because I know the struggle of being away from family for an extended period of time, I tend to take the writing to another seriously.
Help out a family that is deployed. I know that I’m SURROUNDED by military families. I have several in my church home, lots in friendships that started back in grade school, and even old neighbors. My husband’s cousins seem to all be married to servicemen or IN the service themselves. Offering to pick up the slack of the deployed family member helps so much. Cooking and freezing meals for those days that may be too hectic to think, especially during the start of a first deployment can help soothe the military spouses’ angst. Forming a carpool, or school pickup, or even a babysitting circle can work wonders AND provide a lot of support in and of itself. Then when the enlisted member comes home from a long deployment, you can join them in their homecoming celebration as shown below! You can also read more behind the story HERE.
Being around to share in concerns and fears is another big thing. One thing that all military personnel has to do is fill out a living will. It’s rough to do, and that paperwork becomes super important during deployments. It’s like the big elephant in the room that everyone ignores. However, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to listen to the worries of the military spouses AND the enlisted, because they become afraid as well. Everyone won’t have the answer, but listening and validating the fears and concerns of all involved can lift an invisible weight off of heavy shoulders.
Many thanks to all who have chosen to honor the military men and women in their lives this month, but please continue to keep them lifted all the time. Thanks to Chevy for #ChevySalutes this month, and with the help in helping military families afford vehicles to drive. It is not overlooked!