Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Support a Friend During Deployment: Part 3

A couple weeks ago I did a guest post for Kris Goes Crazy because she was looking for answers about how best to help her good friend who is deployed right now. I think this is such an important topic that I wanted to feature this post on my blog as well. After writing the guest post, I realized it was a lot longer than I had anticipated so I'm going to feature it in a 3 part series of posts. If you have already read it, feel free to skip over these few posts. Thanks for your patience and support of not only me and my blog but also our military!

Part 3:

In the last two parts of this series I have talked a lot about how you can support a soldier and the soldier's spouse.

Let's face it though. As Amber from Goodnight Moon put it...everyone gets wrapped up in their own lives and these soldiers and spouses aren't always at the forefront of thought for most people. And that's okay too.

All we ask is that those around us be a bit sensitive and understanding of our different situation.

With that being said...there is no reason that you (whether you are a spouse, family member, friend  or stranger) do what you can and only that. So this leads me into part 3 of my support series.

Photo by Jhong Dizon

Here are some tips on how to support a friend during deployment if the friend is you.
  • Give What You Can ~ I know I’ve talked a lot about what you can give to a soldier and a spouse during deployment. But you can only give what you can give. No more. No less. If you are being pulled in too many directions, do not try to give more than you are able. People can tell when other’s are not being genuine. If you are trying to support someone because that’s what you are supposed to do, not what you want to do, then please let someone else do it.  

  • Know Your Limits ~ If you have never been involved with the military it can be difficult. Heck, it’s difficult for me. Do not be afraid to set boundaries and know your limits. Let the soldier and or the spouse know the type and extent of information you would or would not like to know. If you do not think you can handle knowing that the soldier was in a fire fight, set that boundary. You are well within your rights to set those boundaries and to expect others to maintain them. One important question The Hubble asked me during one of our early phone calls during a deployment was how much I wanted to know. I made the right choice for me and you can make the right choice for you. 

  • Fill Your Time ~ If you ever really analyze how a soldier’s spouse and or children fill their time during deployments you will often note that they hardly stop moving. Parents enroll children in almost every activity and sport imaginable. During a deployment pre Little Butt you would rarely find me at home. I would work longer days. I would go out at night. I would hang out at work after my shift just to not be alone. Just to not stop and think about the situation. It never gets easier. You just do what you have to do. At a certain point your life develops a new routine. But the ache never stops.

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