Fall is here, and that means something different for our military friends and family. It means another season of deployments and trainings are starting.
It’s not that this time of the year means that deployments and trainings are more frequent. Deployments never stop being a thing and trainings seem to always be on a continuous cycle. But it feels as though things happen more often when school starts and the leaves start to change color. Then again, sometimes it doesn’t. You never know with the Army.
Regardless, this time of change is like many others it’s a season of “see you laters” for many families.
We all receive unsolicited advice throughout our lives. Sometimes, it can be helpful, like when someone tells you that your shirt is on inside out. Other times, it’s like your grandmother telling you that you should give your kids whiskey to help them teethe.
Within the military community, you find yourself at the gates of advice when your spouse is about to leave for deployment, or a long training. There are some amazing families that have an incredible amount of wisdom. These families range from finishing their first or even fifth deployment. What most families have in common is that they wish someone had told them what to expect when they were first starting out.
5 Words of Advice for the Military Spouse:
- Have a friend on call. It doesn’t matter what time of the day, where you are, or what you’re doing, make sure you have a friend on call. Someone you can cry to when you’re frustrated, someone you can ask to have dinner with, or someone you can just call to say hey to when you’re sitting at home alone and need to hear an adult voice.
- Have something planned to look forward to. Plan a trip with your spouse for when they get back. Having future plans makes the time go by faster. It’ll help get them through the grueling day to day, and give you something to keep your mind busy. It will also give you guys something to talk about that isn’t work.
- Stay busy. There’s nothing worse than sitting around your house with nothing to do. Explore a new hobby, invite your far away friends to visit, or just have a stay-cation and do something you’ve been wanting to do around town. Life goes on while they’re gone. Don’t just keep living.
- Make new friends. Get out of your comfort zone, go out and make new friends. The friends that I made while my husband was on his first deployment have stayed some of my closest friends. They become a support group not only during your time apart, but even when they come home.
- It doesn’t magically return to normal when they get back. A seasoned military spouse took me under her wing during my husband’s absence and told me how hard reintegration could be. Sometimes reintegration is harder than the time spent apart. I didn’t realize how difficult getting reacquainted with each other was going to be. Give yourself time to adjust to the new normal of you both being home.
It Takes Work
Being a military spouse is a huge undertaking. The truth is that it’s always going to take work. There are always going to be days or weeks, or even months where things just suck. But you will learn. You will learn that some fights aren’t worth having. You’ll learn that it’s okay you don’t have it all together. Don’t give up. You got this.