Writing Letters to Deployed Soldiers: What Not to Write

what not to write

It’s absolutely amazing how much I’m getting done in the basement for my organizational project.  I’m finding things from years ago. I trashed a bunch of old papers from school (rightfully so, I was a horrible writer in school, what was I thinking!)  I’ve parted with a lot of baby stuff from the girls, and I’ll be going through their old clothes soon too.  What really caught me though was a stack of letters from friends/family to my husband while he was deployed to Iraq.  He’s busy working two jobs right now, and I hijacked him last night to help me more in the basement, so I didn’t want to take anymore of his time.  Sent him a quick text to ask if I could glance through them to report back what was in them to see if he wanted to save them and I was shocked at what I found after he gave me permission to read through them.  I don’t want to call anyone out or dwell on about the gory details, because this was about eight years ago and I learned a long time ago to focus on the positive and not hash out the past because it’s not worth it. I do want to leave a quick guidelines from what I’ve learned in two deployments to help people decide what to write in their letters to their friends and loved ones and the things that should best be left out. If you’d like some advice on what to write to a soldier you’ve adopted, I have some advice for you too!

  1. Why haven’t you responded?  Please do not ask your soldier for the reasons s/he hasn’t responded to your letters, emails, PM’s or any other method you are able to contact the troops. There are many reasons not to ask this, here are a couple.  Your soldier may be in a Communication Blackout.  This means all communication methods have been shut down for security.  They may not have the ability to contact you.  I know during My husband’s first deployment, they were frequently in blackout and he couldn’t contact me no matter what.  Another reason is s/he may not have time.  While the leaders do their best to provide breaks, soldiers first priority is their mission.  Nick was working 16 hour days and often still had other obligations preventing him from getting enough rest.  He was exhausted and stressed, responding to letters and emails was usually an intention he had, but could never find the time. Heck, he didn’t even respond to me half the time and I’m his wife! He felt bad enough knowing he needed to talk to people on his list, he didn’t need it pointed out to him.
  2. Why didn’t you spend time with me on your leave?  The down low on this one is that while some people are all about getting together with droves of friends and family on their two week leave (or even when they first get home after a year of deployment) there are some soldiers who want nothing to do with masses of people, or even just a few friends.  This does not mean they don’t care about you.  It does not mean they don’t want to see more of you after they decompress from a year of stress and exhaustion   Some soldiers need social time to de-stress.  Other soldiers, like my husband, need quiet time away from people (sometimes even me) just to relax.  This is normal reactions based on introverted and extroverted personalities.  Also, there can be a lot of friends and family who are all wanting their time with their friend/family member they have been away from for a year.  Giving each one individual time means the soldier doesn’t have time for himself.  Please be respectful of the stress a soldier has gone through and remember it is probably not about you, if you think it is, a letter to the soldier is not the place to communicate it.
  3. Don’t guilt trip your soldier.  Please, please, please do not tell your soldier how much people miss them and they are doing a shoddy job paying respects back, they’ve changed because they aren’t contacting you, that they don’t care because they haven’t spent time with you or responded to you, or anything else that can guilt trip a soldier.  Remember, like I said before, their focus is on their mission while they are gone and then on destressing and relaxing when they are back.  It’s not about you, don’t make it about you, and don’t guilt the soldier into feeling bad for these things when they have little control over it all.camo peace
  4. Don’t blame the spouse/significant other. I will be the first to say it, I do not control my husbands actions, no matter how hard I try to, I don’t.  I like to think he listens to me, but that’s because he agrees with me most of the time and is doing it because he wants to.  There are many times that I have asked him to do things, and if he doesn’t want to or doesn’t agree with it, he won’t do it.  Actions of the soldier are of the soldier alone.  Don’t blame the significant other for any actions the soldier does or does not take, you don’t know what is being said on the other end.  Maybe the significant other is urging the solder to do things and they are not following through (because of the many reasons listed above) or maybe the significant other is not urging them, in which case it becomes the choice of the soldier to act.  Either way, it all comes down to the choices the soldier makes.  Do not, under any circumstances blame the spouse/significant other for actions or inactions of the soldier. Even if it were the fault of the significant other, a letter is not the place to complain about that person’s significant other.
  5. You’re not making an effort.  I don’t think I really need to explain why this is such a bad thing to say to a soldier, mainly because they are out there protecting your freedoms and fighting for your country.  To say they are not making an effort for that reason, and every other reason I listed above is just wrong.  Deployment is something the majority of citizens of this country will thankfully never have to face.  Even if a soldier is not making an effort when they are home on a regular day, do not tell them this in your letter to them while they are deployed. Wait and have a face to face, serious conversation to find out what’s wrong. It could be something serious like depression or PTSD or it could just be that the relationship has drifted apart. Things like that happen, but you’ll never know until you talk it out.
  6. You’ve changed. No matter how true this is, it’s best to leave this out of letters. For the most part, this is actually a fairly cliche comment anyway and probably shouldn’t grace a conversation because it’s extremely vague.  People do change, it’s not always a bad thing, and often it’s good.  Just because someone isn’t the same person they were a decade ago, doesn’t mean they should go right back to being that person they once were. Most likely it means they’ve either grown up or taken a different path in their life.  If you aren’t as close to this person as you once were, this difference in path may explain why you feel they’ve changed so much.  Maybe do a little something to get to know the new person better to learn why they are the way they are because they obviously mean enough for you to find the need to say something, or forget about it and accept the change as it is.  When it comes to being a soldier.  In most cases, yes, they probably did change.  The military will do that to you (sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, it all depends on what you’ve seen and experienced.)

writing letters

Ok, so those are some insights into what not to say to a soldier while deployed, here are a few things you should talk about with a deployed soldier.

  • What’s the weather like where you are.
  • Thank you.
  • What has the family been up to.
  • What’s the low down on the TV show your soldier follows but can’t due to deployment (unless they don’t want you giving any spoilers)
  • Send pictures  lots and lots of pictures.
  • Talk about work (unless it’s super negative, then skip that one)
  • Talk about the pets.
  • Talk about friends (not gossip, just the good stuff)
  • Be positive.  There is so much negativity going around and your soldier does not want to be where he is, doing whatever he is doing, so keep it positive to help get them through the day.
  • Talk about a home remodeling project. If you’re like me, you’ll design something with them in mind, then lie and tell them it’s something they’ll hate.
  • Tell them you miss them, and leave it at that.  No guilt, just a simple I miss you.  I’m sure they miss you too.
  • Ask them if they need anything or want you to send anything in a care package.
  • Tell them funny stories. Did you attempt to do something they normally did and it failed big time?  As long as no one was hurt and the end result is 100% funny, share it, let them know how much they are needed, but you’re making do in the mean time.
  • Talk about what meal they want to eat when they get home.  Most likely anything is better than military food.
  • Write to them 100 reasons you love them.

If you’re running out of ideas I provided some additional creative ideas for inspiration on the post Writing Letters to Soldiers: Friends and Family and Writing Letters to Soldiers: Adopted Soldier Edition.

 Do you have anything to add to either list? I’d love to hear your suggestions.


    • says

      The military lifestyle is hard on everyone involved. I know we’ve had our troubles with trying to communicate with every single person and make sure everyone is getting the attention they need (not always the attention they want). I will say, our second deployment was much easier because of social media. None of us were very active on it for the first deployment, so it was hard to get information out to everyone, but the second big deployment was a lot easier. As much as I curse social media for sucking the life away from me, it is a blessing for these types of situations.
      Mary recently posted…31 Day Organizational Challenge: Progress Week 1My Profile

  1. says

    I am seriously FLOORED. People write this stuff?! What in heaven’s name are they thinking?

    I can’t imagine putting additional weight of any kind on our soldiers’ shoulders, that is in any way avoidable. Why would it not occur to people to keep it “light”? People just really don’t THINK.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, a thousand times THANK YOU to our soldiers and to those of you who give them up, and live with the worry and the added responsibility, on our behalf!
    Rachel R. recently posted…Twiztt CookwareMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Rachel :) I think “thinking” is the key. People don’t always consider the ramifications of their words and are more likely to speak their mind in any format at any time. It seems like consideration has taken a turn for the worse in this day and age. It’s just not as common to find considerate people out there as it used to be.
      Mary recently posted…Ten Things To Do Without TelevisionMy Profile

  2. says

    This is an AMAZING list!!! Not many people know how hard it can be on them while they are deployed. I think that it’s easy to get caught up in personal feelings. Thank you for putting together such great tips! I cannot thank your family enough for the sacrifices you have made.

  3. Ashley says

    Thank you so much for writing this! When my hubs was deployed for the first time we had a conversation via Skype (between broken connections) about how his mom and sister were writing emails with most of these int them. Mostly blaming me for him not contacting. It’s been 4 years and its still the first thing we hear when there is family drama.

    • says

      I’m sorry you have to go through that Ashley. Sometimes being the spouse makes you the easy target, sometimes that’s how I felt anyway. Stay strong, you know the truth and I’m pretty sure your husband does too.

  4. Ariel says

    Hi Mary,
    This is great information. However, it DOES get discouraging when I’m always the one writing and get nothing in response. I know my soldier tries, but is it okay to take a break (a week or so) from writing? I have been completely positive in my emails; sometimes I get tired of writing about myself without any response/feedback. I know he’s busy/tired/stressed/etc. but it’s hard on me, too (hope that doesn’t sound selfish). He is a friend, not a boyfriend or spouse, but a very close friend.
    Honestly, part of me is worried about our next conversation because I’m afraid I will say the wrong things. I also don’t like talking about myself; I’d rather hear what he’s up to, but I understand that a lot of times soldiers don’t like to talk about what they’re experiencing there. I just don’t want to screw up.
    Maybe if you can provide more topics of conversation, that would help. I would hate not having anything to talk about.
    I care about my soldier a lot; but I’m feeling very discouraged.
    Thanks for your help.

    • says

      Hi Ariel!

      You are a blessing for being so involved in a soldiers life! Your friend is lucky to have you. It does get daunting to write letter after letter. I see no reason why you couldn’t take a week or so off, the topics do start to run short when you are frequently writing. Maybe switch to writing just a couple of times a month. Instead of just writing about yourself specifically, maybe try writing some letters that are about new upcoming movies, music, video games, or anything else your solider enjoys. They usually don’t have time to keep up on those kinds of things, so that can help too. With the holidays approaching, now is a good time to write about upcoming plans as well as some ideas on how to celebrate with your friend next year. Sometimes looking to the future is a great way to build topics because the possibilities are endless. Also, if you don’t want to write a letter all the time, maybe send a care package once every month or two. You can put fun things in there, themed items, whatever you want. I once sent my husband a 5 pound bag of Jolly Ranchers. He shared them with everyone and they loved it! Sometimes it just takes getting a little creative. Even writing a list to remind them why you’re friends. Maybe 101 crazy things we’ll do when you get back, or 101 reasons I’m glad you’re in my life. Things like that can make them laugh and keep their spirits up. Good luck, and don’t burn yourself out. That’s the last thing your friend will want. I hope this helps!

      • Ariel says

        Thanks for your reply, Mary. I’m happy to report that communication has greatly improved in the past couple of weeks. My soldier has called a couple of times, emailed once or twice, and sent me a quick text here and there. And you know what he said in his phone call and email? “Thank you so much for staying in touch with me.” If anyone else out there reads this, it DOES mean a lot to the soldier to write him/her, even if they don’t write back.
        Our relationship is a bit complicated (we have feelings for each other but can’t be anything more than friends), so I’m still not sure about the care package. Right now, I feel uncomfortable; as if that should be left to a girlfriend (although he is currently single) or his mom or another relative. I have a few ideas of things I would like to send him. Those flat-rate boxes are so big, and I can’t possibly think of things to fill them up. I feel silly asking him what kind of body wash he would like. Plus, he told me that there are leftover hygiene stuff from previous units’ care packages. I’ll just keep asking him if he needs anything until he tells me specifics.
        And I feel awful about this; I am guilty of #6 above. I’ve mentioned to him pre-deployment that he’s changed and things aren’t the same as they used to be. I think we’re over it, and maybe he wasn’t offended. He actually told me that his feelings for me stayed the same, although maybe he knew he had changed (to prepare for his deployment). That’s why I don’t ever want to screw up in the future. And yes, this is the first time dealing with a loved one being deployed.
        Thank you for the compliment; it makes me feel like I’m doing something right by being there for my friend. He means so much to me.
        Thanks again for your ideas, suggestions, and feedback. And thanks for this post :)

  5. Katrina says

    Hi Ariel,
    I can totally related to your situation. I am starting to get a little discourage myself, but reading your comment made me feel better. I have a friend and our relationship is exactly like your’s. My question is, how long did it take before for start receiving responses after your first letter?

    • says

      Katrina, when it comes to deployment and communication, it all depends on where they are, what their mission is, how busy they are and a little bit of personality. Some people hear back within a month (mail service can be slow, so response back and forth can take some time to travel if it’s regular mail). Some people never hear back. It can be discouraging if you don’t hear back, just know in most cases they want to respond, but they aren’t getting much down time or they don’t know what to write due to OPSEC. Stay positive and know you are helping them pass the time and reminding them there are people still thinking about them!
      Mary Juett recently posted…REPREVE and My 2014 Bucket ListMy Profile

  6. Rachel says

    Thanks for the great tips. I can’t believe people actually write those things!!!

    I just signed up to “adopt” a soldier through a military support organization. So I’ll be sending letters and care packages and such, but to someone I’ve never met. Could you (or your husband) offer any ideas on what a soldier would/would not like to receive from someone they don’t know well? I do know what some of his practical needs are, so I’m mostly referring to the content of letters and little things I might send just as morale-boosters.
    Is it possible to over-thank them for their service? I want to let my soldier know how much I appreciate what he does, but without embarrassing him.

    Any suggestions you can provide would be hugely appreciated! Thanks :)

    • says

      Thanks Rachel! I’m so glad you’re adopting a soldier. Trust me, you can never thank them enough. They may be a bit modest, but a flood of thanks is always a great way to put a smile on their face, which is a huge gift you could send them. My husband suggests items like trail mix, hard candies, jerky and other non-perishable food. Travel toothpaste, shampoos, toothbrushes, shave cream. He says toilet paper is needed, however many soldiers can’t shower daily so the wet towelettes or wet wipes are a good thing to send them. Paperback books might be a good thing. If they don’t care for it, they’ll just share it with other soldiers who will. If you know where they are from, sending them a hometown newspaper might be a nice touch. Games like cards, UNO or even send along some poker chips. Work out videos might even be something they might be interested in.

      Things you can write to the soldier are endless, just take a moment to sit down and think about your life for a bit and the things they might be missing out on. Tell them about you, your family, your pets, your job, what household chores are you looking forward too…which ones not so much. Do you have a favorite restaurant? Send them a list of your favorite positive/motivational quotes. Tell them a story about something funny that happened to you recently or even in the past. It’s up to you how detailed you want to get since you’ve never met them, but hearing about life in general around the States is always a good thing. Do you cook? Tell them about your favorite recipes, maybe even send some of your favorite recipes in the letter so they can take them home and try them out later.

      Good luck and happy writing! Remember, if they can write they will, but don’t expect a reply. Often they are extremely busy…but it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate what you’re sending :)

      • Rachel says

        Mary, thank you so much to you and your husband!! This is my first time adopting a soldier and I don’t want to inadvertently say something hurtful! :) They do so much… I feel a 100 times better now after reading the tips you posted.
        I’ve been able to write to my soldier a couple of times now, as well as sending a package, and while I do feel sort of silly just rambling on about random things in my life, I think it’s going well.
        Thanks again! :)

        Also, please tell your husband THANK YOU from me for his service :)

        • says

          I’m sure your soldier LOVES to hear about what’s going on in your life. It’s probably a nice break from the deployment. Don’t forget, you can always ask your soldier if there is anything they want to hear about. Maybe a TV show, sports scores or something else they are interested in. You never know :) Thanks for keeping our troops in your thoughts, that’s one of the things that keeps them going when it gets tough; knowing there are people out there who care.

  7. says

    Anyone have any suggestions on notebook ideas for saving my son’s letters? He just left us on 22 June and I’m already getting letters that I want to preserve. Any suggestions are welcome!

    • says

      What type of preservation are you thinking? Archival preservation? Scrapbooking? You could keep them in a binder with page protectors. Are you keeping the envelopes too? Maybe create a booklet of them and bind them. Office stores will usually bind things for you. Tell him thank you for us! I’ll think happy thoughts for him for an entertaining, yet uneventful deployment.

  8. Rebecca says

    I can’t imagine loading a soldier up with guilt, I think they have enough on their minds. Sometimes people can be so self absorbed they do not possess the ability to look beyond themselves. However, this is no excuse for making a soldier feel bad. I think some people get hung-up on what they think is proper instead of what is right.

    My son is a soldier and I try to write him often. I stay stocked-up on funny cards, which he loves. If I don’t have a lot to say one day, or I am feeling blue about his absence I have something positive send him. He has enough on his mind, he doesn’t need to worry about me or any of us back here at home.

    I don’t want to distract my boy from his work, it could mean life or death, maybe that is what we all need to remember when we are feeling dejected.

    • says

      You’re so right Rebecca! Thank you to your son for his service, and thank you for all you are doing on the home front. It’s never easy when we have a soldier deployed. I love that you’re doing your best to help keep his spirits up. Sounds like he has an awesome mom. He’s lucky and I hope he gets to come home soon to smile with you, face to face.

  9. June Mossey says

    I am a veteran so I would like to adopt a soldier that I can write to. Veterans are so important to me since I come from a family of veterans. I thank all of my fellow veterans for all they do and hope that you all come home soon. God Bless all of you.

  10. Monica says

    This helped so much, thanks for all the tips!
    A few months ago i met a man who is a soldier. We havent really spent alot of time together because of both our job situations, but enough to know there are definately feelings.
    He just left the country for a mission and will be gone a couple of months. He said i could email but might not reply right away, depending on the net. I’ve been wondering what to write because of our situation since i’m more than just a friend but not yet a girlfriend. But reading all of your posts has helped alot. I understand that i cant ask about his work, but should i should i take the opportunity to Ask more about him? For example his family, and other things to get to know him even better? There are grounds like that we havent coveret yet. Or should my emails just be about everyday life for me at gome and letting him know i miss him etc? Grateful for any response:)

    • says

      Hi Monica, I see absolutely no problems in writing to get to know him better, however make sure you balance that by answering every question you ask him in the same letter you ask the question. So, if you ask about his family, tell him about yours. Also, I would make sure you acknowledge that you know he may not have the time or internet access to respond, so if he can’t, then you can put in a reminder that you look forward to him coming home to answer all the questions he’s comfortable answering with you in person. It will make sure he knows you understand if he can’t respond right away and lets him off the hook for feeling guilty if he can’t write. It gives him a chance to get to know you better and keep his mind off things. And, it would also give him something to look forward to when he comes home. Give him a good balance and I think everything will be great! Just remember to keep writing even if he’s not responding. Sounds like you already know it’s going to be because of time or access if he doesn’t respond. Good luck on your relationship!

  11. selena says

    This really helped me alot! This is my boyfriends 4th tour but this is my first time being with him on this tour so thank you

  12. Tori says

    I’m a teacher in the UK and this week we are going to be writing letters to send to soldiers through a charitable organisation. Could you possibly give me some suggestions that a class of 9 year olds can write in their letters? Many thanks x

    • says

      What an awesome project! I love it!

      My suggestions for the kids would be to have them tell the soldiers a bit about themselves. Things they enjoy, books they like to read, television shows they are watching. They could tell them about what they want to do with their lives when they get older, their favorite foods, favorite animals. They could write a story for the soldier, include pictures they draw and color. Of course, they can thank the soldiers if they want to, which is always a great thing, and they can help the soldiers think about coming home by telling them if they were designing their welcome home party, this is what they would include in it (I’m sure the children would have some great ideas about what a welcome home party would be like and that would really lift the soldiers spirits.) They can ask questions, but it’s not always easy for the soldiers to write back, so I’d make sure the students know there is a good chance they won’t receive a letter back, but it’s always nice to ask questions if they want to.

      I love that you’re doing this project. I hope these ideas help!

      • Tori says

        Thank you so much for your reply Mary – extremely useful! I’m looking forward to it as much as my class are!! I think it is so important for our children to know what is going on in our world. Our topic is different countries round the world and we’re currently doing Afghan – I think it’s vital kids learn the bad as well as the good and our soldiers are such heroes for what they do. I believe children should know about war and why the soldiers are risking their lives for us. This is just a small way for them to understand and say thank you!!

        • says

          Absolutely. If we don’t teach our children about both ends of the spectrum they won’t be getting a true world vision. We, as a world population, are working together to make this world a better place for everyone. If we don’t let our children know what still needs to change, we can’t tap into their amazing creative spirit, motivation to change the world, or innovative ideas to make this world a better place. I’m excited for them, and this is a great project for current events, world culture, and in a way, creative writing. You really do have to get creative when writing to someone you don’t know. I love your teaching philosophy. You’re making a difference in our world. Thank YOU for that *hugs*

  13. Amanda Baliles says

    In a few months my fiancé will deploy for the 4th time, but it’s a first experience for me.
    I am slowly learning what military love life is really all about, and honestly I don’t know how I will handle this deployment because I really don’t know much of what to expect. This article really did help! Thanks so much

    • says

      I’m glad it helped Amanda! I have some ideas for some follow up posts to this one, so watch for them (you can subscribe on the side bar so you don’t miss them if you want). Also, if you ever have any questions or just want to talk about dealing with military love life without making it public like this, feel free to shoot me an email. I’ve been through 2 full deployments (18months and 1 year) and multiple months where he’s been gone for various military reasons. I’d be happy to be in your support circle. Stay strong!

  14. Ellie Ray says

    Loved reading this, even though I do not have any loved ones serving. However, I had heard there were programs where you could write a soldier, an unknown soldier, are you familiar? I’d love to be able to send someone a nice letter, maybe some that do not have family for whatever reason. If you are aware of such a program, please respond. Thank you

    • says

      Hi Ellie, keep an eye on this post! I’ll be responding again. There are some programs out there, however I know some are better than others and some may not be active anymore. Give me a week or so to do some research to give you some good resources. I also have a blog post in the works I’m hoping to publish soon, and I’ll be including some of these links when I find them as well! If you want to make sure you don’t miss the blog post, make sure you subscribe (up on the menu tabs at the top, in the side bar, or on the bottom of any post. I make it easy, lol). Or, just watch your email for a notification that I responded to you again. This is a crazy busy week in our household, so I know I won’t get to it until later this week or next week, but I will get back to you! It’s on my to do list! Thanks for reading Living a Sunshine Life. I appreciate it!

  15. Renee says

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this posting! This is very different then most of the deployment advice out there & very realistic to understanding the mind of the soldier. This has helped me a lot with what to say and not to say during pre-deployment. My boyfriend deployed a couple days ago and he’s the kind of guy who likes to go with worst case senario so that there are lowered expectations. Basically he warned that I may not hear a peep from him for 6mos and he would rather not have the attention of letters and care packages. He just wants to go out there disconnect him self and do his job. I’m going to honor those wishes for a bit, but I would like to send something to him. Would you recommend keeping with his request and send nothing or would you think, like me, that a little love here and there couldn’t hurt?

    • says

      Hi Renee, I’m glad you liked this post! You know him best, so you have a better idea if he would appreciate a couple letters within that time frame or if he’s just the kind of guy who would receive the letter, and set it aside for a few months until he’s mentally ready to read it. Everyone is different so it’s hard to say! Some ideas to help you out though: What about photographs? He may not be mentally ready for a letter showing up, but what about a picture of you holding a sign up saying “thinking of you” or “I love you.” Maybe do a theme of photo letters like this with friends and family. It reminds him you’re all here without the pressure of needing to respond or even to think too much about reading a letter. Another idea is to write him as often as you normally would want to, but don’t send the letters right away. Date each one as you write, but wait and send them in bulk or give him those letters when he returns home. It might be a great way for him to decompress while reading some great thoughts. It lets him know you were thinking about him all that time. I hope these idea help, or inspire you to come up with a creative way to meet your need of connecting with him during a time when it’s difficult to connect. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and please let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions! I’m not an expert, but I’m always willing to talk.

  16. Danielle says

    Great post! I stumbled across this on Pinterest. :) My beloved boyfriend is a naval aviator, and when he’s on the boat I like to make sure I don’t tell him anything that he can’t do anything about. And like you mentioned, lots and lots of pictures! If I’m sick, or if the dog needs to go to the vet, or the car breaks, he just feels helpless and any added stress from home is the last thing he needs. I talk about where we want to go when he comes home and takes leave, or a new recipe I think he’ll love. My car broke and I completely dismantled it and sent him a picture. He felt like he was being kept in the loop, but he’s also reassured that I’m ok. At least he thinks I’m ok. I don’t tell him about the special “first cry” bottle of wine I always have on reserve for when that first cry happens. 😉

    • says

      I still remember my first cry! My first cry lasted at least a week, maybe longer. Anything and everything set me off. One thing I like to highlight is while it’s recommended to not share those challenges your soldier can’t help with at the time, find a great social support network. Friends and family are great, but it’s also important to find other military significant others/friends/family to talk to. The military connections are the ones who really get what you’re going through, and when you do have these challenges let them help you through the stress while you’re handling it. It really does make a big difference. During my husband’s first deployment I sort of went at it somewhat alone and it was tough. Absolutely worth establishing some support circles early on.

  17. says

    Thank you for the information, my husband just deployed with 200 other soldiers, I created a support group for them and their families. We are having our first letter writing event in two weeks, your site has been very helpful. Thank you for supporting the troops, and being the “force behind the force”

    • says

      I love that you are doing a letter writing event! That is such a great idea. I wish our unit did something like that, but we didn’t get together much. I was the family readiness leader during my husband’s first deployment. We had monthly meetings, but it was difficult because the soldier’s families were spread all across the state and it was difficult to get everyone involved. For those who did participate they said they loved getting together with other families, and for those who couldn’t, they loved knowing we were active and they could come if they needed/wanted to. Keep being a support for each other, deployment is a beast like no other. :)


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