These tips were sent in by site visitors.
as submitted by Rachel
The best way to show support, stay connected and maintain your relationship with your solider while they are being deployed is to buy as many phone cards as you can and send them to your loved one. Write them everyday and when you are sending them a package put all your letters in and write about your day and how much you love and sometime put a story that you really love that you guys did. Also add little things to you package things that will remind them of you or something that will make him laugh.
Take pictures of things he really likes doing. Like my husband loves to surf and ride his dirt bike so I took pictures of his friends surfing and I went to our local dirt track and took pictures of that. To maintain a relationship you must stay truthful and find a good group of friends who will not make you go out at night or do what ever you are comfy doing. Write him your thoughts and make sure when he calls you pick up your phone.
Try to keep yourself busy so you don’t get down and start thinking about him and break down in tears. And where ever you go talk about him and how proud you are of him. Make him the king of the world. And when he calls tell him how much you love him and cant wait to see him. I have stickers on my truck that say “Proud Army Wife” and “I love my Solider” and my sister in law also has a husband in the army and we like to make shirts and go shopping at the PX and such so just the little things show support towards your loved one. Show all the support you can give.
as submitted by Kayla
Thanks to modern technology, the internet has been a godsend. I was searching for some Army things a few months before he deployed, and came across your web site and the board. I joined, not knowing what to expect or if I would even fit in. But I did join, and I have fit in nicely! Since I have a great that support base myself, I now know how to support him and am able to ask questions and get great ideas for care packages.
At first, when he wasn’t able to get online, I spent many hours writing long letters to him and sending those. Once he was able to get online, we began to chat on MSN Messenger and email just about every week, sometimes every day. He has sent me two web cam videos and hand written letters, and whenever I get those, I shout for joy like a kid in the candy aisle! Every day when I read the paper and find an interesting article, picture, or comic, I clip it out and save it for the next mailing or care package.
When I shop, I look for the little things that might be fun (like the cheap-o Wal Mart toys and gag gifts, something to pass the time over there for him) or that mean something to us. Baking is a favorite of mine, and he really enjoys whatever I send over, be it cookies, brownies, banana bread, whatever. It always gets eaten! Just staying positive, and through lots of prayer and encouraging Scriptures I write in random places, he and I stay in touch and stay connected.
as submitted by Pat
This is my first deployment. My husband was in the Army years ago, then enlisted in the National Guard just before his 45th birthday. He volunteered to deploy, and did so just 6 weeks after enlisting (due to his prior service). Being in the National Guard there aren’t any other wives close by, the Armory is 1 ½ hours away for me.
Our family is very active in our church. To stay connected as a family, and with the church, I write weekly “letters” on the church bulletins during the service. They aren’t very long since there isn’t a lot of “white space” on the bulletin anyway. I just include things about the kids and the church service. The kids in our church all get clipboards with activities, so our kids draw pictures and add their own “letters” to Dad on the coloring sheets provided.
Each Monday I mail all of this to my husband. He loves getting a handwritten letter each week (which I know he cherishes and saves). I get a way to occupy my time so I don’t notice how lonely I am without him sitting beside me in that pew.
as submitted by Kristi
I wanted to share one thing my husband and I do to help make things easier while hes away for long periods of time. He buys a new white pillow case and writes me a love letter on it with a fabric marker. Before he leaves he puts it on a pillow and leaves it on his side of the bed. While he’s gone I have something from him to hold onto, sleep next to and cry on. Sometimes I go as far as spraying his cologne all over it =).
as submitted by Jessica
I’m lucky because my boyfriend can get on MSN messenger to chat quite regularly. I have to alter my sleeping patterns sometimes or rearrange times but I count myself among the blessed because I can talk to him. Anyway sometimes we play this game and that’s I would like to share. We use music trivia but you can do it with several other things. Here’s how we play. one of us starts and gives the lyrics to a song. if the other can guess then its their turn and no one scores. But if the other cannot get it then the they owe the one asking a kiss. Then they go again until the person who got it wrong gets on right. If the score is something like 3 to 5 then the 3 cancel out and its 0 to 2. Then when they get home either for their midtour leave or for good then you settle the score. I think its a fun little game and it gets us laughing at the random off the wall songs we chose so that the other one wont get it.
as submitted by Brooke
I feel we have been successful at staying connected, as well as growing closer together during this time. We made a pact to keep communication open and honest–even if I feel like I’m losing my mind, i am always honest about what i am going through (good or bad) as is he. I did have one particular tip to add to the list of ways to stay connected during deployment—and this may seem a little strange, but it helped me immensely. Every few months he sends me a t-shirt he has worn for a day or two, per my request. He packages it up in a gallon size zip lock to “lock” in his smell…it is soo wonderful to open the package and smell him all over the shirt. it always brings tears, but in a good way. I love the smell of him…the “Jeff smell”..mixed with hints of his deodorant and cologne. I then use the shirt as a pillowcase until the smell fades. I realize this may seem a bit strange to some, but for me having the smell of him makes me feel soo much closer to him. It stirs up all the comfort and excitement I feel when he is actually home.
as submitted by Meghan
I just want to say I love you website! I am always getting ideas off of it, because of that I wanted to send you one idea that I came up with. My husband and I are always on the go so I have been collecting post cards from everywhere we have gone for about the past 6 months even if it is just a museum or something around town when ever I see a post card I grab it. I have been writing the date that I bought the post card and what we did that day on all of them. My plan is to send them out through out his deployment so that he can look at the post cards and remember all the fun we have together. Then when he gets home I plan on making a scrapbook out of them so we can remember our year in post cards forever. Hope this idea helps someone else. Thank you so much for all the time you have put into your website it has def. helped me over the years!