When God was handing out wills, he must have given my daughter a triple dose. To say that she’s strong-willed is an understatement. She’s a joy and we love her very much. The difficulty with strong-willed kids is you run the risk of either caving to them too much, or being overly harsh with them to get them to mind. There is hope, however, and a wonderful parenting approach called “Love and Logic” that was developed with strong-willed kids in mind. See More
Children love to help, but sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out what they are capable of helping with. With a little planning and applying what you know about your child and what he or she can do, you can come up with a list of daily and weekly chores that even the smallest ones in the family can do.
The 82nd Airborne Division is now returning home from a deployment to Afghanistan. In the past, soldiers received 30 days of leave after a year long deployment, but the post-deployment leave policy is now changed. Soldiers are to attend two weeks of reintegration training upon return and then will be given 14 days of leave, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
Some soldiers have voiced their discontent with the new policy. Many families scheduled their vacations a year ago, but the recent change has forced them to abandon those plans. For some soldiers this means they have to wait to visit their families. Then their time with them is cut short when they have to return to duty.
A hometown-themed care package is a great way to send fun reminders from a familiar place and keep military members connected to family, friends and their community during deployments.
This gift-giving adage – “something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read” – is a great one to keep in mind when building your care package. Just make sure the items you choose are on-theme. Tuck in photos, letters and a few other personal touches (plus an edible treat or two!) and you’ll be sure to put a smile on your soldier’s face.
Check out this guide for lots of practical information about packing and shipping your care package overseas.
It’s your third Permanent Change of Station (PCS). You had finally become comfortable in the last town where you lived. You knew where to shop the bargains and where all of the good places to eat were. Your children liked their school, and you and your spouse had your group of friends. Now you must rebuild all of that in a new city.
Moving can be tough, especially for the military family. Most families develop a system after so many PCS’s, but for the young military family the first few moves can be very stressful.
Here are some tips to help make the transition smoother.
In the past six years of my life, I have been shipping care packages overseas — a lot of them. Between two deployments, being stationed overseas, a few adopted soldiers and a school supply project in Iraq, I have shipped well over 400 boxes. I have never had a box lost or horribly damaged. That’s a blessing.
When I ship boxes, I pack them myself and I use a system I’ve developed over the years. It’s not rocket science. You also learn with time to choose items you can easily fit into flat rate boxes. I’ve never even used a mail store, such as a UPS Store, until recently.
Being a “military brat” is often a badge of pride for both children and adults. I know because, not only am I a military veteran, I am also a “military brat”. My father served in the Army for 22 years. We traveled to Europe and around the US, met all sorts of people and encountered a variety of cultures. Sometimes military kids can become a bit smug when they relate their life experiences to their “normal” friends.
You’ve heard the old saying “What can go wrong will go wrong.” That’s the philosophy on which Murphy’s Law is built. I am not one to harp on the negative, but sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. Murphy’s Law is something that we can almost always count on happening in military life.
These unfortunate events are all tongue-in-cheek and are meant to make you laugh. Hopefully they will also drum up for you some comfort. It’s always nice to know you are not alone in the absurdity that life seems to hand us (and military life gets a double dose of the absurd).
Being a good friend is a lot of work, but it comes naturally for most of us. In the military we are often forced into friendships, and we have to do it quickly as we adjust to new surroundings, new people and sometimes even a new culture! This may be the spice of life for those who are social butterflies and are naturally in command in a full room. However, being a friend may be a little more of a challenge for those who feel awkward with strangers and would rather be with a book instead of a group of people.
Universally, there are a few things that make good friendships. Some friendships just form because you have a natural connection with another person, and some friendships have to be made out of necessity. Both types of friendships can be special and long-lasting.
When I faced deployment the first time I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. I was paralyzed. It was an internal paralysis. I think I looked put together on the outside, but I was falling apart daily on the inside.
I am a proud woman. I do not like to share my weaknesses and my pain with others. My stoicism is both a benefit and a liability to me. It’s a benefit because I am very careful with whom I share my vulnerability. It is a liability because sometimes I need to let my family and friends know that I am not faring well. They need to know I need encouragement and that I may not be able to reciprocate that support for a little while.
Here are a few things I wish I would have had the courage to say during my son’s first deployment. I hope this helps another parent or spouse articulate their deep feelings so others can understand what they are going through. Change the words to match your own situation, and let others in your life know what you are going through and what you need. You might just be surprised at the amount of support you do have.