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.
You might become a bit overwhelmed when your child joins the military. There is a new language to learn, new fears, new pride and so many other unexpected twists and turns. It takes courage to be a soldier, but it also takes courage to be a Blue Star parent!
We live in an information age, and we’re not used to having to think through what we would do in case of emergencies. We know most of our loved ones are just a few button pushes away. This remains true of your soldier in training (and even when he or she deploys), but there are a few things you can do now to proactively tackle what could be a difficult moment. See More
When a member of your extended family is facing deployment or other military moves, it’s easy to feel like there is nothing you can do to help. That can be especially true for military families new to the experience. It might feel like you’re prying or annoying rather than helping.
Here are 5 smart ways to help out a loved one without overstepping your boundaries: See More
It is an honor to be a parent of a United States soldier, they volunteered to fight for our country and you should be very proud of them.
That being said, you, like most parents out there, probably have many emotional and mixed feelings about a current or upcoming deployment. It is easy to start feeling helpless when your son or daughter gets deployment orders. You may feel like there is nothing you can do.
We put together the best tips and advice on how to support your child while he or she is deployed. They deserve all the support they can get! See More
When a loved one is deployed, waiting out the days until they return can be difficult for a host of reasons. I am an avid reader myself so I love to spend read to help pass the time but it is also a great emotional outlet.
When you feel like everyone is judging you or no one in your life can understand you, a book can help you understand and work through your emotions.
Here are five books (and reviews) recommended by those who’ve experienced the left-behind side of deployment.