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How friends and family can help a deployed spouse

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During a deployment the spouse of a Military service member needs a lot of support. He or she may be going through a difficult time and would really benefit from people helping them. Most of us Military spouses don’t want to ask for help. And even if someone says, “Let me know if you need anything,” we don’t like to take them up on it. I know that I have a problem with that, I don’t want to ask for help if I can try to do it myself.

But how can friends and family help a deployed spouse? Here are some great ideas:

1) Offer to pick up dinner for them. I know dinnertime is a lot more difficult when you don’t have your other half at home with you.

2) Offer to babysit. Most Military spouses would appreciate the break. Even if it is just for a few hours to walk around the mall.

3) Send a care package to the spouse. My friends did this for us when we were in Germany. It meant so much because we were far away from home and enjoyed all the goodies.

4) Pray for the spouse and their children. Pray for their service member. Prayer is always a good thing. Pray for the spouse to have the strength each day to do what needs to be done.

5) Invite them over to dinner or to visit for a few days. It is always nice to be invited somewhere, especially if your spouse is deployed.

6) Try not to say things like, “I could never do what you do.” We spouses know that people say this as a compliment but it isn’t something we like hearing. We get through these deployments because we love the man or women that we married, not because we have super powers.

7) Encourage them. Deployments are very difficult so encouragement from others is a must. At the start of our second deployment a friend of mine sent me a bunch of verses on cards. These were very encouraging to me during the deployment.

8) Listen if they need it. Be a person they can go to when it gets to hard. During my deployments I knew that I could always pick up the phone and talk to my mom or my mother-in-law about how hard it was. They wouldn’t judge me, they would just listen. I needed that.

9) Be understanding. You might be out to dinner and your friend’s husband will call. Don’t make her feel guilty about it. A deployed spouse might call at anytime and it might be the first time the couple has talked in a week.

10) Be excited with them. Is it time for R&R? Did they get a letter in the mail from their spouse? Is it almost time for homecoming? Be excited for them and share in their happiness.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to know that the people of the United States care about the Military and their families. There is no better way to do that then to support the families during deployments.