How To Support a Military Spouse, Sibling, or Parent: 4 Things To Avoid Saying

My husband recently was deployed on his fourth tour overseas and it doesn’t ever get easier.  In this recent military deployment, with all the political chaos going on I have noticed however, that it has become more uncomfortable for others to know what to say or how to respond to hearing that he is deployed. And that’s okay, it’s a hard time for everyone – but I thought it would help to point out a few things that would make it so much easier.    I’ve come up with just a few of the most common reactions in the hopes that it will educate and promote understanding as well as support those who are in our same shoes.  This isn’t meant to be a downer, but to encourage everyone to really dig deep and support our servicemen and women and their families left behind as they go on to serve us.  Thoughts and comments are welcome and appreciated.  God bless our soldiers.

american-flag-2a

1.)  When you hear from someone that their family member is in the military, at boot camp, or overseas please don’t begin to tell us your political views of the war.  We support and love the men and women in our lives in their chosen careers just like you do your spouse, sister, father or brother.  Just thank us for their service, that goes a long way.

2.)  Please don’t tell us that you’re sorry.  We’re not.  We are proud of our service members regardless of what is going on overseas and in our country currently.  We love them.  It’s difficult to live a military lifestyle but it comes with great honor and pride.  Instead, thank us for their service. Again, it goes a long way.

3.)  Please don’t say, “Well, it will be over soon.”  With a spouse or sibling or parent deployed or away for months at a time, every day is a difficult day that requires us to have enormous amounts of courage to reach out for help and support.  Instead, please offer us your friendship, your time, or ask us if there’s anything you can do to help make things easier.  A casserole, a dinner date, or even babysitting for those who have young children.  We can use all the help and love we can get as the time passes.

4.)  The fourth comes from another military wife in an Army National Guard support group that I belong to and I couldn’t agree with her more.  She says that it’s hard for her when people respond to her with, “You’re so strong, you don’t look like you need any help!” She goes on to say, “What I hate about that statement is, I don’t have a choice!! If I were to choose anything other than “keep it together”, my children wouldn’t have food on the table because I didn’t make it, clean clothes because I didn’t wash them, or dirt free hair because they hadn’t taken a bath in two weeks. I’m as strong as a person who doesn’t have any options can be. Many times I find myself completely in survival mode. So at ANY time, I can use all the help a person is willing to give.”  Don’t be fooled by a woman who has it all together when her husband is away.  Please, find it in your heart to reach out.

Yes, we are the ones who have chosen to marry someone in service.  However, there are siblings and and parents that perhaps did not choose this.  At the end of the day, our men and women are proudly serving our country to protect us and our rights; please support them regardless of your political beliefs.  They put their lives on the line for you.  The women, men, and children back at home could use your support and love.  Thank you so much for your understanding, and your willingness to go the extra mile for us when our men are absent in our lives for our country.

Thank you and God Bless!

Advertisements