Military, Parenting, Research, Finance, Religion, Families
Deployments and lengthy separations are challenging for parents. Sometimes having little kids is easier because they don’t understand everything, but they are more dependent on you. Having older kids can be easier because they are self-sufficient, but they know what’s going on. Just like in parenting, there are challenges with each age, there also often are unique challenges with each separation.
Military families are always appreciative of support, from anyone and everyone. But when it comes from a celebrity, it seems to make a bigger impact. For as long as we can remember, the USO has brought celebrities to troops and their families around the world. When someone we see on television and in movies comes to our town and takes the time to thank us — whether with a concert or just a handshake — it truly means a lot.
Every time I watch an old war movie, I think about how different life is for military families now. While deployments seem long at a year, imagine what it would have been like to send your spouse off to war — the whole war — without knowing when it would end. To be living in your hometown, surrounded by family, but not the tight-knit community we find on an installation. To wait weeks, even months for a letter, instead of a few hours for a text or phone call.
Moving trucks are filling the streets of installation housing communities and neighborhoods surrounding military bases, and while parents are saying goodbye to friends, children are also struggling with goodbyes.
Service members always are often told how important their civilian education is, but there is no guide on how to incorporate that education into an already busy life. For Reserve and National Guard members, it can be particularly difficult. Most are already balancing two careers, so adding college classes to the mix can seem unattainable. Family time and leisure activities are often more attractive than studying for classes, but you can strike a successful balance.
It’s the year of the PCS in our house. For us, and for approximately 1/3 of the military families out there.
Some have moved twice in the past year and are “professional” movers. Some are moving after a year, a
deployment, a separation, or a two-year stint. I’m hoping there are some families like us, who have been solidly in the same house for over four years. We’re settled, we’ve accumulated more stuff. As we view this next move, I wonder about all of the military families who have felt this way. I imagine that those facing their first move are similarly overwhelmed. And those National Guard or Reserve families who may be moving for an extended school or assignment are likely equally unnerved.
Gone are the days when military spouses were encouraged to find ‘easily transferrable jobs’ in nursing and education. With the increased availability in technology and interest in the desirable skills military spouses have, there is no reason to let a thing like distance stop you from pursuing your dream job and career.
Spring has sprung and military families around the world are bursting out of their houses, ready to embrace the season. Here in Southern Arizona spring brings winds and the heat gradually increases as we edge towards summer. My friends on the East Coast look forward to longer days, warmer temperatures, and the decreasing chance of snow. Overseas, spring brings the promise of exotic vacations and green grass, and military families around the world look forward to a summer of moves.
Depending on where you currently call home, winter may be well in the past or still very much a part of your life. As you look ahead to Spring and think of all the plans you have, you may want to take a look at what’s in your kitchen and what’s on your schedule.
When the days start to get longer, you may find your energy starts to kick it up a notch. Take advantage of this feeling with some exercise tips that are easy to incorporate into your busy lifestyle.
Military families are no stranger to budgeting. For years the military has hammered into our heads that smart financial decisions are crucial to our futures. They provide classes, mandatory training for our service members, and lots of tools. They also have several safety nets available to us if we should need them. Programs like Army Emergency Relief and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society are standing by to help out service members with unexpected and emergency bills.