Having a loved one serving in the military is a source of pride for families–and a source of anxiety. As the mom of a Marine, I worked hard to make certain our son’s extended family members were kept informed about all aspects of his military service.
As proud as they all were of his decision to enlist, they were also scared about what he’d be doing. I could help alleviate those fears with just a little bit of thought. So I began a weekly dispatch, to make sure we all knew what was going on.
Here is some of the information I included:
I always noted his current address, even if he was stateside or I knew I’d just shared it last week. Memories fail and things get mislaid. It was a small thing to include and really helped everyone have the information at their fingertips.
2) Prayer Requests
I shared prayer requests that he had passed on. Perhaps he was hoping for a certain assignment or struggling in a particular area. We might not be able to physically help him, but prayer really is the most powerful thing we can do for someone we love.
3) New Pictures
Sometimes our son would email us pictures from base, and I tried to pass them along.
4) Special Events
I invited them to special events such as boot camp graduation, deployment arrivals and departures, family day. Many times they weren’t able to attend, but it meant a great deal for them to be included.
5) Items to Send Overseas
I included lists of things they could send him overseas. People who aren’t in close proximity to a member of the military often don’t know the best things to send overseas. A list takes away the guess work.
Family is a blessing, and it’s vital that we look for ways to strengthen those connections. No matter what, keeping one another in the loop is a great way to show them we care and how much they matter to us.