My family (just counting brothers and sisters) includes two Marines, a sailor, and a soldier – and dh is retired Navy. So we are intricately connected with the military. For my brother’s first tour to Iraq, he left just after getting married and buying a new house. He was so good about keeping the whole family updated! Well, most of the family. The notes and pictures he sent to my mom were a little different than what he gave the rest of us. As far as she knew, he had a “desk job”. We were admonished not to say otherwise, and we didn’t. It was only afterward that she got to see what he was really doing.
Though he’s quiet and we don’t always talk much, I missed him while he was gone. I worried, I prayed, and I scrapped. For the Christmas after he got back, I sent him an album of some of the photos he had sent us. His wife is a Marine, too, and she doesn’t have the time available to do something like that. I did. Each page was a tribute to him, a thank-you from us, and a reminder that he is loved, whether we say it out loud or not.
My favorite layout was a two-piece spread entitled “Desk Job”. It had the photos that looked the most dangerous. We all had a big laugh at mom’s expense, but knew it had been the right thing to do at the time for a mother who worried about her youngest son. And he was, after all, occasionally at a desk.
One thing I found out while doing this was that the Navy has pictures that you can use in your scrapbooks, online, or anywhere else that’s not for commercial purposes. It helps to round out pages where you may be one or two photos short, or where you need that particular photo to finish the story. If you have a family member in the military, or even a friend, you might consider making up a scrapbook for them. It will be a treasure for them to keep.
Projects to Support our Troops