Understanding Your Deployed Soldier

While my husband was in Iraq, I discovered a brand new side to his personality. My husband is generally pretty laid back and it takes a great deal for him to really get upset in the everyday world. To say the very least, this was not the case while he was deployed. I was lucky enough that my husband had internet access in his tent so we were able to talk everyday online and without a doubt this was a blessing; it could also be a huge stress factor as well. I arranged my life around the computer as my … Continue reading

Deployment And Children From A Previous Relationship

As the wife of a National Guardsman my life is usually lived in the civilian world; my husband has a civilian job as a union carpenter, we don’t live on post, I was one of the few that had any real contact with other family members of my husband’s unit due to the fact that I had been involved with the FRG for several years and the nearest commissary is over two hours away. As one can imagine I was less than prepared to have my life turned inside out when my husband was deployed to Iraq in October of … Continue reading

Kids, Deployment And Depression

Deployment is hard on everyone involved and often we try to put on a brave face in order to prevent those we love from worrying about us. Unfortunately that same brave face we put on often spills over to our children and they also make an attempt to keep it together and keep their fears and worries to themselves in order to keep from worrying their parents. As deployments increase so does childhood depression among military children. Children face the same concerns and fears as their parents but often depression in children is overlooked as a “stage” they are going … Continue reading

Military week in Review

Howdy ya’ll! I’ve been very quiet this past week but thankfully this column hasn’t. I’d love to welcome Trudy Marshall-Bowler to the military family. There are many things people outside the military wonders about this whole other world and hopefully this column can show them what it is like from time to time in the military, not to mention giving advice to other military families going through the exact same thing. A few things we deal with in the military are being separated. No, not as in divorce but by being miles apart because one or both must go overseas … Continue reading

Can Military Family Members Suffer From PTSD

I am one of those people that can handle any crisis that comes along. I am the person calling 911 while delegating everyone around me to ensure that the situation is under control. I do this without thinking and I do it well but once the crisis is over I am the first person to crumble. My husband’s deployment was no different. I helped start a non-profit group that assisted the troops and their families, I was involved in every possible fundraiser out there, I was the person that others called when they were scared; all the while holding it … Continue reading

Personalizing Your Care Packages

Recently, I found myself going through my husband’s footlocker and I discovered something that surprised me about my husband: He is really a sentimental sap. While he was in Iraq, I tried to do something outside of the box when it came to care packages. He had a PX, he had a Burger King, Pizza Hut and Subway available to him so food was not an issue but homesickness was a huge issue for him and I spent much of the time trying to find a way to make him feel a bit closer to home. Early in his deployment … Continue reading

Families And Survivor’s Guilt

I remember when my husband’s unit left their home station on the first leg of their journey to Iraq; it was Halloween night, 2004. It seemed incredibly unfair to me that the children were running around the Armory in their Princess and Soldier costumes grabbing candy from dishes on the tables that sat on the drill floor instead of being out trick or treating with all the other children. I remember watching the bus pull out and seeing my husband turn around one last time to wave goodbye, I wondered if that would be the last time his boots would … Continue reading

How Important is the Military ID

I’ve talked about how important a military ID card is but lets really take a look. I’m not meaning to be mean on any level but it is funny the things I noticed this week. As a child, growing up in the military meant you always carried your military ID card in your pocket, wallet or around your neck on one of those beaded chains. Do you remember that? They would even stamp a small hole in the ID somewhere so it could be looped through a necklace. Back then, I hate saying that (makes me feel old), you couldn’t … Continue reading

The Military Commissary – A Part of Your Benefits

I’ll admit it. I have no loyalty to any particular store when it comes to purchasing groceries. Sure, I may go to the King Sooper store that is only a few blocks away when I just need a gallon of milk. I like how they drop the price to $1.50 on it’s sell by date. (When you have a little boy at home who goes through a gallon of milk every two days, that milk doesn’t have time to go bad!) I also like to buy diapers at Sam’s Club. It just makes good sense to buy something like this … Continue reading

Driving too Fast

It never fails that when I plan something it has to be during a rush hour right? I know I’ve talked about this before, but honestly I thought that was after work. Today, we decided to go get a bite to eat over at our favorite pizza joint. What we didn’t plan was the traffic. Okay, technically I thought about it, begged him to go the long way thinking the traffic would be better near home. Guess what? It wouldn’t have mattered, the minute we left the base we were stopped by the traffic in all directions. Akkk! I thought … Continue reading