Thursday, March 8, 2012

What Not To Say: Reprised, New Perspective

My father-in-law is a Vietnam vet and a distinguished DOD civilian (retired).  He is steadfast as they come, and has a way of telling you like it is but making you feel good about yourself anyway. My husband's grandmother has a tendency to fret and worry and stress and think the worst, but My G and his dad are both very good at helping her laugh it off and stop the broken record in her mind.

That's where this comes from.  Dad decided to write something that would help her think before she spoke, and help her see things from My G's (and family's) perspective.

How To Support The Family Of A Deployed Soldier

The following comments are taken from a compendium of sources and from just plain folks trying to cope when their soldier deploys. Whenever you feel like complaining to us about a deployment, read these notes again, and then again. Our job is to support the soldier and his family, and not to be an additional burden during a stressful time.

Please Remember ::

Military service is voluntary and Soldiers believe in serving our Country. Service to Country means your freedom to choose how you live. They are doing it for Us and they are well trained for their jobs.

What Not To Say and What To Do:

1. “Darn them politicians anyway!” 

NO! Don't go there, that is not a discussion we want to hear. Soldiers serve so you can vote and be active in your community. Don't complain to us about about politicians. Our soldiers serve the Commander and Chief, who IS the President. We don't need to be reminded of politics that place our family members in a war zone.

2. “Will he get home for his birthday?” 

Get real! Do you think he can ask the enemy for a weekend pass to come home to visit? He will be home when the deployment is done and even that date can change depending on what's happening where they are deployed.

3. “Oh this is Terrible and I'm so's dangerous over there!” 

A combat zone is a bad place and things happen. Please don't remind me and keep your platitudes to yourself. It's hard to stay positive with reminders like that. This is their job and they are well trained for it.

4. “How long will it be till he can get out?” 

Read the above about how Military service is voluntary! They believe in what they are doing and care deeply for their units and YOUR freedom. It is their decision
to serve and our job to support them.

5. “It must be really hard for you!” “Aren't you afraid?” “Do you miss your soldier?” 

YES! And please don't remind us again!

6. Please don't just keep us in your prayers. Take some time and write or call and just be normal and supportive.

7. Please don't forget those special days, like birthdays and such. The soldier is deployed and it's hard with them gone as the days can pass without notice. Help us to remember in faith and love.

8. Don't be fooled by our cool and casual posture. We have plenty of concerns, trials, and terror behind those closed doors. Do not be a burden to us with a negative outlook, we have enough to worry about.

9. Never underestimate how helpful you can be with a generous and loving attitude. Hugs are always welcomed as well as kind words and a willing ear to listen to what we say and what we can't say. That is what Family is all about.

10. Be Thankful and appreciate our sacrifices as our soldiers who are serving so you can be safe and live in freedom. Don't gripe at us, we're doing the best we can.

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