My neighborhood on post has only existed for about three years (give or take). When I moved in just under a year ago, nearly every person on my street was with the same unit. They had all moved in at the same time. Their husbands worked the same schedules. They had almost all been at the same previous duty station.
They have strong bonds with one another.
When I moved in, without hesitation, they welcomed me. They told me the in's and out's of living on post (since we never had), let me know events going on, and which TV service to go to. All of the things that military neighbors seem to do for each other.
Three of them I have gotten to know best. One with a little boy younger than Eli but bigger than him (which is pretty much always the case with Eli). One with two kids in grade school (she is the very first person I met when I was moving in). And one who is, and this is her only poor quality, a BAMA fan.
Football season was interesting.
Anyway, their husbands deployed a little while ago for a year (yes, that's right, twelve-month-orders). I wanted to do something to let them know that they are in my thoughts, that I am rooting for them during this "go mode", and that I am here if they need anything.
I know they have each other but they have always made me feel included. My husband is safe. My husband is "home" (quotes are necessary). I needed to do something.
To each of them I dropped what I called A Deployment Survival Kit at their door. So many people have asked about it that I wanted to share it here so that you can share it with friends and hopefully use it to brighten another spouse's day.
We all go through the cycle, in some way, but we fall into different parts of it at different times. When we are stronger, we need to share strength. When we are weak, we need to be willing to find strength in others. We are a community, a sisterhood, the arms behind the Army. We must support one another. We must be willing to put an arm around someone struggling beside us. We must serve one another while our spouses serve the nation.
Start smiles. Bring humor. Give strength. Share goodness.
We all need to.
This is a simple start.
What the "kit" includes:
A Bottle of Red - for nights when you need to "wine a lil"
A Handful of Chocolate - when you miss holding his hand
A Roll of Duct tape - to combat Murphy's Law
Big Girl Panties - for when you just need to deal with it
A Special Promise with a yellow ribbon - for days when you need to remember
Your kit can have whatever you choose. It can be simple. It can just be a card! Anything to let another Military spouse know: "I'm backing you!" "I support you!" "I am here if you need!"
Something small goes a long way. Let's build each other up. Let's help each other thrive.
What would you put in a deployment survival kit?