To the soldiers of the Kansas National Guard, I extend my deepest gratitude. You are taken from your families, from your jobs, and from your lives, to defend the citizens of the United States of America. A salute is also due to those who are left at home in Wichita, Lawrence, Paola, and every other corner of our state. Without the brave men and women at home on the other side of the struggle, a soldier’s life would be impossible. Citizens of Kansas, you truly are the spirit of the Kansas National Guard. The question is, how can we keep that spirit alive, each and every day? The answer is communication.
With all of the struggles of a deployment, none is more daunting than keeping a good line of communication with your Spouse and children. Often heard is the expression, “you mean the world to me.” But are they the words of deep, heart-felt expression, or did you see them coming a mile away? Sometimes our expressions to the ones we love can be both sincere and redundant at the same time. It can become extremely hard to show them how much you care after long periods of time away from home. Without being there to give that neck massage, surprise her with a night out, or even do that load of laundry, It’s a whole lot harder to “show” your love. I’ll tell you why. It’s because actions speak louder than words. Soldiers, if you want to be heard then it is time to take action.
When you’re deployed, It’s much easier said than done (please excuse the pun). Putting words into action can sometimes be reduced to buying things online or to sending letters that reiterate the same things you said on the phone, or have written in an email. Everyone knows that the soldier goes through hard times while deployed. Life is a mess sometimes, hours are never the same and it can be nearly impossible to explain the daily work load to your loved ones at home. Sadly, often we forget the challenges that come along with “holding down the fort” while Mommy or Daddy is deployed. If you are at home and handling your business, then you deserve to be recognized. Soldiers, I challenge you to take the time to recognize the sacrifices and struggles that your wife or husband is facing while you are deployed. The laundry, the dishes, the yard; they are all in the hands of one very strong, devoted person who has made a vow to never give up.
Remember that you’ve chosen this path together, and that the challenges we face in life are meant to make us stronger. You are facing these challenges at home because you have chosen a selfless way of life, and few will ever understand the sacrifices that you make.
The key to making it through a long deployment is remembering that marriage is a partnership and always sharing the responsibility that comes with it. If you’ve made the choice to continue to serve our country, regardless of the hazards that come with that commitment, then God bless you. Just remember that it is a choice that you have made together.
You mean the world to me, because you are my world.
We have made the choice to sacrifice our comforts to defend freedom, because this is our world. No soldier can accomplish the mission without a strong, devoted, courageous partner to defend the homefront. This is why we owe it all to you, the husbands and wives of the soldiers defending our country. You are the tie that binds our culture. You are the unsung heroes of the past 236 years of our freedom. You deserve to be rewarded, with more than just words.
And so, Soldiers, you have been challenged. How will you reward such devotion and sacrifice? Surely the person who means the world to you is deserving of something more than your kind words and promises.
1. Write her a letter. Don’t type it, WRITE it. So much is lost in convenience.
2. Tell her WHY she is important, not just that she is, in fact, important.
3. Ask for her suggestions. She knows more about you than anyone in the world, let her help you.
4. Let her do her job. She knows what she’s doing, and she is good at it. Be thankful that you have someone who cares so much about you.
5. Be honest.
Honesty can be difficult. There are many pains to be suffered throughout the course of a deployment, and no training can ever prepare you for a year away from your family. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend like everything is fine. Don’t hide your emotions, because you are both going through many of the same hardships. You will grow closer by sharing your feelings with each other, because many of your feelings are the same.
In the end, there is no doubt that there is one person in the world that probably “means the world” to you. The question is, how will you make sure that they know it? The world is large, emotions run deep, and words can be misconstrued. So take action. No quality is more valuable to a relationship than good communication. Share responsbilities, make decisions together, and fight this battle as a team.
You are a team, never forget that.
In the meantime, try out this quick resource that could save your life. It starts with knowledge, and knowledge is power. Look for more information on specific resources and how to use them in the coming weeks.
1. If your soldier doesn’t have access to email, send mail. You can even send email that will be printed and sent in letter form to your soldier, absolutely free of charge. See Motomail.
2. Try ooVoo. If you both have an internet connection, this allows computer-to-computer video calls. This is also absolutely free. Try ooVoo.
3. Know your options. Military Onesource is an absolute, all-in-one resource for everything pertaining to the military. They will help you with anything and everything that they can, there are no restrictions. There are people out there to help you, and there is an endless supply of resources at your fingertips. This is a great place to start. Military OneSource
Hang in there. They miss you, and you mean the world to them.
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