Posts Tagged ‘communication’

We Love Skype!!


We were able to Skype with Hubby for about 25 minutes yesterday!   It was wonderful to see and hear him.  All the kids said hello, but K stayed the longest since she was unable to talk to him on the phone the day before… his call got dropped!

Thanks goodness for all this communication.  It makes this just a little bit better!

My, Have Things Changed!


About 12:45 am, I got a text on my phone that woke me up!  Normally, I turn the sound off on my mobile phone overnight, but while Hubby is deployed, it stays on.  I NEVER want to miss a chance to hear his voice.  But now, over 10 years since his first deployment, technology has changed so much and I got a text from him.

Not only can he call me more often, but we also can Skype, e-mail, and text!!  This makes deployments much easier.  I remember during the first deployments when wives (and I say wives because they did more complaining then the husbands that I met) would complain about not getting a daily e-mail from their soldiers.  We were so lucky that our guys had internet access and that we could get the occasional phone call.  After a tearful phone call from a spouse, upset about not hearing from her husband after two days, I decided to change my approach.

Early in my husband’s first deployment, I had gone home to visit my parents.  While there, a very dear friend of my mom’s was over for lunch.  I only knew her as mom’s friend, and that her daughter’s went to my school (they were a few years behind me).  What I didn’t know was that her husband served in Viet Nam.  She had asked me about communications between me and Hubby.  I told her about getting frequent e-mails and occasional phone calls.  She then talked about how when her hubby was deployed it was months between letters and how you didn’t know if he was dead or alive because of lack of communication.  Her tone, body language and eyes changed in those moments that she recalled her experience as a military spouse.  She then went back to her regular self and said how glad she was that times had changed.  It was then I would no longer have a pity party over not hearing from Hubby, because it could be worse.

From then on, when any spouse would complain about not getting a call or e-mail that day, I would gently recall the story I had heard about Viet Nam.  For some it would give perspective, but for others it did nothing.

Now, I am so grateful for technology and being able to see Hubby often… and it makes my kids happy too!!

 

He’s Called!!! But He Hasn’t Arrived!


The best part of today was hearing my husband’s voice!!  I was so happy.  I figured he had arrived at his destination.  Unfortunately, he told me that he still had another flight to his final destination.  So he flies again tomorrow.

Travel time is the worst for me.  I worry more and I just want his feet on the ground.  Not that it will make him any safer, but being in one location makes me happy.

Hopefully the next call I get from him is that he is where he belongs for the remainder of his deployment.

Army Family Team Building — Why I recommend everyone take these classes!!!


I big supporter of education!  So, when I heard that the Army actually gave classes that would help me understand things in the Army, I was ready to sign up!  I took my first Army Family Team Building (AFTB) class when I had been married for about 2 years.  My husband was deployed and it was me and my little 15 month old girl.  And at that time, they were not offered on-line, so you needed to attend the classes in person.  And I am glad I did!  I made friends and my daughter had free child care.  She was able to play with other children.  It gave us both something new. 

I also learned a lot!  I will admit that AFTB Level I has some areas that I thought were way basic.  And it could be possibly because I read many books and asked my husband and other wives LOTS of questions.  After taking all three levels, I ended up with a large binder of wonderful information.  I then went on to take the FRG leader training which was extremely helpful when I became a FRG leader and still comes in handy in my role as a mentor to other FRG leaders.  I had also planned on attending the training for AFTB teachers.  unfortunately, it was cancelled by an ice storm and having baby #2 and then moving and deployments and more babies stopped me.  But, if I am lucky, I will be attending the training this fall.  Then I will be able to teach these valuable classes and use my experiences as an Army wife to help others. 

So if you an opportunity to take these classes in person, do so!!  It is a great opportunity.  And if they are not available in your area or you would prefer to take them online, do that!  A little education goes a long way. 

For more information — check out it our here —> Army Family Team Building

Battlemind Skills — N is for Navigating the Army System


N is for Navigating the Army System

For our husbands, the Army is their way of life.  The follow Army rules and regulations all the time.  It is their job and that is how they are trained.  For the spouses, it can be difficult to learn how to fall into the way things are done in the Army.

I will say, any thing that has to be done on post, I try to have my husband do it.  I don’t like having to do the “Army” stuff if I don’t have to.  And since we currently live off-post, it makes it easier for him to have to do what needs to be done.  He’s on post daily.  Unfortunately, he is not always home to do the things that need to be done.  This is were the  resentment for deployments can creep in.

The way that my husband and I work on this is, again, communication.  Even though he could do everything on his own, when he is home, I tend to tag along so I know where to go and what needs to be done.  That way if I have to handle something on my own, I have the skills to do so.  Also, he tries to keep me informed of the places that have the resources that I may need.  Remember that phrase from “School House Rock”, “Knowledge is Power”.  It’s exactly that!  If you know what needs to be done, you can handle anything!

So ask questions and be patient.  Navigating the Army System is not always easy to learn.  Before long, you will be able to help other with their questions about what needs to be done.  There are also many books that have information about what needs to be done.  I will post those in the future. 

Note:  I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given.  I do not have any formal schooling on this topic.  If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.

Battlemind Skills — E is for Emotional Balance


 When a solider is deployed, it’s important for them to have their emotions in check in order to have successful missions.  They detach themselves from things at home, loved ones and anything that could distract them from their mission.  Upon returning home, this can be a difficult transition.

For the spouses, while their soldier is gone, it’s more about staying strong for the people around them.  Personally, while I do not hide my feelings from my children and other family members, I try to keep them more in control.  I may be down about my husband being gone, but I have children to take care of and I need to be there for them.  If I’m having a bad day, I will cry in the shower or in a pillow so the kids don’t hear it.  I have cried in front of the children and explain to them that Mommy is sad because Daddy is gone and that it’s okay to be sad.  I just don’t want this to happen all the time.

Then your soldier comes home and it is a totally different flood of emotions!  I try not to have too many expectations for homecoming.  I guess for me it’s the “expect the worst and hope for the best”.  And with 3 children, anything can happen.  I am always prepared for my husband to be a bit detached and jumpy at first.  My children have two types of reactions.  My girls tend to be very clingy to their Daddy, while my son seems a bit detached at first.  Fortunately, for us, we get over this quickly.  It takes a little longer for my husband.  Emotionally he checks back in soon, but the jumpiness stays longer.  He’s “on guard” for a while.

So when your soldier gets home, love them and give them time to re-adjust.  And before long, with talks, hugs, kisses and activities of all sorts, you will be able to reconnect.

Note:  I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given.  I do not have any formal schooling on this topic.  If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.

Battlemind Skills — T is for Talking it Out


T is for Talking it Out

Who would think that talking could be so hard!  Most of my friends would tell you that I could have a conversation with a brick wall if I needed too.  With our soldiers, it may not always be so easy.

Soldiers information comes on a need to know basis.  They are given mission information as it comes.  Also, because of clearance issues, not all information is give to all personnel.  It also means that they can not share that information with us during phone calls and e-mails.  As spouses, we are in the dark as to what is happening.  Mostly for the success of the mission and the safety of our soldiers.  When a soldier is home, that does not automatically give an open door to share information.  Our soldiers tend to not share what happened all the time.  Sometimes they can not and other times they just don’t want too.

For us, we could never tell our soldier everything that happened while they were gone.  They get told things that happen and stories about events.  But not all of it can ever get shared. 

When they come home, we do need to talk, but the stories need to come at there own pace and as they are comfortable for the soldier.  It’s important for all sides, to talk, listen and understand.  Just remember to keep the lines of communication open. 

Note:  I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given.  I do not have any formal schooling on this topic.  If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.