How To Support Your Friends During Deployment

How To Support Your Friends During Deployment

Chances are that somebody you know has been affected by a military deployment. My own family has been through about a half dozen deployments both inside of and outside of the United States, and if you include our extended family that number more than doubles. Friends of a deployed soldier or military spouse often have no idea how to be supportive and sometimes do nothing out of sheer lack of ideas or fear of bringing the deployment up. I spoke with several other military wives and reflected on my own experiences and came up with these suggestions on how to support your friends during a deployment. I hope some of them are helpful to you. Since I am an Army wife, many of these suggestions will be focused on helping the wife of a deployed soldier, since that is my personal experience.

Offer Specific Help

Well-meaning people often ask family members affected by deployment “what can I do to help?” or offer “call if you need me.” However, this puts the burden on the family member to come up with ways you can help them, and most military families I know are unlikely to ask for help. General offers of help are good to hear, but should be followed up with specific offers for support. Here are some specific ways you can offer to help the family from time to time:

  • Offer to bring dinner over a few times during the deployment.
  • Volunteer to run to the grocery store and pick up some items on her list, or offer to watch the kids while she does it.
  • Volunteer to do yard work or other chores the deployed spouse usually does.
  • If you are close enough with the family, offer to take the kids out from time to time.

How To Support Your Friends During Deployment

Include the Family In Your Life

Even though your friend might not tell you, living through a deployment can get very lonely. As a National Guard family, I find this especially true since we do not live on or near a base surrounded by military families that are going through the same things. Loneliness and a feeling of disconnect can creep in quickly when you are the only person you know who is going through a deployment. However, military spouses often fear becoming a third wheel and will rarely invite themselves along on outings.

Because of this, consider inviting the family along on your family outings every once in a while. Some examples of this include your family dinners, trips to the movies, Christmas caroling, sporting events, or any fun family-outing.

What NOT to Do

  • Do not offer your unsolicited opinion of the war or campaign the soldier is deployed to.
  • Try not to compare your spouse’s business trips to her husband’s deployment.
  • Don’t remind her that her husband could die – trust me, she knows.
  • Don’t ignore the deployment, but do not make it the focus of your relationship with the family.
  • Do not offer to help out if you really don’t intend to.
  • If you offer to help and are turned down, do not take it personally. Everyone deals with deployment in their own way.
  • If you offer to help and are turned down, do not stop offering your help. The family may still need help later.
  • Under no circumstance should you share with random people the fact that the soldier is deployed. The last thing a military wife needs is for the guy at the corner store to know she is all by herself at night.

Helping the Soldier

The best way to help the soldier is to support his or her family back at home. Other meaningful gestures include sending letters, postcards, pictures, care packages, and phone cards (it is expensive to call back home). Soldiers in the field rarely have spare time, so do not be discouraged if the soldier does not respond to your communication. If they only have time to write one letter or answer one email, it is likely going to be to their own family.

If you are the employer of a soldier, go above and beyond the legal employment requirements. Consider sending a care package to the soldier and the family. Let them know they are not forgotten.

Most Importantly

Be a friend and be present. Know that your friend may be carrying a heavy load they are not willing to share with you, but also let them know they can call you when they need to talk.  Most importantly, do not forget the family when the soldier comes home. While they will certainly want some family alone time when they are reunited, they are in no way done with the deployment experience. For many soldiers, a new battle is just beginning – reintegration.

The friends and family members that have been there for me during my husband’s deployments have forged relationships that cannot be broken. There is no way I could have made it through without my family, best girlfriends, and my faith.

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” – Philippians 1:3

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. http://Debra%20Wagner says

    Growing up in the Military I know what this means. I love your ideas!

  2. Amazing advice! Thank you.

  3. “What can I do to help?” Usually that is a great question, but now I now it may not necessarily be the best question in this circumstance. Thanks Janice!

  4. http://Amy%20F.%20Vazquez says

    Q: Do active duty service members have health/medical insurance? A: In the strictest sense active duty don’t have insurance. They receive all care from a military facility. If they need to receive care outside of a military facility it is the responsibility of the care facility which covers their unit/location. That military treatment facility arranges for, and pays for their care. Emergencies are covered and paid for by their local military treatment facility. An active duty soldier’s ID card (and their eligible family members’ military ID cards) serve as verification that they are eligible for medical care through the military. They may also receive a TRICARE card although care is paid for my their servicing military treatment facility. To make a long story short, active duty military and their eligible family members have free medical care. Nothing in the civilian community can even come close to this benefit.

    • http://Janice says

      With all due respect, military health insurance is not free. It is a benefit provided in exchange for their service. The civilian community doesn’t generally go into battle and put their lives on the line.

      This post is not about financially supporting military families. Most of them would never ask for that anyway. This post is about standing beside a friend or family member who is going through a hard situation with a loved one in mortal danger.

  5. http://Mommy%20Pamela! says

    I have had family members get deployed and I see the heartache that it causes. I hope that I am there enough for the ones who are dealing with this on a more personal level than I. Thanks for the tips on how to improve my deployment ettiquette.

  6. http://Lucy%20Langley says

    Thankyou my friend’s husband has just recently been deployed and so I was looking for some advice and found this, it really helps and I think I know how I can be there for her better now.

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  8. This is SO good and SO true. I’ve been meaning to write a similar post like this for years–but never found the right words. Thank you so much for doing it for me so I can share this around. <3 Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice to this country!

  9. YES!!!! I’ve wanted to write this post for a long while but you did it for me. This part “The best way to help the soldier is to support his or her family back at home. ” Sooo true! I got very few offers for help but I did have people ask what they could do to help my husband. I was having such a hard time, but felt guilty saying “You can help him by offering to help ME!” <3

  10. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God.

    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

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    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! This is forever…God bless!


    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus came to pay a debt that we could not; to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness through faith (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow the rituals and traditions of man but to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

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