Military Family Appreciation: Support from Afar
November marks the time of year when we sit back and think about the things we are thankful for. November also marks Military Family Appreciation Month, which brings to mind the obvious people; spouses and children. However, there are many more aspects to the military family than what meets the eye. There are pieces to the military family that aren’t really seen but are there for us anyway. I’m talking about our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. They may not be with us every day, but still support us each and every step of the way.
Anyone who has moved away from their family knows that even though they are not there physically, they are always in your heart. In our lifestyle, nothing is predictable. As soon as you think you have everything figured out, there is another wrench thrown into your plan. Those wrenches can seem overwhelming when you are in a strange place for what feels like the hundredth time, without your support system there with you. What we must remember is that our support systems are with us no matter where we go. That family we left behind actually follows us to each new place and on each new adventure.
I know from my own experience how much the support of our entire family has made a difference. In our time as a military family, we have almost always lived far away from our families. When my husband deployed for 15 months apiece, I fully relied on my family for support even though they were hundreds of miles away. Phone calls, emails and care packages were a huge part of what got me through the loneliness and the times when it felt like everything was falling apart. My family has always found ways to make sure we felt their support and love for us, no matter how far away we have lived.
When we first leaped into this crazy lifestyle, we did not fully use Facebook or Skype. Phone calls and cards in the mail were how we knew there were people out there thinking about us and sending love to us. Today we have it so much easier. At any given time we can logon to social media, send a text, or even have a face-to-face conversation with those we love. Technology has made it even easier for us to be close to our families. It makes it so that we can feel their support on a daily basis. Those little things make navigating the obstacles so much easier.
As Thanksgiving approaches this month and you are thinking about what you are thankful for, remember those families that aren’t in the forefront. For those of you who are a military family, appreciate each other, but also remember to appreciate the family you have that supports you from a distance. Take the time to tell them how much their support means to you. Without their support, our lifestyle would be much harder. Their love and support, even from a distance, makes a world of difference in a lifestyle that survives on uneven ground.
About the blogger:
Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. Currently she serves as a Community Manager for USAA, writing about her experiences in deployment and military life. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in human resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.