Inevitably, one experience for military personnel and their family and friends is getting through a deployment or several of them. The lengths of deployments are various and it undoubtedly, is difficult to be parted from your loved one for such a long period of time. If you are accustomed to seeing your Soldier, Marine, Airman, Sailor or Coastie on a day-to-day basis, this will more than likely be the hardest part of your relationship whether you are family, a significant other or just friends. Being apart from someone you are used to being around everyday will without a doubt leave you with a sense of loneliness and we often find ourselves asking, "What will I do with my time?"
Just because one of your loved ones has gone overseas, while it's difficult, does not mean that your life has to stop. If you have a job, you will continue to work, if you are a student, you will continue to go to school, so on and so forth. Sure, your home may be decorated with military home dÃ©cor, you may have the "Support Our Troops" vehicle graphics and you may wear your causal military clothing, but while those help you get through, there are other things to do as well. While your loved one is away, use the time to organize support groups for fellow military spouses, family members and friends. By being around other people that are going through the same emotions that you are, I am sure you will find comfort in which most civilians just do not understand. Invite them over for a 'dinner night'; do this each week and maybe each week, go to a different person's house. If you are into scrap booking, you could host a scrapbook night. Have all of your fellow military supporters come over and work on scrapbooks adorned with pictures you have received so far from your loved one's deployment. If you are more of an individual, there are countless forums online in which you can become a member of and chat with others about the events of your current survival of this deployment.
One could also use this time to go back to college or an adult education institute. It doesn't have to be a full on coarse load, but there are classes you could take such as a dance class or a karate class, or just take a few intro classes to the subjects that intrigue you. This will not only give you something to enjoy, it will look good on any resume as well as helping to pass the time. If you take a cooking class for example, this will not only be a place to meet new friends, but it will help you to come up with a great meal to prepare for your loved one's welcome home party.
There are many things you can do to pass the time during the deployment period. While keeping yourself busy though, don't forget to take and send pictures to them to keep them up to date on what is going on back in the states. They say, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder," and if you have survived through a deployment already or if it is in your near future, you will find this statement to be true.
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