With planning, you and your family can create special ways to stay in touch during deployment. Try the following ideas:
- Give your family a scrapbook and a special box to hold letters, photographs and other souvenirs you send home. Later you'll be able to tell them the stories behind the objects and photographs.
- Hide small gifts or notes throughout your home and jot down the location of each item. Every few weeks during your deployment, send home a treasure map or a clue to lead your family to one of the gifts or notes.
- Mark where you will be located on a map or globe, unless the information is classified. Mark the locations of family in other parts of the world, too.
- Make audio recordings of yourself reading your children's favorite storybooks. Ask your partner or caregiver to play these for your children before bedtime each evening when you're away.
- Have your children help you pack, if there's time. This will help them think and talk about your deployment and ask questions they may have.
- Ask your children for a special keepsake to bring with you on your deployment. In addition, give your children a photograph of you in a special frame to keep near their beds.
- Agree on a phrase you will each say before going to sleep. It could be as simple as, "Sweet dreams, goodnight." Think of your children and family while you say it, and ask them to think of you when they say it.
- Set up a blog or an online site where you and your family can share. If you will have access to a computer while you're deployed, you can set up a private website where your family can write and post pictures or videos to share with you.
- Put your name on the prayer list at your place of worship, if this is your custom. This will give your family and the entire community the opportunity to pray for you each weekend.