Coping With Deployment Separation
Coping with deployment separation
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Coping With Deployment Separation

By: Alice Murray

Oct 18, 2019
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Life as a military family can be challenging. Staying close to a loved one whilst they’re on deployment can be hard, and it’s not just for the time that they’re away either.

The moments leading up to and following deployment may cause confusion and anxiety. After all, it seems like only yesterday that you were enjoying the warmth of your home, sitting on the couch with your family while watching a movie. Now, your family is separated because of a patriotic commitment, and you pray every night that you will all be together again.

Thanks to technology, there are several ways that you can stay close to your loved ones on deployment. Follow our top tips to make that precious time you have together extra special, and stay close with Nixplay.

Arrange Plenty Of Video Calls

Arranging plenty of video calls while you’re away from your family will allow you to express thoughts and share things that are difficult to convey over the phone. It’s also a great way to stay updated with each other and receive plenty of assurance that they’re okay.

Maybe your kids want to show your loved one their latest art masterpiece, or maybe your dog wants to say hello. Video calls can make all of this possible. You can smile together, laugh together, or even cry together. Just make sure you have a decent internet connection before you start and you’re good to go!

Send A Handwritten Letter Or A Military Care Package

Despite the benefits of technological communication, nothing beats the good old traditional method. Handwritten letters and care packages are wonderful keepsakes for military families. Better yet, they’ll be lovely mementos for when you fast-forward 40 years from now to when your children are old enough to have families of their own. They’ll be showing the letters that they once sent to their family, passing on the memories through the generations.

If you’re struggling with what to write, start with how you’re feeling and what you’re up to. Keep your loved one updated about any big milestones, but also remember to tell them about the small things, too. What did you do today? What did you have for dinner? Anything is relevant and interesting, trust us! The more details you include, the closer to them you will feel—and vice versa.

If your loved one is going to be away for Christmas or their birthday, send over some cards with “open on {date}” on them. These cards are a great way to get them into the festive spirit. Cards labeled “open when you’re feeling sad” or “open when you want a laugh” are also a nice gesture that you can send all year round.

Another way to stay in touch is to send a military care package. Here are some ideas of what to include:

Food and drink: Send them some of their favorite snacks and candy. Small things like this will help them feel closer to home, no matter how far away they are. Gum and mints are also a great addition to your military care package, as well as protein bars and shake mixes.

Toiletries: As well as the basics, like toothpaste and shower gel, consider where your loved one is based. Hand cream may come in handy if they’re spending time in the desert, and sunscreen is always helpful wherever they may be!

Flip flops: gravel and sand can often find itself on the floor of a shared bathroom, so keep it clean and send your loved one some flip flops in their favorite hue.

Sticker books: It’s a nice little something to share out in the local communities.

Christmas and birthday presents: if your loved ones are away for their next birthday or Christmas, send them over some gifts to get them in the festive spirit.

A calendar: Send them a calendar with their return date filled in so they can count down the days until they come home.

Every base is different, so if you’re not sure what you can or can’t send, be sure to check with your loved one first.

Top tip: Rather than sending printed family photos, save valuable space in your care package and send personal photographs via a Nixplay Smart Photo Frame!

Exchange Belongings Before They Leave

It can be nice to exchange personal belongings with your loved ones before they leave so that you have something of each other to help you stay close while you’re apart. Give them a part of you and keep something that belongs to them, whether it’s your favorite necklace or a treasured family heirloom. That way, it will feel like they’re with you every day.

Invest In A Nixplay Digital Frame

One of the most effective ways to stay close as a military family is to send photos to one another via Nixplay Wi-Fi Photo Frames. With our smart frames, you can share photos and videos straight from your phone, computer, or tablet to your loved ones, no matter where they are. You can also share 15-second videos and personal messages, as well as send live updates with photos of your day. From selfies with the kids to pictures of the dog, you can keep your loved one in the loop with a Nixplay Smart Photo Frame.

Struggling to choose which photos to send? Discover some of our military family photo ideas to stay close with your loved ones on deployment.

Pre-deployment Family Photo Ideas

Organizing a mini family photoshoot pre-deployment is a great way to get a collection of photos ready for your Nixplay frame. Whether it’s done professionally or at home with a smartphone, each image will be treasured as it’s really the thought that counts.

Here are some of our pre-deployment family photo ideas:

  • Get the kids together and take one big family photo. Take this one in the comfort of your own home, and make sure that everyone is smiling brightly and you’re all facing the right direction. You just can’t beat a cheery family photo!
  • If you’re being deployed or have a child who’s being deployed abroad, you might want to take individual photos with each of your children and family members to build up your collection.
  • Take some fun pictures too! Whether that’s cuddly toys or fancy dress costumes, you can jazz up your military family photos and have some real fun with it.
  • Get a photo with the family pet (if you have one, of course).
  • Don’t just take staged photos. Where possible, get some candid snaps of your family enjoying their time together, in real life. Whether these photos are taken while playing video games, running around at the park, or simply sitting down at dinner, they’ll make for nice memories to add to your albums. These photos are the ones that will feel the most authentic and will bring the biggest smile to your face.
  • You could take photos in seasonal clothing too. If your loved one is stationed overseas for the holidays, it may be comforting to look at snaps of everyone looking festive, especially with the holiday season drawing near!

Set up your Wi-Fi photo frame with these images before you go, or send them across to your loved ones whilst they’re away to remind them of how much you love them.

How To Properly Welcome Them Home

Whilst it’s important to stay close with deployed soldiers when they’re away, welcoming them home in the right way is equally as important. It can be an anxious time, so you need to allow for re-adjustment. Respect that things may be different, and be open and reassuring.

Your loved one may need some space to think, or they might need you to listen while they talk about their experiences. But don’t let that stop you from having fun. Liven things up a bit with a banner and gear up the house in preparation. Get all of their favorite things in—food, drinks, films, the lot. And remember to set up your digital photo frame with all of your favorite family photos.

Our smart frames, Wi-Fi frames, and digital photo frames are the perfect way to stay close to your loved ones on deployment. Get together a collection of military family photos and set up your digital display to stay connected.