10 Ways to Help A Grieving Spouse

During my husband’s worst deployment, in the midst of the surge in Iraq in 2007, I dreamed over and over that he had died. I had visions of what I would do if that happened, how I would react and how I would grieve.

Later, when he was deployed as a commander of nearly 1,000 soldiers in 2010, I had visions of a different kind: What would I do if one of our soldiers was killed, and I was called upon to help the spouse?

Decisions, Decisions - Teetering Between Your Hopes and the Military's Needs

We are talking about what lies ahead lately.

We have a year, maybe less than, and with such frequent deployments, my husband knows he’s in the hunt for our next set of orders. And soon.

After the holidays, we will have to decide – along with the rather severe and not always so accommodating needs of the Navy – where we are going.

East Coast or West Coast; North or South; a maintenance or teaching job.

We could move to somewhere we used to live; we could move to a whole new location.

It’s all very exciting. And, exhausting.

Clutter-Free, If Just for a Moment

When my husband is home, I have all sorts of time for things I enjoy.

Like organization.  Color-coding.  Labeling things.

It’s a sickness, really.

Making lists and checking them twice.  Compartmentalizing everything.

My kids’ toys.  Clothing.  Arts and crafts supplies.  Papers and files and office necessities.

None of it is safe.

During his time at home, we always spend time working on re-organizing a lot of things in our lives.

America, How I Miss Thee – A Top 10 List from Spouses Overseas

I have a love/hate relationship with the U.S., specifically my home state of Florida. I love it when I am not there, and hate it when I am. My family is very fortunate to have lived overseas for so many years and had so many cool adventures. But, on some days, I just want to go to Wal-Mart in my pajamas at midnight and buy some corn tortillas, a gallon of two-percent milk and my favorite brand of toothpaste.

Top 10 things I miss about living in the United States:

Children's Imaginations Fill In Gaps When They Don't Know Where Daddy Deploys

We were getting ready for dinner when my 2-year-old stopped me.

“Mama!” she cried.  “Mama! Where’s Daddy’s food?”

I stopped, puzzled.  My husband has been deployed for months and months.  He hasn’t eaten a meal here in even longer.  I hadn’t set a place for him in ages, let alone made him up a plate of food like the rest of the family.

But my toddler kept on going.

“Mama!  Daddy’s food! What Daddy eatin’?”

She was pleading with me for an answer.

A Life With Military Spouse Friends is a Love Like No Other

I wake up to a few text messages every morning.

“Want coffee? I’m hitting Dunkin’ Donuts before I see you at school.”

One message often reads, “Going to the store. Need anything?”

And sometimes, I’ll get the ever-necessary, “The kids are driving me crazy.  Wanna make pizzas and watch movies at my house tonight?  Better than being alone.”

Last week, I had a fellow military spouse invite me over for a playdate and give me her own bed to nap in while she watched the kids and popped popcorn, knowing I was pregnant, tired, and over deployment that week.

We’re Our Own Army of One

Editor's note: Friday is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. We count down with a blog each day from our own dedicated staff members as they recount why they love this crazy life.

A few weeks ago, I asked my co-family readiness group leader (who happens to be a man) what his favorite thing about being an Army spouse is.

His answer was a long drink of coffee and giving me the slow blink.

The Military Spouse Life - The Best of Times, The Worst of Times and Everything Between

Editor's note: Friday is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. We count down with a blog each day from our own dedicated staff members as they recount why they love this crazy life.


I sat down at my computer a few days ago to tell you why I love being a military spouse. I wrote something about the opportunities this life has given me, and the people I have met and the friends I have made.

And then, I threw it out.

RSVP For One

I believe in the brave deployment face.

Smiles.  Grin and bare it.  Just keep plugging.

It’s not so bad, I tell people.

And then I attend a wedding.

I really love weddings.

Except when I attend them alone, my husband deployed underwater like he invariably is.

People don’t know what to do with me at weddings.

I get a lot of looks of pity, especially if my children are with me.  When the unavoidable couples dance comes up, I get foisted off onto some table of widowed grandmothers, who pat my hand and tell me it’s all right. 

Deployment Prep: The Most Complete Checklist Ever

I was 28 weeks pregnant with my second baby.  I had a 1-year-old.  And, my husband was deployed.

I’m still not sure what happened.  It might have been the lunch we ate out.  The chicken did taste funny.  Maybe we just ate too much salsa.  Or maybe the waitress was carrying a virus.

But the day after that celebratory lunch, mid-deployment, my daughter and I got a stomach virus.  A reeling, violent stomach virus.


For Military Spouses
Apply for the Salute to Spouses scholarship today and begin your education! You’ll be on the way to your dream career.