While They Serve
By Edie Melson

Into the Storms of Deployment

Doing God's will often means heading right into the teeth of danger

On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”

Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. (Mark 4:35-38)

6 Lessons I Learned From My Marine Corps Son

As parents we teach our children. But we don't always notice what they teach us.

As parents we get so caught up in teaching our children, we sometimes don’t notice what they’re teaching us. Parenting has taught me so much more about life than I ever expected, and a lot of those lessons have been through my kids.

Resources That Helped a New Marine Corps Mom

Don't battle fear and uncertainty alone. Here's how to let others help you.

As I’ve mentioned before here on "While They Serve," we didn’t come from a military family. Beyond that, we don’t live in a town near a military base. So when our son chose to enlist, we had a lot of catching up to do. Today I’d like to share the things I found that helped me the most.

The biggest thing that helped me was courage. I had to seek out the information and help I needed. That often involved asking–not something this independent girl is fond of doing. But what I found is that my asking often blessed others.

A Marine Mom Remembers 9/11

The day that changed her 8th grade son's life.

Most of us remember where we were that day.

My morning had started off a little calmer than usual. It wasn’t my week to drive in our neighborhood carpool, so I’d rushed the two youngest out the door to grade school first. Then the car horn sounded for our oldest son and, after a quick hug, he was off to middle school.

I’d gone back upstairs to finish getting ready. I’d be volunteering in the office of the middle school. The morning news played in the background, but my attention was on getting out the door on time. Then my cell phone rang.

Praying With and For Military Families

Calling all prayer warriors to support military families in uncertain times.

The world around us is uncertain. No one knows the truth of this more than a military family. Many live daily with the reality that war is a part of life.

10 Things You Need to Know to Be a Successful Marine Corps Mom

With God's direction, how to provide the love and support your soldier needs.

I really suspect that the things I’m sharing today hold true, no matter which branch of the military your son or daughter calls home. But I can only lay claim to personal experience with being a Marine mom.

1. Dates and times for visits home are general targets, not promises. One of the first things I learned was that military precision doesn’t really apply in time-driven situations. This isn’t something your child can control, so be patient. He’s more frustrated by this than you’ll ever be.

Is There a Blue Star Theatre Near You?

Another way God uses communities to remind service men and women that they are not forgotten!

I recently learned about a relatively new program benefitting our active duty military members and families, as well as veterans. It’s the Blue Star Theatre program, a partnership between Blue Star Families and Theatre Communications Group.

The program was launched in Denver in 2012 with 57 participating theatres and has now doubled in size with 115 theaters nationwide.

The Importance of Enjoyment

To better cope with deployment, take care of yourself while your soldier is away. 

Deployments are tough–for those serving so far from home–but also for the families they leave behind. As a Marine mom, I know how stressful it is to wait and worry while someone you love is deployed. But I also know the toll that kind of worry can take. Because of that, it’s imperative to take time for yourself while your soldier is away.

Easy to say, but difficult to do.

Boots on the Ground

It's only in the middle of a conflict do you get the information you need to succeed.

As I’ve mentioned before, until our oldest son decided to enlist in the Marine Corps, ours was not a military family. When I accepted the fact that he was serious about this life choice, I began to do everything we could to learn about the military. I wanted to be prepared so I could help our family support him.

Holding on Tight

A family dog offers insights into how God walks beside us, step by step.

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

As a parent, one of my sweetest memories happened while teaching our oldest son to walk. He began like all kids, pulling up on anything nearby. And one day that nearby handhold was our blonde cocker spaniel, Sherlock. I was standing in the kitchen doorway, looking into the living room when it happened.

Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. Look for her two newest books for military families debuting in 2014: While My Son Serves and While My Husband Serves. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.

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