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While They Serve
By Edie Melson

A Fog of Fear

I’d been so wrapped up in what was happening, I’d lost my perspective.

I remember those days following our son’s choice to enlist in the Marine Corps. It was a daunting time, filled with pride and a bit of fear sprinkled in.

I was proud of my son’s decision to serve, but in the back of my mind lay a fog of fear about what that service might demand from him.

Over the next few months, as our son began his many months of training, I settled more and more into a sense of pride and excitement. He was following his dream and doing it well.

Lord, Help My Unbelief

A young man's funeral derails a military mom's heart.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Funerals are never easy, but that’s especially true when it’s a young person who has passed away. While my son was in Iraq, a buddy of his was killed in a car accident. I knew Jimmy would have wanted to attend, so I decided to go in his stead.

A Christmas Blessing for a Military Mom

A family pulls together for Christmas during a son's first deployment.

Our son’s first deployment was also the first time our family was apart during Christmas.

The closer we got to December, the more I dreaded the Christmas to come. I did everything I could to postpone decorating the house.

This was completely out of character for me. I’d always delighted in filling the house with multiple trees, twinkling lights and all the trimmings of Christmas. 

Is Ignorance Really Bliss During Deployment?

There's no one answer, here's how an honest conversation can help.

Is ignorance really bliss during deployment? I think that’s an issue for debate. Personally, I alternated between wanting to know all that was going on and wanting to know nothing that was going on.

During my son’s two deployments to the Middle East, I did my very best to avoid any kind of news broadcasts about the war. There were a couple of reasons for this:

Battling the Clichés of Military Life–The Answers We Wish We Could Give

When trying to comfort a military family, think carefully before you speak.

The military life can ask a lot from families–and extended families. It’s usually when life gets hardest that we hear the most incredibly thoughtless things.

In today’s post, I want to share the answers we wish we could give when we’re battling the clichés of military life.

#GivingTuesday–Remember Our Military

The way we show our appreciation doesn’t have to be big–a cup of coffee or just a simple “thank you” means the world to them.

I’ve spent most of the past three months in and out of airports. I don’t know why, but it seems everywhere I turned, I saw men and women in uniform. While it was obvious that a lot were coming home, a significant number were headed away from home.

At one busy airport, I decided to grab something hot at my favorite coffee shop. A young man in army fatigues stood in the line in front of me. The barista asked if he was on his way home and the man shook his head. “I’m rejoining my unit, and we’re headed to Afghanistan.”

Thanksgiving When We Don’t Feel Like It

5 things to do when a deployment separates you from a loved one over the holidays.

It’s hard to be thankful when we find ourselves in difficult situations. That’s never more true than when you’re dealing with the separation of a deployment that spans the holidays.

I learned just how hard that was when our son was deployed during the holidays. Today I’d like to share some ways to encourage thanksgiving when we don’t feel like it.

What to Say–What NOT to Say–When a Veteran Comes Home

Words that welcome and validate the military experience–and words that don't.

Many people don’t know what to say when a serviceman or woman comes home from deployment and/or come out of the military. I didn’t–until our son enlisted in the Marine Corps.

Now, because of first-hand experience, I’ve learned what to say–and what not to say–when a veteran comes home.

15 Things You Can Send a Soldier for Christmas

Have a loved one deployed? It's time to pack those Christmas boxes.

If you have a loved one deployed, then you know it’s time to pack those Christmas Boxes. This is also a great time to pull together friends and family to help send extra boxes for your serviceman or woman to share with fellow soldiers.

Here's a list of 15 things you can send a soldier for Christmas:

Encourage Community Support for Our Military

5 tips to help your community grow in its support of military personnel

We are fortunate that where I live, in Greenville, SC, we have the solid community support so critical for military personnel, veterans and families. I’ve personally relied on that support while our son was deployed and now that he’s a veteran.

This past week I was privileged to participate in one of many Veterans Day events that happen each year. There are now so many that it’s necessary for events to be spread out over several weeks in November.

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 first book for those with a loved one who serves. Look for her newest book for military families debuting summer of 2015: While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with a Loved One in the Military. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.

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