How one Marine reached out to his siblings during deployment
Posted in , May 23, 2016
I’m surprised at how many national days have been designated in our country. Of course I knew about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but I recently learned about Brother’s Day, on May 24. This one appeals to me in particular, not because I have brothers, but because I have three sons who love each other deeply.
This was brought home to me while our oldest son was on deployment to the Middle East, and I watched how his brothers struggled to support him while dealing with their own fears about what might happen.
This love was echoed in their older brother who took great care to stay in touch with them, to help alleviate some of their worries and make sure they knew he loved them.
Here are some of the things our Marine Corps son did:
First, he enlisted several of his buddies to stand in as an older brother figure. These designated young men spent a lot of time with his younger siblings and to this day, I’m forever grateful. Parents bring a lot to the table, but we can’t replace a big brother.
He remembered them with letters. I still treasure each letter I got from him, and I know the letters he sent his brothers meant just as much.
He made an effort to call his brothers when he could. This was difficult at first because his brothers were in middle school and high school. There was a strict “no phone calls at school” rule. But after talking to the administration, they got special permission to take phone calls from the front line.
Finally, when we visited him on base, he made a lot of effort to show his brothers around and explain different things that they thought were cool.
Deployments can be tough on siblings, often times making them feel left out and ignored. But taking the extra effort to make sure they’re included will go a long way in relieving stress.