By Heather Short
Military life often brings you to places you never thought you would end up, and you get the chance to meet people you otherwise would never have crossed paths with. In some cases, those strangers become friends, and those friends become your family away from home.
The friends you meet while stationed somewhere new are the ones who see you through some of the worst times of your life and during some of your best days. Experiencing military life together is a bond you can’t quite describe, but deep down, you know those friendships can last for a lifetime.
With constant training, ever-changing schedules and deployments lurking on the horizon, military families can face an array of emotions. Stress levels can understandably spin out of control and we can lose focus. Sometimes all we need is a friend to notice and show that they care.
Something as simple as a phone call to say hello can change a person’s entire day. Some friends enjoy sending simple, inexpensive gifts to let their friends know they are thinking of them. These small gifts can be something that reminds them of your friendship or to show you thought about them, whether near or far. Here are some ways to show you care.
It seems so simple and it really is. Sometimes all people need to do is vent their frustrations and get it off their chest. Once it is said, people often feel a weight lifted from their shoulders, even if it is a giant cry fest while they vent or angrily yell about how life isn’t fair. Don’t feel that you have to have the perfect thing to say in response either. It is alright if you don’t know what to say at all. Just the fact that you are there to listen is enough.
Send a gift card
We know our friends are busy or stressed and probably rarely make time for themselves. Show a friend you care by sending them a gift card for their favorite coffee shop, restaurant or bookstore. This gesture reminds them to take some time for themselves to unwind and relax.
Mail a care package
Military spouses love sending their deployed soldier care packages. Every time they are at a grocery store, they never fail to stock up on goodies to send their soldier. However, don’t be afraid to send your friend a care package, too. Fill it with fun stuff like magazines, their favorite candy, popcorn, nail polish or makeup. An unexpected care package full of fun stuff will put such a big smile on your friend’s face and make them feel loved.
Make a meal or dessert
When a friend gets stressed out or is perhaps going through a difficult time, sometimes the last thing they want to do is cook a meal. Another way to show a friend you care is by making a meal that can be easily reheated at mealtime.
Enchiladas or a casserole are some quick and easy suggestions for make-ahead meals. Freezer meals have become a popular way of prepping meals ahead of time as well.
Everyone loves dessert. If you’d rather make some brownies, cookies, or scones, they would be a sweet way to show you care, too.
Write a note
In a world centered on technology, a handwritten note sometimes get overlooked. But taking the time to pick a cute little card and writing a simple handwritten message in it can mean more than you realize. Sure, a text is quick and easy to send and it is appreciated. Let’s face it though; everyone loves getting mail, especially when it isn’t a bill that needs to be paid. Unexpected, handwritten notes in the mail or even left on someone’s front porch is a nice way to let a friend know you’ve been thinking of them.
By Heather Short