Helping a Relative Who is in the Military
Working in the armed forces can be a rewarding job, but it is also one that comes with enormous pressure and risk. A lot of people are incredibly proud if they have a loved one serving in the military, but they are also aware of the risk to their relative’s well-being and can see their need for support. No matter how brave or strong that individual might be, working in a high-pressure environment and putting your life at risk can take a toll, so if you do have a relative who has just joined the military, here are some ways you can support them during their time in service.
Keep in Regular Contact
Whether they are sent off to a base far away for training or they are deployed to another country for combat, being away from their family can be very tough – particularly if they are in dangerous circumstances. This is why it is important to keep in as much regular contact as possible, both through phone calls, video chats, and even writing letters and emails. It’s a good way for them to touch base with home and can often provide them a lot of comfort when they are going through a hard time. It can also be beneficial for the families to stay in touch so that they know their loved one on duty is OK.
Send Care Packages
Another good way to give your relative in the military a boost when they are away from home is by sending them care packages. Filling boxes with snacks, games or other things that they love can be a welcome surprise and could help to cheer them up if they are having a tough time. It’s also a great way to show them that you are thinking of them and miss them, too.
Encourage People to Donate to the Military Charities
You might already choose to donate to charities that support military families and veterans, but it’s a good idea to start encouraging others to do the same. Not only could these contributions go toward helping you and your family, but they will be used to support others in your position, too. Spread the word about veterans charity donations and other military causes to help those who are and have served in the armed forces get the support that they deserve.
Create a Safe Space for Them to Talk
If your relative returns from service and they have had a difficult time, it’s important to make sure that they have a safe space to talk if they want to. If they don’t want to discuss things, you should give them space to do that and not pressure them, but perhaps look at some therapy options that they could try if they are willing. It’s not uncommon for veterans to suffer from PTSD, especially if they have been in combat, and families need to understand this issue and create a supportive environment for them when they return.
If you have a relative in the military and you want to support them as best as you can, these suggestions are all good places to start.