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How to Love a Soldier

Falling in love with a soldier, male or female, takes a special kind of touch.

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  Well here I sit at the airport, my daughter three seats down from me, along with a company of deploying soldiers. A familiar site these days with one exception, my daughter is saying her goodbyes to her boyfriend, now deploying with his unit. Along with the tears of the pending separation also comes questions, questions that I didn’t see coming at me from this angle, I have three sons, only one served and he didn’t have to deploy to war.

 I’m rather bias on the relationship success due to the fact that I served, matter of fact for twenty years,during which time the separation from my partners ended in total separation. I want to share with the public as well as I did with my daughter on the ride back, the in -out of this type of relationship in a mature and matter of fact way.

 A relationship with a soldier takes a special kind of person. It is no ordinary love affair that is being entered in to here. The times that you will have together need to be used constructively. Let me elaborate on that statement.  For example, when others are planning their next trip to the mall or what video game to play, you should be covering  topics that get to the root of your relationship. Honesty, up front approaches to problem solving issues, future plans, and resolution. Resolution meaning, is this a forever thing or a trial bases. If it is a trial bases, the deployment will bring resolution!

 Partners and spouses of military personnel deal with extra ordinary issues everyday that civilians do not. Take for instance this. If you, meaning the non deployed love half, are a take charge kind of person, be prepared for a different  other half coming back. He or she has just spent 18 months in a unforgiving world ,where taking charge of a situation just saved lives, including that of the one you love. See a problem?

Communication

The ability to communicate with deployed troops has moved in leaps and bounds since I served. Mail call was not a give me for my job speciality. I would get mail, if it didn’t get delayed, maybe once or twice a week  and then it was days old. Now  modern technology is but a click away. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. I have told my daughter to let him, her deployed soldier, start the conversation. Why? We are here where it is safe, he/she is not ,so before we ramble on about the latest foot gear trend we might want to hear how their day went, could set the mood/tone of the rest of the on-line conversation.

Honesty

Make sure that you both agree it is OK to miss a call here and there and that you do have a life. Too many people have ruined a good relationship by wringing the life out of each other once they are not in the same room. If a relationship solely exists because you can control it then really you don’t have one. Understand that your deployed other half will create a bond that is so strong, some say , stronger then love with his or her teammates that it can be threaten. On the same token ,you back in the rear ,will need to move about conducting business as usual while keeping the faith. Team up with other partners and spouses of deployed soldier and create a support network.

 Well we’ve pulled up in to the drive, I’m sure my daughter has heard enough as well as you, so in closing, love well, love in peace, love forever. Be safe. Smile. Support our Troops.

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  1. Casey Kelley

    On April 9, 2009 at 8:02 am


    I agree with all of this, very good love.

  2. Evelyn Moore

    On April 9, 2009 at 8:43 am


    Some very thoughtful and poignant writing

  3. Kate Smedley

    On April 9, 2009 at 8:48 am


    Very interesting, very good advice to anyone in a relationship like this, it can’t be easy, I would always be worried sick about them.

  4. Duff D Moss

    On April 9, 2009 at 8:58 am


    You show a side of a special kind of relationship that does not get shown too often. I can only imagine how hard it must be.

  5. Christine Ramsay

    On April 9, 2009 at 10:01 am


    Some very wise advice here, Paul. Good work.

    Christine

  6. hfj

    On April 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm


    Very nice story with some great advice and insight. The computer and cell phone have made the communication efforts much easier these days. It still doesn’t do much for the time away, and the sacrifices that military personnel and their families have to endure daily. Well done.

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