There, in the middle of the chaotic
surroundings, lay my comrade. She wearily
low crawls to safety, guzzling the lukewarm beverage from her canteen. This warrior knows the battlefield and
has refused to surrender, for her troops and the mission need her. She is weary, exhausted and outnumbered
by more vigorous forces. After a
deep breath, she thanks God for the Starbucks Breakfast Blend as it provides
the energy required to navigate the next landmine field: homework, soccer, dinner, bedtime and
laundry. She is defending the home
front, alone. I reach out my hand,
lift her up and pass her a chicken with something-else-in-it casserole. She smiles. One casserole was all it took for her to realize she can endure
one more mission on the battlefield.
As our country remains at war, a
staggering number of families are being separated for long periods of
time. “Solider is a position.
Warrior is an attitude.”[i]
I interviewed three true warrior girlfriends,
all mother to three; Kim, Missy and Linda about what helped and what didn’t
while their husbands were deployed.
I compiled a list of could-do’s
because we all could do
aid our friends as they defend the home front. Here’s the “high five” your friend just might need!
Feed the troops.
This was the top
response! FEED THE TROOPS! Bring
an unexpected meal. Or, organize
friends/neighbors and drop off the meal schedule with dates and menu so your
friend can plan the other nights around those meals. Missy said, “Dinner and
homework time are close together so it was such a blessing to not have to
juggle a meal as well!” If you
can’t cook or have limited time, mail your friend a gift card to her favorite
restaurant. Even, pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken, bread and a salad from
the salad bar and drop it off (it’ll be better than the peanut butter and jelly
sandwich that your friend would go to bed feeling guilty about that night!)
Put together a
movie and pizza night basket. Get
a gift card for your friend’s favorite pizza and movie rental place. Put some
popcorn and candy in there and let your friend have a pizza, movie night with
the kids at home!
Be willing to low crawl.
Take care of the
“low crawlers”, her kids, for just an hour or two a week, with no expectation
of reciprocity. Request that your
child and friend’s child be placed on the same sports team and carpool for her! Figure out what your friend’s “thing”
(scrapbooking, running, book club, Bunco) is. Offer to faithfully watch her kids that night each month and
let her do her “thing”.
Keep a watchful eye on the morale.
Find out when your
friend’s birthday and anniversary are and do something, anything, to make it special (flowers, chocolate). Don’t forget Mother’s Day and holidays too!
Shoot an email
over saying, “I’m thinking of you!” or “You’re doing a great job managing
everything!” It’s nice to read
affirming emails after a long day!
Email a bunch of
friends that she knows, and some she doesn’t, and have them mail cards and
emails of encouragement and appreciation. She can reread those cards over and
over to get a boost! A little appreciation can go a long way.
Do regular radio checks.
Call and sincerely
ask how her day/week was. Allow
her to vent frustrations and listen when she is at her wit’s end. Kim said, “A lot of wives feel added
stress by believing they need to appear as though they’ve got it all together.
Just being allowed to vent frustrations about her kids/husband/neighbors/etc is
Recognize the enemy tactic to isolate and
weekends were a big one for her, “They can be lonely because most friends are
with their own family, try to include them in any family outings.” Linda offered, “Get a movie and bring it
over to your girlfriend’s house as nighttime can get lonely.” (Your friend can
have girlfriend time without needing the expense of a babysitter!)
If you want to support the troops overseas, then protect, care and
nurture their blessings back home.
We all can’t do everything, but can do something. God bless our troops and their famili
Wagner, Warrior Chicks
, (Ventura, CA:
Regal Books, 2007), p. 8.