24/7 MOMS

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Weary Warrior - Try-not-to-do's - Part 2

Wup, wup, wup, wup, wup, WUP, WUP, WUP, WUP….
The weary warrior’s heart expectantly races as the once dull thuds become increasingly louder. She surveys the airspace above, locates the helicopter that smoothly descends downward to the earth with the supplies she desperately needs. She takes the supplies and eagerly cracks the wooden crate open. Finally, supplies to complete my mission!  Eagerly she rummages through the packaging where she digs out her supplies:  bowling pins, a disco ball, water skis and a clown costume. What is this? Why’d my team even put the helicopter in the air? This stuff doesn’t help me at all…it’s pretty bad if spam would be more useful and welcome at this point!
Here are some unhelpful things my warrior friends Kim, Missy and Linda said did NOT help them while their spouses were on long term deployments.
Here’s some help in the “try-not-to-do’s” when supporting a weary warrior, who’s left to defend her home front alone.  Here’s the “low five” your friend just might not need!
1.      Don’t leave your buddy behind.
“Let me know if you need something” or “I’ll pray for you” are often overused phrases used to let the messenger feel good about herself while the warrior is left hanging!  Instead of saying you’ll pray (which you may or may not actually do), pray with her right then and there.  Missy said, “Praying for me and my family over the phone touched my heart”.
2.     Don’t ask her to watch your platoon too.  One platoon’s enough in war time!
A friend that you’ve felt comfortable swapping childcare with doesn’t have the same stamina while in battle.  Consider, just while the spouse is deployed, to allow a one way child care situation to flow.
3.     Don’t compare battle scars.
On the battlefield everyone is busy, but the ones on the front line, in particular, have their hands most full!  Linda provided, “I’ve been meaning to call you but we are so busy” is hurtful as she felt quite busy herself.  In the same respect, don’t try to compare your husband’s week long business trip to your friend’s six month (or more!) deployment.  It’s like comparing a boot blister to a land mine amputation!
4.      Don’t forget your compass. Be specific about the direction of your help.
Instead of a wide offer, be specific about the direction of your help. Kim (who had her third son while her husband was deployed) said the following examples would have been a tremendous help:  “It must be hard to get any yard work done when you have to keep an eye on the kids. Can I cut the grass for you?” or, “I noticed that school gets out during your baby’s naptime.  Can I pick up your child for you/meet them at the bus stop?”
5.  Don’t forget that war is hairy business.
Don’t let your friend get to her wits end or have too many split ends! Keep an eye out on your warrior friend.  If she’s looking “follicular challenged” offer to watch her kids so she can get her hair cut/colored.  When she picks her kids back up, have them already fed or prepare a dinner to bless her with. 
 “A solider signs up to join the fight, a warrior stays until it is finished.”[i] Help your friend finish strong, and stay by her side until her battle is finished!  
[1] Holly Wagner, Warrior Chicks, (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2007), p. 20. 

[i] Holly Wagner, Warrior Chicks, (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2007), p. 20.



Anonymous Charlie said...

Such a smart article with awesome ideas!!! good people think up nice things AND actually do them!!

August 21, 2011 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Karen from FL said...

All too often people forget the 'Warrior' when a family member is deployed. Remembering them is also a nice way to honor those not at home and to give them a peace in knowing their loved ones are 'taken care of' when they are not there to. Thanks for the article Steph!

August 21, 2011 at 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Steph said...

Thank you, Trisha, for honoring and helping our warriors by supporting them here on 24/7 MOMS! It's an honor to write about them and be a part of this Momma community here!

August 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM  

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