Some of these are my own, some are taken from others, but here are the top things that you should not say to the family member of a deployed person.
Aren’t you afraid he may die or be injured?
This one has always really perplexed me. Of course, I’m scared. I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t. But being reminded of the fact that something may happen to him doesn’t help me out. What kind of idiot would even ask a question like this? People die over there, often..and people are trying to kill our loved ones......of course we are scared you idiot!
I don’t know how you do it. I don’t think I could.
We don't know how we do it either, if we did know we would write a damn book about it, and we would be rich, because everyone with a loved one in harm's way would love to know exactly how to do it.....You just do it, because you have to.
I could never deal with it if my ______ was gone for that long.
Hmmm…how does hearing how someone else can’t deal with it help us to deal with it? And you do deal with it when it happens to you, what are the alternatives pray tell? Should I decide I cannot deal with it is there some magic words I can say to make it all go away or do I have to just shoot myself?
Do you miss him?
No we do not miss our sons, our daughters, our husbands, we do merry little dances all day long rejoicing, Yeh.....OF COURSE WE MISS THEM!
I know just how you feel. My husband was on a business trip last month for three days and I just thought I would die.
Were there IED's in the hallways, were they lobbing mortars at him in his bed? Did you have the opportunity to talk with him each and every night...Yeh sure your hubbies business trip is nothing like a deployment.
How can you sleep at night knowing your _____ has killed people ? Won’t you be afraid when he comes home?
This one sets me off more than any other. They are not murderes, they are warriors. Have they had to kill someone? Quite possibly. But there are a great many soldiers who never have. It’s not something they talk about in daily conversation. Regardless of what they do overseas, it does not make them a murderer. They are in a war zone and following orders. Fear them? NO if anything we sleep better knowing they are here.
I was so lost when my child went off to college; I know just how you feel.
Really? Are people trying to kill your child in college? I would have thought your biggest worry would be whether they are studying or partying. I was not aware that college was as violent and hostile as Afghanistan.
If you truly supported your loved one, you would be protesting so..he wouldn’t have to deploy again/could be brought home/the war would end.
Really? My definition of support must be much different than the definition of support by these people. Supporting my loved one means supporting him in what he does and what he believes in. It does not mean disrespecting the men and women who volunteered to defend our country and our rights. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have the right to protest in the first place. I’m certainly not putting myself in a position where it could be construed as anything other than 100% support for our troops and their families.
Well at least he won't have to go to Iraq anymore, we are all done fighting over there.
Can you tell that to the families of the 14 men killed in Iraq last month? I wonder if all those Infantrymen over in Iraq know that they are not combat troops....ever try telling an Infantryman that I guess he must be a POGUE now?
Were you excited at the Presidents recent speech about Afghanistan? Now your son will not have to go! Isn't that wonderful.
Yeh it is awesome, can someone tell the Pentagon now, as they seem to still be intent on sending him, and yeh I am thrilled, thrilled that these brave young Infantry troops will now fight in Afghanistan with less support now. I am sure the moms and wives of the ones there now, and the ones slated to go are just thrilled also. Grrrrrr
Well it is almost Christmas, they let them come home for Christmas don't they?
Yes the entire armed forces shuts down for Christmas..sheesh do you people know nothing?
How much longer does he have until he can get out?
This one is annoying to many of us whether deployed or not. Many of our loved ones aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because (gasp!) they love what they do.
This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it.
Sure, we do learn coping skills. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets easy and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.
If you truly want to help, some suggestions are
I know it is hard, but we are here for you, and we are praying for your loved one.
When we voice our fears, or when we are really missing them, we just want someone to listen, we do not expect you to make it better, nothing can make it better, it is what it is, so just listen, and understand, and come along side in prayer and support.
Please thank your loved one for me, I am so grateful for men (women) like them, who are willing to go in harms way on my behalf.
Let us know that you appreciate what our loved ones are doing, you do not have to support the wars in order to appreciate the men and women who volunteer to defend this nation.
You guys are on my daily prayer list, and in my thoughts.
It helps a lot to know people have not forgotten our loved ones. Most times it feels like they are forgotten as the majority of our support comes form the families of the deployed and veterans.
If I can help, please let me know.
Chances are we will never ask, but knowing you are willing to be there if we need you helps a lot.
Is there anything I can do to help make it easier?
Same as above.
Does he/she need anything? I would love to send them a package to say thank you.
Out of all the family and friends and people who said they supported my son on his deployment, only two sent him packages. The church and one of his many aunts.
He is all grown up now and you have to learn to let go.
Like that helps us cope.....yes he is grown up and we have let go, we watched him board a plane, bound for war, to a place where people want to kill him, for a cause he believes in........Can you let go of yours like we let go of ours?