You’re Not Alone: Parents of Service Members
Experiences commonly reported by parents of Service members include feelings of pride, fear, and concern for their child’s safety. Some parents also report that their child’s military experiences can feel like a family experience since all family members are impacted by the Service member’s physical absence. Although these experiences are normal, they can feel isolating. Parents of Service members are an important yet understudied military-connected population. Below you will find a list of resources for parents of Service members.
Resources for Connecting Parents of Service Members
Connecting with other parents of Service members can be a nice reminder that you’re not alone. DoD-supported resources and support groups offer ways to connect with other military-connected parents. In-person support groups may be available in some locations, while online groups (often through social media) are available to parents across the world. Connecting with other military-connected parents can give you an avenue to openly express your thoughts and feelings to others who understand the experience first-hand and receive empathetic encouragement.
Ways to connect with other parents:
- To hear from other military parents, learn what to expect, and find community and support, visit Today's Military or Operation We are here.
- Facebook groups (e.g., Parents of Deployed Service-Members) may be a good option to connect with other parents (or grandparents) both near and far who have similar experiences.
Resources for Understanding Your Child’s Military Experience
Because parents are an important source of support for their child, understanding your Service member’s military experience is important. Military culture may feel confusing at first – the endless list of acronyms, basic training, job assignments, deployments, and frequent relocations may all be unfamiliar. Fortunately, DoD provides some resources that can help you keep up with all the new information that you’ll be learning and give you ways of connecting with your Service member.
- Military OneSource is an excellent resource that provides information on military culture as well as practical tips, such as how to send care packages.
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