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Loneliness and Deployed Soldiers

Posted Dec 30 2008 10:31am

In our ongoing discussions of Cacioppo and Patrick’s Loneliness, our daughter Kristin shared some of her thoughts about the disconnect experienced by soldiers, particularly as they deploy and return home again.

Kristin gave a radio interview about the topic:

click to listen to the interview

Our friends at Ashworth University, which serves many students in the military, also found the interview interesting.

Although our experience can hardly compare with that of soldiers stationed abroad, we are missing our Kristin this holiday season. There is a distinct sense of guilt as we enjoy the comforts we have here, knowing that she is in a very different place. We are making long lists of things to do when she returns for the 2009 holiday season. We send packages of homemade goodies and warm socks and even a guitar, hoping to make her deployment a little more comfortable. We luck out on occasion and grab a quick chat with her on Facebook (the time difference is a bit challenging).

Kristin uses some rare downtime to practice her guitar playing

Kristin uses some rare downtime to practice her guitar playing

I thought it was a very nice touch to receive a handwritten Christmas card from Kristin’s superior officers. I’m sure these guys are plenty busy, and have families of their own that they were missing, but we really appreciated their taking the time to do this.

Not all soldiers have families who can step forward and help, and it’s just so important that all feel appreciated and supported.  If you want to help soldiers, here are some places to start:

Soldiers’ Angels

This site’s motto is “May No Soldier Go Unloved.” If you want to get involved in supporting the troops, this site gives you many ways to do so.

The USO

West Point Parents

This site has a lot of useful links about everything from how to store a vehicle for 12 months to advice about how to interact with a soldier home on mid-tour leave.

Yes, many of us are facing challenges–financial and otherwise–but these seem trivial compared to the challenges facing soldiers. As Cacioppo and Patrick point out, “extending ourselves” will make us feel better, too!

This is the largest yellow ribbon formation so far--can you beat it?

This is the largest yellow ribbon formation so far--can you beat it?

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