Different deployments have different communication options. We have done more than our fair share of combat deployments with no phone calls for a month at a time, and no communication options besides hand-written letters. So for his most recent deployment, we were thrilled that he would have email access. Personal email accounts can be dangerous to government servers because of the potential for spam and viruses. So the military issues government email accounts to be used during the deployment. How often that account is checked depends on the service member and his job. If you husband works long shifts or has to wait in a long line to use a computer, he may not bother to check or reply to email very often. But if he is sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day, then email can be a very quick and reliable form of communication. Before the deployment, make sure to discuss communication expectations. You can’t EXPECT him to send an email every day or call every week, if he never actually said that he planned to do that. Ask him what is a reasonable amount of time for him to go without contacting you, and what ways he would prefer to hear from you.
So, back to Meme Mondays. I knew my husband had regular computer access, but I also know that Facebook is not really available during deployments. One of the ways he likes to relax and de-stress is by scrolling through his Facebook feed and watching all the fail videos and laughing at the memes. When I tried to think of a way to recreate this for him during deployment, I came up with Meme Mondays. I decided to find some of the best memes to make him smile. Then every Monday (or Sunday night), I send him an email with about 5 of them attached. (Note: I asked him if he wanted me to do this, and he said yes. Always run ideas by your husband before you start doing something for him.) I know it will bring a smile to his busy Monday morning. Plus, it gives us a lighthearted way to connect with each other. I enjoy searching for jokes in all different topics that interest him. And it makes me happy to count down each week with another set of memes delivered!
Do you have a tradition to keep each other entertained during deployment? Or a favorite way to mark the passing of each week? I would love to hear all about it!