Every person is different when it comes to deployments, but this is the advice that I give to those going through their first deployments. It's worked for us during both of my husband's deployments to Iraq. It's never easy, but you can do it with God's help. The Lord will ultimately give you the strength and comfort that you need to get through this deployment.
1) Pray - protect your Marine with a bubble of prayer. He will feel the prayers.
2) Keep living - do not do daily countdowns at this point in time as it is usually counter productive, and this far out, the days aren't exact. Instead, count down month to month until you get closer to the end date. Make sure you have activities to look forward to at least once per month. Do not sit around the computer waiting for contact with him (unless you have a set time when you know he will be on the computer). Keep your cell phone on you, but do not turn down activities just because he "might" call.
3) Schedule Time - give yourself XX minutes to cry each day (if needed). Once you are done with that time period, you need to stop and think positively. If you start to feel down, do something that lifts you up (and pray). Have some projects that will make you focus on others and not yourself.
4) Mail - keep those packages & mail going to them. Mail is a huge moral booster. Try to keep mail upbeat whenever possible. Do not expect to receive mail back from him. He needs to focus on his job there. He'll do his best to stay in contact, but it's not always easy.
5) Encouragement - be a source of encouragement for him. First deployments are hard. He will probably get down at some point. He will get homesick, and he will get discouraged. The best thing you can do is stay upbeat and give him the encouragement that he needs. Let him know that you love him, you are proud of him, and you're praying for him.
I recieved this from a blogger friend that her husband is in the USMC and I appreciate it a lot! I will take all the help I can get. One thing I have learned in the past 18 months that Marines and their families stick together!! And they help each other all the time!!
Oh and by the way...I just got off the phone with Justin!! He is good and been busy...which Justin loves and is now where he can call some!! Yipeee...Today is a GREAT day!!!!
You all have a great day!!!