Very soon, I’ll be returning home from Afghanistan, where I’ve been deployed away from my family for nearly a year. Let me tell you that I am absolutely thrilled to see my wife and kiddos, and I bet they are stoked to have me home as well.
I’m fortunate that this is only my first deployment, and also that it will likely be my last for some time. For a lot of American military families, this is not the case, and some military members with multiple deployments have been away for three, four, even FIVE years of their childrens’ lives.
The sweetest part of a military deployment is probably the homecoming, where we reunite with the people in our lives that we love most. Amidst the countdowns and preparations, a lot is built up around having the family intact again. Military parents make plans just as much as I am sure the children do. I’ve got some plans of my own that I thought I would like to share at 8BD. So here’s a list of the 5 things I can’t wait to do with my kids once I get home from Afghanistan.
I came across this story today about a military father is able to connect with his daughter using pre-recorded videos of himself reading stories for his little girl. It reminded me of my promise to explore this issue in the Daddies Away! feature here at 8BD. I didn’t really have an immediate chance to begin writing this feature right away since I’ve been gone, ironically because of difficulties in getting connected with internet. Also, some of the other mainstream methods of communication that are sparse or simply lacking in Afghanistan.
It touched my heart to watch this daddy reading to his daughter, and it obviously made me think about my own weirdos back home. I’ve finally been able to be regularly in touch with them, but there are still times when connecting is troublesome. It becomes really important to be able to find a variety of means of communication, so you can stay in good contact with your children while away.
I’ve prepared a list of different methods of communication, direct and indirect, that are viable whether you are deployed 7,000 miles away on the other side of the world, or just taking a weekend trip to the mid-west on business to review the new Chevy Traverse. You can use any of these methods to stay in touch. Check it out after the jump…
Very soon, I will be deploying with my Army unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During my deployment, I’m going to try and cover a new angle of daddy parenthood that could use the kind of juice that we’re known for at 8BD. Of course, what couldn’t use the kind of juice we’re known for at 8BD.
I’ve covered military stories before, but in this new arc of posts I’m going to try and cover aspects of parenting itself that fall outside of the traditional life-pattern for nuclear families, and I’m going to do it from my own individual point of view. I basically want to acknowledge that there are a lot of ways to be a father. There are a lot of good dudes who try parenting without being able to be beside their children every day: divorced parents who visit on weekends, travelling workmen, and – of course – deployed dads.
Because, let’s face it, we can’t ALL be work-at-home snobs who feel justified in criticizing other dads just because we change an occasional diaper and help our kids play hookey. No, some of us have to wake up at “oh-dark-thirty” to schlep into work, and some of us have to try parenting via Skype while we work under rocket fire somewhere halfway around the world.