Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

Holiday Stories: Family Away from Family

Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

Holiday Stories: Family Away from Family

Article excerpt

WELL for some Soldiers it is easy to be out on your own and away from home, but for others it is a very trying time being deployed.

There are so many things that are missed while you're away, especially when it's for 15 months. There are events such as birthdays, parties, your typical weekend off, your children's school and sporting events, anniversaries, and of course the holidays, that all go by out of normal routine during that time.

The best thing to do is to make the most out of it, and try not to get down during these times. The Army does a great job of trying to help the Soldiers adjust and keep active, but let's face it, it's just not the same as if they were celebrated with your immediate family.

One way to make the most out of the holiday season is to decorate. Yes it's true that there are many different religions, origins, ethnic backgrounds and traditions throughout the military, so make sure that it's all right with everyone and try to include a little bit of everything from everyone's preference. Luckily when my Soldiers and I celebrated the holiday season, we were able to agree on everything that was displayed, and it did bring a sense of calm to the shop.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Our plan for Christmas was one that is pretty common and practiced in a lot of work areas all over the place, not just the military. We decided to go the route of the "grab bag" or "secret Santa" 14 exchange. We placed all of the Soldiers' names that were participating, in a hat, (which was all eight of us) and then we picked names blindly. …

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