Deployments are tough. Having someone you love leave for months-on-end is not ideal, but it's our reality as military families. In fact, I've lost count of how many I've been through, but it was during our first deployment since having children that I was inspired to create this journal. We live this life; I know deployments are not only hard for our military families, but also for our service members ... they miss so much!
"My Deployment Journal, Military Child Edition" was designed to help military kids document their life while their hero is deployed. That includes documenting what they did, and even lots of places for pictures, for everything from: missed holidays, missed birthday, milestones & achievements, a communication log (for those lucky to have communication during a deployment!), blank monthly recap pages to document what they did & how they felt that month, what they did to mark various deployment milestones, and MORE! Although there are various sections, the prompts are intentionally a little vague so that it can be adapted to fit YOUR story. Have an infant that is growing and reaching lots of new milestones during a deployment ... this would work! Have a teenager who wants to keep track of academic or sport achievements ... this journal will work! My hope is that it is a positive, encouraging journal that gives our military kids something to be excited about filling out and documenting their lives while their hero is deployed.
Now, think ahead to homecoming (yippee! hooray!) After homecoming, do you either feel like you're dumping everything your service member has missed on him/her, and completely overloading them? I'm guilty, here. Or do you forget some things, and then months later reference it like your service member should know what you're talking about? Yep, done that too (I hope I'm not alone on this one). An awesome bonus to this journal is that your family can reference it and share a little at a time with your hero so he/she can see all of the incredible things your family did while he/she was away and be "in the know," without feeling overwhelmed. Not to mention, it's a journal that kids can keep and look back on (whether it be during a future deployment, or just later in life), and see how brave and incredible they are.
The journal is suitable for up-to a 12-month deployment with all branches of Active Duty Military, Reserves, or Guard, and is suitable for military children of any age (although an adult will need to help younger children write).
Want to know a fun fact: this deployment journal was initially designed just for my kids, then I started thinking BIG PICTURE ... if I wanted a fun, fresh, relevant journal for my kids, maybe others do to?! I revamped my plan to have it be anchors and submarines, and intentionally made it more patriotic and universal to all branches of service. And here we are today.
As a military wife and mom to two littles, I sincerely hope this journal helps my fellow military families document their life during their hero's deployment!