Dear Doc is a segment dedicated to answering questions that MKC users have about the unique challenges they face as part of a military family. If you have a question for DOC, use the Contact Us form and let us know what you would like DOC to answer for you. Like the question from Devil Dog Daughter below.
Dad Deployment Blues
Dear DOC - My dad will be deployed in two weeks. I am sad, anxious and worried. I really don’t know what to feel. I don’t want him to leave. What if he doesn’t come back? I have so many questions. Why does my dad have to deploy and other kids’ dads don’t? - Devil Dog Daughter
Dear Devil Dog Daughter,
Deployments can be overwhelming for military families, regardless of the number of previous deployments the family has been through. You want your dad to stay home and not deploy, and it is OK to let him know that. Talking about how you feel, even if it’s hard to explain how you feel is important for you and for your family. If you don’t feel like you can share your concerns with your family, you can always talk to a school counselor or another trusted adult. It might help to remind yourself that your dad is deploying because he has an important job to perform. Because of your dad’s work, people in this country get to live safe and free. And your dad isn’t doing the job alone, you and the rest of the family play a big role in his deployment. Without your support and strength at home he wouldn’t be able to focus on doing the best job possible while he is away. Not everyone gets to say they are serving their country like your family does.
Here are some other ways you can help yourself and your family:
- Plan how you’ll keep in touch with him while your dad is deployed, and how he can stay in touch with you.
- Create a “thinking of you” plan with your dad and offer a favorite item of yours such as a blanket or a stuffed animal. Ask the same from your dad so you can hug your dad’s favorite pillow or wear his old T-shirt when you need to feel close to him.
- Keep dad’s things around the house as a visible reminder of him. (For example: coat hung on the coat rack, boots in the garage, etc.)
- Most importantly, it is perfectly OK to be sad, to cry and to miss your dad.