From speaking with others who accompany their spouses to this particular training, I learned that most families make it a point to travel around, see the sights, and get out of the house quite a bit to avoid restlessness. We did almost the exact opposite. We rarely left our apartment complex. We had a pool and gym and were there when the kids could enjoy swimming. On the weekends, though, when other families were out sight-seeing, we clung together. We played hours of board games, card games, and video games. We made sure to focus more on our interactions as a family of 4 instead of attending all the squadron and flight social events. We made the best use of our time fully reintegrating and simply enjoying the time we had together. Wouldn’t work for everyone, but it’s worth considering to focus specifically on strengthening the family unit more than socializing with others.
Not for Everyone
I admit that not everyone can make something like this work for their family. It’s not easy to just pick up and leave your home for eight weeks. Medical reasons, school schedules, kids’ activities, job responsibilities, and a variety of other things can make it impossible to stay together as a family even if the military allows for an accompanied TDY. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t make it work, but today’s pro-military environment, requirements for schools to adjust around military kids, and more chances for telecommuting can make it easier than it previously might have been to make a temporary move with your spouse.
My family was strong in spite of the separations that Military life put in our path, but staying together when we could made us stronger. We returned from this temporary relocation as an even stronger unit than we were before. We came home fully reintegrated and more settled. We learned a lot. We made a lot of adjustments. We persevered. We made it worth it all.
Photo by Morgan Slade Photography
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