Take the children for a few hours to give respite to the parent.
- Say thank you. These families make a significant sacrifice on behalf of our country. To acknowledge this to the families is huge.
- Include the sons of deployed dads in your father/son activities - they get tired of being stuck with just the girls. Same thing for daughters if the Mom is the military member.
- Organize meals just like you would for a new baby - set one night a week aside to deliver food to the family.
- Have your whole block show tie yellow ribbons around trees to help everyone remember their deployed neighbor.
- Check on the family regularly. The spouse left behind needs to know that another grown up is around even if they don't need anything.
- Invite the family along on outings with your family even if it's just for a quick ice cream.
- Think about chores dads do - help with the garbage cans each week or offer to change the oil in the car. Help with the window air conditioners or just getting the Christmas tree into the house.
- Write letters to the deployed soldier letting him/her know you are watching over their family.
This is a great time of year to make a commitment to year round service to military families.
What will you and your family do to make this Christmas and 2009 a better year for a military family you know?