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Connecting With Loved Ones During Deployment

Marine with happy wife

One of the major problems while as basic training or serving in combat is being away from loved ones. On some occasions, military personnel can’t even get to a phone or the internet, missing important holidays and birthdays. As someone who has given advice to thousands of recruits going to basic training, I will share with you my top three ways to stay in touch with loved ones on deployment.

1. Evergram: Finally technology becomes personal; I recently discovered a new messaging service that allows you to connect with loved ones. Evergram is a collaborative message platform, which allows people to create and send a video, photo, or text message. Evergram automatically collects all the individual messages and organizes them in an online album to be delivered to the recipient on any date of your choosing. For a military service member, too often you are celebrating a holiday or birthday abroad and away from those you want to be with most. Imagine opening your email on Christmas day to find an album of heartfelt messages from all your friends and family at home – preserved in time for you to view again and again. Best of all this is a free service through the 2012 holidays.

2. Social Media: Until just a few years ago, communicating through sites like Facebook and Twitter was unheard of. Now, it seems like a go-to method for many service members. The military has strict rules on communicating with friends and family while on deployment. Be sure not to give any sensitive information including your location and mission. If you are unsure if information in sensitive, be conservative and don’t post it. Many bases won’t have sites like Facebook and Twitter available while service members are carrying out missions. While on deployment, social media is much better used as a listening tool than a posting tool.

3. Pen and Paper: With texting, email and social media so readily available, a seemingly lost line of communication may be the most obvious, the pen and paper. There is something special and nostalgic about getting a hand written letter. When sending letters home while on deployment, be sure to carry plenty of stamps with you. In basic training especially, stamps often trade like currencies since going to the PX is a privilege most recruits rarely see

SGT Michael Volkin is the author of several basic training books and the all new Strength Stack 52, bodyweight fitness cards for military personnel.

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