After deployment, when you come back home and the people you met in the military are far away, you might feel isolated. You have your old friends and family there to support you, but that doesn’t mean that your newer military friends become less valuable. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time together.
Military friendships are special, but staying friends after you’ve done your job isn’t easy. It takes effort to maintain long-distance friendships, especially those that are developed in difficult times.
We want to offer some suggestions to help you keep those bonds strong despite the distance. Keep reading for a few tips.
Discuss What You Want
If you’re not great at talking about your feelings this can be difficult. Make sure you have a conversation with this person about how you want to maintain your friendship. You may want different things, but they won’t know about your wants until you share them.
When people get home from their military tours, they’re more focused on getting back to their daily lives. They may not think about the people they met along the way at first.
Sharing your wants and concerns lets you work together on maintaining the friendship.
Connect on Social Media
If you’re someone that regularly uses social media, you have a powerful tool at your disposal that people in previous generations didn’t have when they came home. Connecting on social media is one of the best ways to keep up with each others’ lives.
If you have several military friends that you want to keep up with, consider making a group just for you. If you’re not the type to keep social media accounts, consider opening one up just for friends and family.
Make Time for Them
Our lives are busy, and a lot of us may not have time to focus on friends that we can’t see often. Make sure you block out time for your friend. This can be an hour per week, a few times per month, or however often you’re both comfortable with.
You can keep up in between those times, but make sure you always devote that time to your friend when you can. You’re not spending every day together anymore so you need to make space.
Keep a Memento
Why not keep mementos of your time in the military? Things like souvenirs from your time in the military or Marine challenge coins are great for keeping that friend in the back of your mind even when you can’t see each other.
Having a shared token of your military experience is also great for you regardless of that military friendship.
After Deployment, Military Friendships Are As Important As Ever
Being home doesn’t mean that the friendships you made in the military have to fade. Staying friends after deployment isn’t effortless, but it’s worthwhile. Whether you’re staying in touch on social media, going old-school with letters, or keeping up with a group text, there are ways to keep the bond alive.
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