Holiday Leave Is Coming Up
Holiday leave. There is no more perfect combination of words in a soldier’s vocabulary. During the month of December, most military bases offer “block leave” opportunities, where entire weeks are marked off in the calendar for service members to visit home. Right around now, thousands of men and women in uniform are turning in their official leave requests and getting ready for a trip home. Here are some important things to keep in mind if you’re expecting a visit from a service member in your life over the holidays.
#1 – Leave is a Complicated Process
Imagine all the difficulties of planning a trip somewhere far away. Keep in mind all of the packing. Finding an affordable flight, or a safe driving route. Figuring out where you’re going to be staying. And so on, and so on. Whatever you’re imagining, go ahead and assume an extra four or five challenges have to be dealt with before holiday leave is even approved, let alone before your soldier can come home to you. And keep in mind that the army runs on paperwork. Every single step in the travel process doesn’t just need to be figured out, it needs to be documented. This leads to the next point.
#2 – Seeing You Took A Lot of Work
Picking someone up from an airport, especially if you don’t live particularly close to the airport, is never fun. And knowing that someone who you missed all year is in town and isn’t making the effort to come see you is frustrating. You have to keep in mind that it likely took weeks of work for a service member to see you. And a lot of that work had to be done during a soldier’s extremely limited free time. A single day driving to the airport or clearing time in your schedule to go to the place the visiting service member is staying is not that big of an ask. And if you haven’t seen them since they left for basic training, bear something else in mind.
#3 – The Military Changes People
The service member who comes home for a visit might not behave the same way as you’re used to. This can lead to a lot of tension between service members and their loved ones back home. The fact that many soldiers are under the age of 25 heightens that dramatically. You won’t get to be around to see them changing, and it might catch you off guard. Be sure to keep in mind that, even if they’ve changed, they are still fundamentally the person you love and were excited to have come home for holiday leave.
#4 – Not Everyone Gets to Go Home
Although the military does make an effort to let service members go home for the holiday, sometimes it just isn’t possible. There could be any number of reasons. They could be deployed somewhere where they are needed in December. Paperwork snafus can happen. They might not have enough leave days or money saved up. When that happens, your soldier is probably at least as bummed about it as you are, if not more. Why not show them you care over the holiday with one of My Hero Crate’s Care Packages? Our Christmas Gift Set is a perfect way to let your veteran know that you’re thinking of them and want to wish them a very Merry Christmas.
Whether you are seeing your family this year, or are stuck on base, all of us at My Hero Crate would like to wish our men and women in uniform a Happy Holiday.