Start with an Military Care Package from My Hero Crate
Ellyse Corbeil is an expert at helping people.
During her seven-year stint in the Navy, during which she was deployed three times on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and at Guantanamo Bay, she served as a religious program specialist. She was tasked with helping Navy sailors and officers navigate through big emotions and obstacles related to life — work-related or not.
“I helped people on a human level,” Ellyse explained. “If you were struggling with your career, we could coach you or help you find a better fit.”
She also recalled a time she and her team helped a very young sailor find connections – his peers where he was stationed, dealing with the same things — to help him feel better and see he wasn’t alone.
“We didn’t always want to give a solution,” she said. “We wanted them to figure it out, with our nudging and guidance.”
Advice for Everyone Enduring Military Life
The most important piece of advice for anyone traversing difficulties while deployed, changing duty stations, or dealing with any other issue, Ellyse said, is to find healthy connections.
These connections include family and friends back home who you should re-establish regular contact with and new people around you, who you share things in common with.
Healthy connections help you see how others have dealt with similar issues, give you a sounding board for advice, and relieve the pangs of homesickness or loneliness.
How to Help Your Hero Away from Home
You don’t have to be a skilled counselor or mental health expert to make your military hero feel better about being away from home or missing their family.
“Do the best of your ability to provide support,” Ellyse advises. “And do what you can to not stress out service members while they’re deployed.”
Her top recommendation for spreading good cheer to deployed service members? Sending care packages and mail.
“They make people happy,” she said. “When they receive their packages, they share their treats. A care package is never wasted.”
Ellyse recalls the happiness that comes from receiving an armed forces care package in the mail, which is why she still sends them regularly — and lots of them — to her friends who are still enlisted.
“I love the My Hero Crate concept, because it makes sending a care package so easy,” she said. “Especially if you aren’t sure what your loved one wants, or if they aren’t the kind of person to openly ask for items.”
Send a monthly military care package to your service member through the subscription program from My Hero Crate, so your loved one feels connected to home.
Using Military Resources
The Navy isn’t the only branch of the military with a religious program specialist. In fact, the same role exists in the Marine Corps, and in the Air Force and Army, it’s called chaplain assistant, although Ellyse acknowledges being religious had nothing at all to do with her role.
If your service member needs to talk to someone, Ellyse said it was easy to reach out. They could call, email, or show up in the office at any time.
Fleet and Family Support Programs are another option for service members and their immediate family members living on base. Counseling and helping with family issues is their specialty, along with helping people transition to their new duty station and to life in the Navy in general.