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Field Problem: Commo Across the Miles

Dear, Field Problems:

My husband and I were just married. This is our first deployment. I don’t really know what to expect. There is tons of information and a lot that I don’t understand. My biggest question is how are you able to talk to them when they are deployed? How long do you go without hearing from your service  member?

Amber; Fort Bragg, NC; Army spouse


Dear, Amber:

You’re right, there is a lot of information, and being new to the military, facing a deployment is certainly a challenge. Hopefully some of the information we have for you can ease your mind a bit.

First and foremost, you need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. We wish we could tell you how often you will hear from your service member, but honestly we can’t. Many things will depend on what area your service member is deployed to and the resources (like internet connection) that are available in that area. We always suggest that family members ask their service member how and how often they want to communicate. It’s also important you ask them what they want communicated—bad news, daily business, town current events, etc.

Thankfully, modern technology has made it possible to have many more choices for communication mediums. A poll on our Facebook page showed that military spouses communicated with their service members, who were away from home, in a variety of ways:

1. E-Mail


2. Instant Messaging


3. Morale Calls


4. Letters


5. Personal Cell Phones


6. Other: texting and magic jack

< 10%


You can use your email that already exists to communicate back and forth.

Instant Messaging

There are many instant messaging programs available. Some of the most popular are FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, and even Skype. In the past four years, instant messaging across the miles has nearly doubled (according to our unofficial surveying), and Facebook has definitely been the big reason behind that.

Phone Calls

Your service member will receive access to morale calls. These calls are usually fifteen minutes in length and are made at a call center or from some service members’ offices. We heard many stories of service members using Skype services or purchasing personal cell phones to make calls too.

Letters and Packages

It is sad to see the percentage of hand-written letters dwindling over the years. Unique, personalized care packages and handwritten letters are worth their weight in gold. There are benefits associated with the mailing system. For starters your service member can mail standard-sized letters using Free Mail, so don’t worry about mailing stamps.


Maintaining communication is important, especially from the spouse side. We need to let our service members know that we love them and are thinking of them despite the distance.



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Late Night Talking

Late Night Talking

I’m a college kid, so late night talks and deadlines are part of my life. School’s back in session for me, and I’ve been doing a ton of writing as of late.

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