At a recent event at our Fort Campbell campus of Hopkinsville Community College, I was fortunate to meet Marc CB Maxwell. Marc is a Department of Defense Guidance Counselor who has written a very useful book for military families called Surviving Military Separation: A 365-Day Activity Guide for the Families of Deployed Personnel (published by Savas Beatie). The book has great illustrations by Val J. Laolagi.
Based on Marc’s counseling experiences, the book provides fun and easy to do tasks to help ease the difficulties of separation due to a deployment. While the book is written for military families, I think it would be useful for any family relocating to a new home or a family who is facing a major change in life. A sampling of ideas include going for ice cream, hosting a talent show, visiting a neighbor, getting a map and writing down places to visit, and learning to tie knots. The book also includes ideas to help keep a connection with a deployed family member. Each idea is cost effective, creative, and just plain fun. The ideas described work equally well for children and for adults. In addition, each week has a journal section where family members can chronicle their activities and their thoughts. The book also has a map, a calendar, and stationery to encourage letter writing.
It is sometimes easy to forget the family members who are left behind during deployment. In many parts of the country that do not have military installations nearby, I think it may also be easy to forget we have many military personnel around the world doing a job that requires they leave friends and family behind. This book reminds us of the struggle some families face as they support their deployed family member and continue to have day-to-day meaningful lives.
Maxwell and Laolagi provide an interesting book that is hopeful and helpful. I think anyone can read this book and pick out some activities to make the day just a little brighter.