We’ve all heard crazy stories or experienced first hand the mishaps and disappointments that can occur on homecoming day. Especially if you are new to deployments and have no clue what to expect. There is nothing more disappointing than missing the “First Kiss” photo opportunity because you can’t take a photo and kiss at the same time. Let’s not even mention the terrible sunburn that is entirely possible when it takes 3 hours for your loved one to get off the boat or airplane!
I asked a few military spouses their advice for a memorable Homecoming Day. I wanted to know their top DO’s and DON’TS and here is what they had to say:
“Don’t violate OPSEC. We had a real issue with that when my husband came home this last time and as a result they stopped giving out info and we were left in the dark until the bitter end” – Jane Bloggs
“Do dress for the weather, and waiting…cuz there will be waiting!” – Kara R. – Green Mountain Girl
“Do stay put and let him come to you, otherwise you’ll just be circling each other for way too long.” – Jax H.
“Do remember there is no such thing as the perfect homecoming; there is only your homecoming. Be prepared to be flexible. Stay away from surprises! Communication is key! Relax and enjoy!” – Navy Wife Beth D.
“They are probably already overwhelmed with the excitement of coming home and all the changes due to that. Don’t throw everything at them at once, be it the kids, problems, or everything bad that’s happened while they were gone.” – Kara P – Ramblings of a Marine Wife
“Don’t wear stilettos or bring other shoes…. Do bring a photographer, anyone to take pictures, or you’ll have none!” – Navy Wife Marla
“Don’t plan out activities and events for after the return. Do let your service member dictate what they want to do, who they want to see, what they want to eat, etc. Do be prepared for minds to change and plans to get blown when all they want to do is sleep and stay at home.” – Aim High Erin
“Do put out a sign or some flags to welcome him/her home – let the kids decorate too! Don’t have extra family members staying with you – it’s going to be an adjustment for everyone without having extra company and please don’t tell my mother in law I said that.” – Jennifer P. MilitaryOneClick
What are your Homecoming Day do’s and don’ts? I’d love to hear from experienced spouses on this topic.
For more resources on deployment, please see MilitaryOneClick’s Family Support Page.