And the winners are … Here are the top entries from the first Military Bases.com “You Are the Expert Writing Contest”:
First Place: Staying Connected During Deployment
By Erin from Deployment Diatribes
… There are lots of ways to help your kids and spouse stay connected. In our family, before my husband left, he bought several Lego mini-figures and let each son select one to represent himself. Then, my husband took the mini-figures with him on deployment. He attached them to magnets and they attach to his bunk. He takes them with him sometimes and takes their picture at various spots, like this:
Seeing their mini-figures in pictures from around the world really helps the boys feel close to their dad while he is deployed. I print out pictures for the boys and they hang them by their beds, take them into school to share in their classes, and carry them around the house.
Second Place: An American in Japan
By Wife on the Roller Coaster
… Other than having to apologize for our large furniture, the move was painless. I learned in my 2-week indoctrination class that tipping is considered an insult in Japan. But I also learned through word of mouth that the Japanese will never take offense when offered a gift of American pizza and beer. After accepting my on-base food court offerings with a bow, they piled into their now barren truck and drove away, leaving me alone in this newly Americanized Japanese home.
Third Place: A Different Kind of Family
By Ashley S. Brantley
… Being a military wife is an all the time occupation.
It’s only with another wife that I can talk about the fact that my husband wants to go to war and that I also want it for him. Civilians don’t understand that need that they have to go down range with their guys. They also have a hard time understanding how quickly you are able to bond with those around you.