Imagine inviting someone different into your home every week for a year – a school teacher – a cancer survivor – a senator – a police chief – University of Maine Hockey team members.
That’s how the Smiley family is marking the year-long deployment of their husband and dad, Lt. Cmdr. Dustin Smiley, with 52 dinners, 52 guests.
The Smiley family has made a video and the U.S. Navy made it public through Twitter:
Sarah Smiley’s website has a fantastic page of reader submitted tips for dealing with deployment:
- A Lollipop Tree: We went to the craft store and bought a Styrofoam globe, a stick and a flower pot with the green arrangement foam. Then we put a small lollipop in the globe for each day my husband would be gone (6 months is a lot of lollipops) and every night my son could take one out.
- Picture This: When my husband went on deployment the first time, we took pictures of him in all of his favorite spots in the house. The day he left I placed all of his pictures in their designated areas so that I would never feel like he was gone.
- Counting Trash: The first time my husband was deployed we hadn’t yet had our daughter. Instead of dwelling on the number of days he was going to be gone, I counted the number of times I had to take the garbage out. It sounds weird but starting at 26 instead of 180 really worked nicely.
Sarah Smiley is a syndicated columnist, author, and military wife. Sarah and her husband Dustin have three children: Ford (10), Owen (8) and Lindell (4). Dustin is a Lt. Cmdr. in the Navy. They live in Maine.