Tag Archives: Afghanistan

The U. S. Postal Service was our best friend!

Being a mother you always want to know what your child was doing, even if she was full grown. When our daughter Erin deployed to Afghanistan  we were very curious and so were her children. What was she experiencing in this part of the world? We had so many questions . What was her living conditions like? What  the type of food was she eating? How is  the weather compared to where we lived? And hoping she was in a safe environment.

We communicated in the beginning via the telephone. Due to the deployment location the phone service was marginal. Once you were connected and started to speaking on the phone , you would here an echo of yourself speaking. It made you forget what you were about to say.

There was so much we wanted  Erin to share with us, but all Erin wanted to do was to learn what her daughters, my husband and myself had been doing.

One thing  that allowed our daughter and granddaughters to stay connected was their school work. Our daughter would review Ivie and Bailey’s school work daily prior to her deployment. Since they were living with us now and their school work was quite different, Erin was all ears.

One day I decided to include Ivie and Bailey’s week’s work of homework, personal  notes they wrote to Erin and a few personal items Erin had requested. I sent these items in a USPS priority mail  military box  and mailed them off.  Once Erin received them she was so excited. She could see the homework  progress and could then be able to talk with Ivie and Bailey about their school work. Ivie and Bailey enjoyed discussing what they had been learning and filing their mom in on how they were doing.

Every two weeks I would gather the items we would send to Erin. When we were ready to mail our box, at  our local Post Office, the postal workers would  greet us cheerfully knowing it was for Ivie and Bailey’s mom. Once Erin received the box,  we looked forward to hearing her comments.

Erin said that this made her feel like she was still a part of her daughter’s lives, even though she was overseas.

Deployed Grandparents

I am a working empty nester grandmother that became a care giver to her granddaughters, when our USAF daughter was deployed to Afghanistan. The children had to adjust to a non military lifestyle and moving to our home in another state. My role changed from being a grandmother to an acting parent with all the responsibilities. Our daughter faced the separation and feeling of disconnection of her role as a mother. We faced many challenges, and gained a greater understanding of what military families face when their love ones are deployed. We did not know when our daughter returned, how challenging it would be to reconnect her to her children and her old lifestyle, even though she did not experience trauma. I have written a book soon to be published book “Deployed Grandparents being Parents”, my personal journey during this time. Hoping this will help others that are care giving children. Even though our daughter has returned we face the possibility of future deployments, so our journey will continue..

Debbie Nichols