Support for Parents
Supporting yourself is equally as important as supporting your child. Fortunately, there are millions of other military parents whom you can connect with for advice and support.
Having a strong support system is important, not only to service members, but to military parents as well. Here, parents share the resources they turn to for encouragement and guidance.View Transcript
Jayne White: The support that is out there for military parents, if you look, is just tremendous. Blue Star Mothers has been around since 1942, and it’s the mother of anyone in the Service. It’s a red, red outlined flag with white and then a blue star in the middle. You hang it in your window to let people know you have someone in the Service.
Barbara Heinz: I talk to moms every day from New York and California and North Carolina, just all over the place.
Janette Pellas: It was really nice because there was all these moms there that were going through the same things.
Puanani Ahlo: The closeness of the Military — you have the family blood and then you have a military family, but you share a common bond in your different experiences and emotions that you go through.
Mario Vega: When we have been to the bases, you get to make friends and, you know, we eat and drink and we share stories. You know, we share stories with people from Ohio.
Darlene Anderson: It makes a difference when you can speak to someone who really, truly understands because they’ve gone through it or they’re going through it themselves.
Marc Danziger: There’s a formal Facebook page and what’s called the Family Readiness Group, so when you deploy you’re part of the Family Readiness Group, which is the wives of deployed Soldiers and the parents of deployed Soldiers.
Hugo De Leon: We found that with Hugo, when he was going through Basic Training for the Army, there was an actual Facebook site for the Army, and so there we were able to kind of communicate with other parents that were in the same unit as my son. You could read up on their concerns, their questions. You can, you know, kind of get feedback on concerns and questions you may have as a parent. So it was, it was really, it was really nice. It really helped out, you know, just being able to talk to other parents that were going through the same thing you were going through at that time with a kid that was right there next to your son.
Nancy Kennon: They have a Facebook site you could follow, and it has pictures of all the shipmates. They tell where the ship is.
Marc Danziger: Everything from “I can’t sleep, you know, I’m really tossing and turning” to “What are we going to buy him?” or “Who’s going to send cookies?” or “Oh my God, what did you hear?” or, in a couple of cases, when you got bad news, “OK, what are we going to do? You know, what do you need? How can we help you?”
Nancy Kennon: I’ve talked to the kids, like on Facebook, with other girls in her schooling and guys in her A school, and they still Facebook me.
Marc Danziger: We’re still in touch, and it’s been a long time, and I think that, you know, that’s going to be something that we carry around for quite some time.
How Parents Find Support
Connecting With Other Parents
To begin, we recommend finding fellow military parents at the local level:
- Ask around the neighborhood or at work and see who else has a child in the Military
- If applicable, visit your place of worship and ask about support groups made up of local military families
Social media is also a great way to connect with other parents:
- Facebook offers military parents pages where they can exchange stories and advice
- Many military units also put together pages to keep parents and family members informed.
At the national level, established, well-known support groups also exist for military parents of various Service branches.
- Army Mom Strong
A national military support group for mothers of Army service members.
A national community for parents of Marines.
- Navy For Moms
The official site of Navy For Moms, a national community for mothers of Navy service members.
Official site of AFWingMoms, a national group that provides support for those with loved ones in Air Force Basic Military Training.
- Blue Star Mothers of America
Official site of the Blue Star Mothers, a nonpolitical, nonprofit organization that brings together mothers of service members to show their support.
Support From The Service Branches
The Services offer branch-specific parental support resources and FAQs that can help you explore what each branch has to offer.