Just like with most holidays, the military can make celebrating Father’s Day difficult. Many times you are not stationed anywhere near your hometown to celebrate with your own dad. Things could be even more complicated than distance when you are trying to celebrate Father’s Day with your husband who could be anywhere once Father’s Day rolls around. That being said, how do you make sure that dad still gets the appreciation he deserves?
With my experience as an Army brat and now as an Army spouse, I have probably spent more Father’s Days away from my dad than with him. The obvious way that we celebrated was to send him a care package filled with his favorite treats, and of course, a card telling him why he’s so special. Many times when I was growing up, my dad was just out at training or TDY on Father’s Day and we knew he would be home in a few weeks so we held off and celebrated when he got back.
Now that I am grown and serving round two of my Army family duties, I am away from my dad a lot again. Many of those same rules that we followed when I was growing up still apply.
Although my husband and I do not have children yet, we do plan on having a family one day. As I was writing this, I couldn’t help but think about this post from a future mom perspective as well. I polled many of my former Army brat friends and those spouses I know who already have little ones and asked how they celebrate when dad’s away. I got some very interesting answers.
In addition to standard responses, I was surprised that many of my friends also celebrated at home as a family, whether Dad was around to see it or not. One friend said that they always ate their dad’s favorite meal on Father’s Day, regardless of where he was. Another said that they had a stand-in dad (like a daddy doll) who they celebrated the day with and told dad about their adventures through an email or phone/video call.
As I look toward my own future and celebrating Father’s Day with my kids while my husband may be away, I look forward to doing some of these things myself. I do think that it is important to celebrate Father’s Day not only with the fathers out there but also with the children so that they can understand how important it is to appreciate their dads, even if he may not be around at the time.
When dad is in the military, there may be a lot of holidays when. Appreciating what dad does can extend throughout the whole year by making sure that he feels special whether it’s that Sunday in June when extra steaks are served or not.
How are you celebrating the fathers in your life today?