Extended Family

Each family member will have different expectations. Every family situation is different. Start with open communication.

“You know your family best. You know your relationships best. When working with love and a hope for understanding, you’ll be okay.” – Jomygosh.com

Below you will find resources and encouragement for the extended family of the service member.

Marco Polo App Logo

At Marco Polo, our purpose is to help people feel close.

That’s why we’re honored to be the video chat app that many service members and their families use to stay close when they are serving or living far from their families, friends, and communities.

“Marco Polo was amazing when my husband was deployed. It allowed our 6 week old to recognize his voice for the year he was gone. We use it with both sides of the family as they live in different states. We are actually in the middle of our 3rd cross country move and will the closest to our families ever, and will only be 12 hours away.” – Rebecca

Looking to send care packages? USPS will provide free Mili-Kits. You will be allowed up to 10 free kits. The kit includes:

  • Two large priority flat rate boxes (12 x 12 x 5-1/2),
  • Two medium priority flat rate boxes (11 x 8-1/2 x 5-1/2)
  • Two medium priority flat rate boxes (13-5/8 x 11-7/8 x 3-3/8)
  • Priority mail tape
  • Priority mail address labels
  • Customs forms and envelopes to attach the forms to the package.

Click here to learn more.

If your family needs emergency assistance, you can submit a request online, use our FREE mobile app, or call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337.

We are available to help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Security and Safety During Deployment

OPSEC (Operational Security) and PERSEC (Personal Security) is how  service members and their families are kept safe.

  • Don’t Share Dates (This Includes Homecomings)
  • Don’t Share Exact Locations
  • Don’t List Your Service Member’s Specific Job Online

Keep in mind, the more vague the better. Sharing anything “exact” is likely a violation.

Additional Resources:

Read More at The Military Mom Collective

pins on world map

Dear Family: Please Visit Us

“I want to take you to our favorite breakfast place or park. My kids want you to see their schools and their friends. I want you to see the base and the job that our lives revolve around. That house you have seen through a phone video? Come sleep there. That beach the kids have been raving about? Let us take you there. Come visit our lives.” – Rachel Carpenter

white badge with red star to signify security with "OPSEC: Operations Security When Nothing Seems Secure" in text

OPSEC: Operations Security When Nothing Seems Secure

“Obviously there are some things that are important to remember. We don’t talk about troop movements, deployment dates, troop locations (Middle East, for example, not Forward Operating Base XYZ). It’s OK to post photos, if nothing sensitive is being shown; check that your GPS data on the photo doesn’t also post (Android and iPhone).” – Casey Fogle