My husband and I are sticking around for another summer, which is wonderful. That means more summer fun in the area! Of course, our days are numbered, but at least we know we’re safe this PCS season. However, it feels like everyone around us is PCSing. It’s a bummer to say “see ya later” to your friends. Alas, it’s all a part of military life.
The beautiful part of the cycle is that new families come in and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting newbies already. I’m excited to get to know everyone!
I still can’t help but think about all the friends starting a new adventure. I will miss them dearly and at the same time, I’m excited that they will be experiencing new things! I can’t stay sad because there are so many great ways to keep in touch, especially in this day and age.
Here are a handful of ways I’m going to make sure I keep in touch with my beloved friends that are moving.
Social Media – Thank you Facebook! Social media has allowed us to keep a close connection constantly no matter where we are located and in real time to boot. All we need to do is update on our feed and we never feel separated from our loved ones.
Facebook groups are a great way to keep an open dialogue with a number of people who you only want to share certain information with. For example, you can create a Facebook group of those that attend a certain gym class, so when one person does move away, you all are still linked.
You can keep your groups small or add more connections depending on your circumstance. I have friends that have utilized Snapchat to keep connected on daily happenings through video snippets. I’ll be honest that I’m not as Snapchat savvy, but I absolutely love the updates I receive of my friends that are far away.
Instead, I share photos of my escapades on Instagram. I’m able to keep in contact with friends back in high school with just a snap of a cell phone pic.
Video Chat – Hooray for Skype dates! We’re used to them to keep in touch with our service member while they are away, but let’s not forget about our friends too. With a couple button presses, you’re able to see your friend’s beautiful face.
I love scheduling a quiet evening with a glass of wine and spend our time catching up. Google Hangouts is a great way to have more than one friend on the call for free. You’re able to create a special group hangout with one link to reference and share. I use one link to coordinate meetings with different groups.
With FaceTime, you can have impromptu meetings at a moment’s notice. I’m notorious for FaceTiming my parents in Texas. It’s easy to FaceTime with a mobile device and share your location. I FaceTimed with friends once we settled into our home here to give them a virtual tour.
Snail Mail – Technology has made connecting easier and faster, but I still absolutely love handwriting notes. It’s a sentimental gesture. The extra step of grabbing a pen and paper to jot down words means something special to a lot of people. I know it does for me!
Since I have so many friends scattered all over, I head to the dollar store and look through their special occasions and dedications section. For example, I’ll grab a handful of cards tailored to my friends (i.e. Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc.) to let them know I’m thinking about them.
I shift through the “thinking of you” area too and pick some that makes me think of certain individuals. If my husband and I travel someplace new, I’ll collect postcards to send as well.
Then, there are the more “involved” mail-like packages. When I’m out and about and happen to see something that reminds me of a friend, I might grab it to mail out. Because the process takes a little time, your friend will realize that you went the extra mile.
Special Visits – My favorite way to keep in touch is special visits! This one is also the trickiest because it would mean travelling. As a result, I’m on a constant lookout for airline deals. Also, I don’t mind hopping on a bus for a certain amount of time.
When my husband TDYs, I try to utilize his time away to visit friends. I’m able to take a bus four to five hours to where I used to live before here to see friends. It’s worth it to me to be able to spend a weekend with my beloved friends.
There are so many other ways to keep in touch too! How do you maintain contact with friends that have PCS’d?
About the Author:
Rachel Tringali Marston is an Army spouse and daughter to an Air Force retiree. Rachel’s family settled in Texas and that’s where she calls home. Before getting married, she lived in New York City for almost 10 years and considers that her second home. Rachel enjoys learning and exploring the area around her husband’s duty station and is embracing life in the military. In her spare time, she shares her adventures on her personal blog called The Professional Army Wife.