It’s baseball and softball season all across the land, and while children everywhere are lacing up their cleats, donning their gloves and hoping to make Mom and Dad proud, there are children who often see an empty seat when they glance in the stands: the children of Special Forces Soldiers. It’s a difficult truth of life for Green Berets: They miss much more of their children’s lives because they deploy more often and for longer periods than do Soldiers in the Big Army. In fact, for every day deployed, a Special Forces Soldier is home .69 of a day. Regular Army Soldiers are home on average two days for every day they are deployed.
This Father’s Day, we’d like to offer some suggestions to those who want to support Special Forces Fathers. They’ve chosen a profession that is both noble and demanding, but they very well may consider Fatherhood the most important job of all.
First, and foremost, support his Family — whatever that might look like. Could you offer to drive a child to practice? Do you volunteer to coach or manage teams with Special Forces Children on them? Is it difficult for his wife to find time to prepare home-cooked meals when she is driving multiple children to practices and games? If so, you could drop off a meal occasionally. Maybe you could pay the tournament fees, or give a gift card for a motel room if the child’s team has to travel out of town for games. Have you considered shooting videos of the Soldier’s child playing, so he can share in the moment when he returns from a deployment?
Acknowledge the Green Beret’s importance in his child’s life. When a Soldier is home, don’t make a big production about the fact he was gone and may have missed important moments of his child’s life. Instead, let him know you respect what he does, and don’t be afraid to compliment his child or describe ways in which you’ve been impressed by his child or teenager — or spouse. Don’t ask questions about what he does in the Special Forces. He likely would prefer to leave work at work, and mostly likely can’t tell you, anyway.
Support the non-profit that supports Special Forces Families — the Special Forces Charitable Trust. These Families are the reason we exist, and the heart of all our programs. We offer Father-Son trips, Daddy-Daughter Dances, resiliency retreats and other skills training to help Families cope with the every day stresses of military life. Please consider signing up for our newsletter on our home page, and sharing your commitment to supporting these families on your own social media channels. You can also Be a Hero for a Hero — and get a banner to display on your social media — by donating to our campaign here.