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5 Hats a Military Family Must Wear

How to cope when a loved one is enlisted

U.S. Marine
Credit: Getty Images

My vocabulary got a big boost when our son enlisted in the Marine Corps. I’ve shared some of the military acronyms I had to learn. But one of the hardest shifts, was getting used to military slang, in this case, when our son referred to his cap as his “cover.” 

When I consider the actual definition, it makes sense, though the military use still gives me pause. But to acknowledge how I came to embrace “cover,” I’d like to share some of the “covers” that military families must wear to cope with their loved one’s service:

1.  The Cover of Patience
This is a big one. The military is run by our government so little happens in a timely fashion. There are reasons for the delays and changes but keeping to a strict time-table is something a military family has to let go of.

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2.  The Cover of Courage
When I think of courage, I first think about our men and women in uniform. But there’s another kind of courage that is exemplified by the families behind our military members. We must have courage to face our fears, release our loved one into the hands and protection of God, and to keep going when things get rough. 

3.  The Cover of Faith
Faith is easy when our family is safely going about everyday life. But it becomes more difficult to wear when someone we love is half a world away, serving in a war zone. But when I choose the cover of faith, I acknowledge that God loves my dear one even more than I do.

4.  The Cover of Humor
Yep, you read that correctly. Sometimes things go so far off the path we expect, we just have to laugh. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and when we put on the hat of humor, no matter where we find ourselves, life gets easier. 

5.  The Cover of Prayer
This one is foundational. But it’s only when we take our cares and concerns to God that things happen. We need to not only beef up our own discipline of prayer, but also reach out and ask for others to join us.

Hats are interesting things. They can define us, protect us and identify us. So what hats are you packing for your military journey?

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