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How American Military Families can Adjust to Living Overseas

There are American military families stationed in over 130 countries around the world. Some service personnel requested their overseas assignments, while others merely answered the call of duty when it came. These families need a lot of support, including strong relationships, USA mailing services for packages and letters, and some reminders of life back home. Here's how military families can survive -- even thrive! -- during their overseas deployments.

Get Connected with Other Military or American Families

Chances are, you aren't the only U.S. military family stationed where you are. Use the social opportunities offered on base to meet and connect with other families. These parents can be a ready-made support system of friends to get together with and explore this unique land where you now live. Other parents are great for swapping babysitting duties and helping you find baby items that aren't readily available in that country.

Enjoy Learning and Living in Another Culture

Military families that enjoy their deployments most are those who learn to embrace the new culture they find themselves in. Instead of bemoaning the language barriers and cultural differences, delve into learning this new culture, and try to master some of the common phrases in that language. Parents of young children should realize that language is learned easiest before the age of six. Exposing your little ones to another language, now, means that they can learn a second language as easily as their first.

Learn to Shop Your Favorite U.S. Stores Online

While malls and markets overseas are fascinating, sometimes military families just long for the products and stores they were used to using back home. Unfortunately, many popular American online retailers don't offer overseas shipping. It's okay! You can attain a verifiable U.S. shipping address through USAMailAgent, and still have the great shopping opportunities you miss in the States. Agents will receive your packages in the U.S. and ship them to you wherever you happen to be living overseas.

Stay Connected to Folks Back Home

While you're meeting new friends and learning this amazing new culture, you still need to nurture those relationships back home. Grandparents still want to see photos and videos of the kids growing up, and also want to know how their own children are doing. Plus, your old friends and family will be just as interested in your overseas life as you are. Keep in touch by using free online phone services like Skype, as well as U.S. package forwarding services for gifts and care packages. You can send them care packages, too! They'd probably love a scarf made by a local artist or some of the incredible beadwork that's all the rage where you live. You can also exchange photos and videos via mail, which is safer and more secure than using online photo and video sharing services.

Don't forget to stay in touch with on-base resources, which provide a wide array of services and help for military families stationed abroad. Look for pen pal programs and other services to help you and your family make the most out of your overseas stay. 

Image by National Infantry Museum via Flickr 


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