The Truth About Military Leave

If you’re anything like my family, then discussing what we will be doing during the next military leave is a hot topic. What should be an exciting vacation quickly turns into a stressful race against the clock..

The truth of the matter is that heading home during leave from the military doesn’t feel anything like a vacation.

Don’t get us wrong, we love our families, but no amount of vacation time is enough vacation time. Actually.. Scratch that! There is DEFINITELY a such thing as too much vacation time!

It is okay to leave early

Maybe you planned two weeks out for a vacation, but a week and a half in you are feeling drained… Go home!

Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for your decision to do so. It is definitely okay to cut your trip shorter than you initially planned for.

You don’t get a lot of leave time, and the military almost always tells you when you’re allowed to take it, so if you want to spend it kicked back in your recliner versus running the roads, then do that.

Don’t stick around for arguments. Go home if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You shouldn’t stay in town if you aren’t sleeping well.

Why stay if you aren’t truly enjoying your time?

You don’t have to see everyone

We all wish there were more than twenty-four hours in a day. Long before leave starts, people mention wanting to get together for lunch, and so you start your lengthy to-do list for break.

The reality of military life? Only a few people make the effort to come see you at your duty station, so don’t break your back trying to see a million and one people on your vacation time.


Take your time and spend it with the people that you talk to on a regular basis.

You do not have to make time for everyone and their mother. If you are closer with your high-school best friend than your aunts and uncles, then that is who you should go see.

Unfortunately, family feels like they have the right to guilt you.. but they don’t.

Avoid work-related conversation

There will be so many questions that you are asked that you cannot answer.

When do you deploy next? Have you shot anyone? Where will you go next?

There are a limited number of questions you can answer, and you’ve probably answered them over and over again.

In an effort to make conversation, your family will most likely want to know what you have been up to. You do not have to discuss work on your vacation.

Talk about how much the kids have grown. Mention how your favorite sports team is doing this season. Start a conversation about your long-term goals.

No one else wants to think of their 9-5 while they are on their vacation, and neither should you.

You work so hard for such little pay, so when you get time off you should enjoy yourself. Hopefully these tips will better prepare you with dealing with military leave.

Deployments come quickly, so make the most of the time you have!

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