We PCS every two to three years. We handle deployments and TDYs like a boss. We say goodbye to old friends, and welcome new friends. We shop at the commissary and PX. We enter a gate to get to our jobs and sometimes our homes. We are strong. We are resilient. We are the military community.
And military life, although rewarding, can be hard. It can be knock-you-on-your-feet hard. On those days — or let’s face it, sometimes months — a small act of kindness can mean so much. One simple act of kindness can be the hand that helps you stand back up.
There have been plenty of times in my three years of military life where it’s just been downright hard. Those people who are kind and helpful will never know the service they have done me. They will never know how their smiles, hugs, words, and cards have made a difference in my life.
When the world is filled with hate and turmoil and evil, let’s all commit to kindness.
Kindness Ideas for the Military Community
When someone new PCSes to your neighborhood, go introduce yourself and welcome them.
Leave a big thank you sign on your garbage can for the garbage man to find.
Tape coins or a dollar bill to a vending machine.
Leave encouraging post it notes in bathrooms around post — library, commissary, gym, etc.
Invite a neighbor or co-worker to your church.
Take a meal to a neighbor who recently had a baby.
Plan a neighborhood ice cream social (or hot chocolate social for the winter months) at your house to help all the neighbors get to know each other.
Invite a spouse whose service member is deployed over for dinner at your house.
Drop cold drinks or snacks off for the MPs at the gate (or warm drinks in the winter!).
Pick up litter along the roads in your neighborhood or around the school or local park.
Help your child write a thank you note to his/her teacher.
Leave a nice note and maybe even a treat for your mailman.
Invite people to your house for the holidays — especially single soldiers or spouses whose service members are deployed.
Leave a big tip for your commissary bagger.
Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru line.
Volunteer at the post chapel on Sunday mornings.
Write a letter to your chaplain or chaplain’s wife, thanking them for their encouragement.
Invite a new spouse for coffee to help them feel welcome.
Only write encouraging and uplifting comments on the military spouse Facebook pages.
Leave an encouraging note inside the books you return to the library.
Donate school supplies to the schools on post.
Pay for someone’s groceries at the commissary.
Buy someone coffee at Starbucks.
On a rainy day, hand out umbrellas to people coming out of the PX or commissary. You can get umbrellas at the dollar store!
Invite single soldiers to your house for a home cooked meal.
Leave encouraging notes on car windshields in the parking lots.
Open a door for someone.
Encourage someone at the gym with a high five and a smile.
Pay for someone’s fitness class at the gym. Or pay for everyone there!
Start a weekly lunch date, play date, Bible study, or coffee date with your neighbors and/or friends.
Invite a friend over to fold laundry together — makes the job less painful!
Pray for those you know are having a difficult time.
Send care packages to those who are overseas.
Donate baked goods to the MP station.
Thank your unit’s commander and/or their spouse for their hard work.
Send an encouraging card to friends at other duty stations.
Babysit for a friend or neighbor.
Water flowers or feed pets when neighbors go away for a weekend or a trip.
What other ideas do you have for acts of kindness?
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