​Free deployment resources for military families

Scroll down to be directed to these free resources for military families:
(Additional resources listed above)
Airport arrival/departure
Air travel assistance
Books and DVDs
Care packages
Childbirth and babies
Children and teens
Christian encouragement
Deployment resources and retreat
Financial help
Holiday support (Thanksgiving, Christmas)
Horseback riding sessions
Pet foster care and boarding during deployment
Photography session
Snow removal
​Vacation, recreation, camps, retreats
​Welcome home banners and jumbo cards

Airport arrival/departure

Airport arrival/departure - Family member guest passes to gate
Family members who want to accompany a military service member being deployed to the boarding gate or greet them returning from deployment at the arrival gate may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport. Interested military family members should contact their air carrier representative at the departure/arrival airport for proper local procedures.

Note: It might be wise to make inquires in advance, or to arrive early in the event that you encounter uninformed airline representatives.

Air travel assistance

There are a few organizations (Helping Heroes Fly, Let's Bring 'Em Home, Operation Fly a Soldier Home, Operation Homefront's Miles for Military, Operation Ride Home, Wings for our Troops) who may be able to help with airfare for military to visit home before or after a deployment. Visit this LINK to learn more.

Books and DVDs (see Christian Encouragement for additional books)

Operation Paperback
Military families (adults and kids) can sign up to receive a free shipment of books and DVDs from Operation Paperback! This is available for deployed military as well.

Your Soldier, Your Army - A Family Guide
Author Vicki Cody seeks to share, teach, comfort and ultimately help others experience the joys that come with serving this nation. Whether it is you, someone in your family or someone you know who is in uniform, she hopes this book opens your eyes, ears and heart and helps to give you the resources, the strength and the courage you may need. It is not easy having a loved one in the Army, especially in today’s climate of unrest in so many places around the world.

Order your free copy - LINK
Download 2017 English edition - LINK
Download 2007 Spanish edition - LINK

Care packages

Full Circle Home
Full Circle Home helps our busy deployed military send a love note and a gift to their wives, fiancés, girlfriends and moms for Christmas and Mother's Day. Be sure to tell your deployed service member about this program!

Little Patriots Embraced Family
Little Patriots Embraced wants to deliver a LPE Family Package to each family dealing with deployment. It is our way of saying how much we love and appreciate them for their service and sacrifice. Items in our package can offer emotional and psychological support for family members.
  • USA Patriot Bear Quilt /Wall-hanging (for the home of every military family) 
  • Baby Blanket (custom designed soft receiving blanket to hold each baby born in a family of our military) 
  • Little Patriot Bear (designed for this program and for the arms of all children in the military) 
  • "We Care" Magnet (holds a card with important phone numbers for assistance) 
  • Ink Pen (to write their loved one) 
  • CD (soothing and relaxing music for the family as well as returning service member) 
  • Adult Writing Journal (a way to express thoughts and feelings) 
  • Childs Writing Journal (a drawing and writing journal for children) 
  • Large Tote Bag (for the items)

Military Families Ministry
PRAYER PATCHES - Prayer patches are sent to deployed service members and their families as a reminder that folks are praying for them.
PRAYER SHAWLS & DISH CLOTHS - Dish cloths and prayer shawls are sent to mothers and wives of deployed service members. We connect with Unit Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) to distribute the items to family members.

Visit this LINK for a listing of organizations that send care packages to deployed military.

Childbirth and babies

Free baby blankets and quilts from Military Families Ministry
Baby blankets and quilts are sent to family readiness groups (FRGs) to distribute to expectant mothers whose husbands are deployed.  

Free baby carriers for military families from The Carrying On Project
For generations, the practice of baby-wearing has made caring for children easier while helping them develop or maintain life-long bonds with caregivers. The goal of the Carrying On Project is to help get carriers to the families of our military so that they may better obtain secure attachments with their children, something that deployment and injuries will often interrupt. We seek to assist both the service members and the families left behind in “Carrying On” while both home and away, to make something that is difficult for the whole family a little bit easier.

Baby gifts, baby showers, and additional childbirth resources for  military families are listed on this LINK.

Children and teens

Activity grants for children of the National Guard and Reserves
National Guard and Reserve families sometimes have trouble accessing support services from military installations. During deployments, these families may lose income when their military member leaves a civilian job to accept a military position overseas. The loss of income and lack of resources can create gaps that are hard on families.

Our Military Kids fills these gaps with a simple grant program that pays for children’s activities (sports, music lessons, etc.). Within days of receiving applications from eligible families, the staff at the Our Military Kids office will send special “Top Secret” packets to children, thanking them for their service to our country. Checks are sent directly to specified activity providers.

100+ books for military children going through deployment
Yes, there are indeed over 100 books! I have even included convenient Amazon links to help you learn more about each book and read the reviews. Here are my lists:

Visit this LINK for a free book that you can customize, save and print (Daddy is in the Military or Mommy is in the Military.

Military OneSource offers free deployment board books to help your young child cope with the departure and homecoming of their parent - LINK.
Titles include:
  • Over There (Daddy version)
  • Over There (Mommy version)
  • I'm Here for You Now (each page has a window to insert personal photos)
  • Home Again

Free Brat Town Bugle TM
Click here to learn more about Brat Town Bugle TM
Are you frustrated as you listen to your deployed spouse trying to carry a conversation with your kids over the phone and going nowhere? I co-created Brat Town Bugle TM to help. Kids of all ages can create a newspaper of pictures and stories to send to their loved one and the deployed parent will read about what's going on at home. What a great way to connect the deployed dad or mom with the lives of his/her kids at home!

Free coloring pages and activity sheets
Click here for free coloring pages
There are many free, downloadable coloring pages are designed just for military kids! Use them to help kids stay connected with their deployed parent or to help cope while a parent is away.

Free Flat Brat TM
Click here to learn more about Flat Brat TM
I co-created Flat Brat TM to help military kids connect with their deployed parent! Kids can customize the Flat Brat TM to look like themselves and then send to their deployed parent, who can then take pictures of Flat Brat TM so kids can see where their loved one and Flat Brat TM eat, do their laundry, etc.

Free Battalion Buddies teddy bears
In cooperation with Family Readiness Officers and Battalion leaders nationwide, Operation Gratitude will provide special stuffed toys – known as Battalion Buddies – to the sons and daughters of U.S. military personnel as their units prepare to deploy.

U.S. Military: We are happy to send the Battalion Buddies to all the children of a deploying or deployed unit upon request from the rear detachment and/or family readiness officer. Please have the command contact us at [email protected] so we can make arrangements directly with them for a shipment.

Free Operation Kid Comfort photo quilt or pillow
​Volunteers at the Armed Services YMCA create custom-made photo transfer quilts and pillows to help with the separation of deployment. Each child receives a quilt or pillow; children 7 and under receive a quilt, 8 and older receive a pillow. These hand-crafted quilts and pillow help children cope with emotional stress during a parent’s deployment.

Operation Kid Comfort is offered to all active duty children, and created by loving volunteers at our branch locations across the country.

Free respite childcare for military families - YMCA
Participating YMCAs offer care for your children in a safe and nurturing environment while you take some much deserved time for yourself. You can leave to catch up on errands, stay and enjoy a tension-relieving class or simply relax. It’s up to you!

Respite child care is available for infants (or youngest age permitted at the participating YMCA) up to 12 years of age (or oldest age permitted at the participating YMCA).

Operation Help a Hero's Camp Joy near Camp Pendleton, CA also offers respite childcare for deployed families - LINK

Opportunities for respite childcare financial assistance are found here - LINK

United Through Reading
United Through Reading is dedicated to uniting U.S. military families who face physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together.

In more than 200 locations worldwide, United Through Reading offers military service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading books to their children at home. Our program creates emotional connections between parents and their children, encourages literacy, and makes homecomings easier.

Visit this LINK for a listing of additional resources to help children and teens with a deployed or geographically separated parent.

Christian encouragement

Free Scripture resources from the American Bible Society and free set of 4 devotionals for military wives
The American Bible Society is able to offer free Scripture resources (including free shipping) to U.S. military service members, veterans and their immediate family members. Includes branch-specific Bibles, pocket-sized New Testaments, children's Bibles, devotionals, God Understands booklets, rosaries, and more.

Journey of a Military Wife devotionals -- Journey through Bible stories that shed timeless – and practical – truth on issues you will encounter in a life of military service. Deployment, separation, reintegration, relocation, or many other situations, these studies will point you to the Lord for direction, help, and encouragement. Written by an Army chaplain spouse. Click here to order your free set (or use link above if ordering additional materials from the American Bible Society).

Hero Squad faith-based activities for military families
US-based military and veteran families qualify for our ongoing physical engagement program including:

Welcome Box - Each family receives a Welcome Box containing a Bible and devotionals specific to each child’s age and gender, a Bible activity, as well as a few gifts for the whole family.

Quarterly Devotionals & Printed Seasonal Activities - For as long as children meet the 3-17 age requirement, families will receive age and gender-specific weekly devotionals for each child delivered straight to their doorstep each quarter. Families will also receive printed seasonal Bible activities designed to engage families in the Word, build unity, and build fun memories together.

Parent Devotional Emails - Parents and caregivers are also sent encouraging weekly devotional emails called “Checkpoint.”

Ongoing Digital Support - Parents will be provided with continuous engagement opportunities through social media, blogs, and podcasts to lean into a supportive network that cares and understands that the God of the Bible is the ultimate answer to the challenges each military family faces. Children’s devotionals and seasonal activities will also be available for download.

Military Bible Challenge free Bible studies and devotionals
Gain access to free Bible studies and devotionals designed for military personnel, veterans and their families. Track your progress, record personal insights and share your thoughts, comments and prayer requests. Interact with groups and invite others to read with you as you take the Bible Challenge.

Visit this LINK for a listing of military devotionals, Bibles, online devotionals and apps for your smart phone.

Visit this LINK for a listing of military Bible studies.

Be sure to share this LINK with your chaplain who will have access to additional spiritual resources.

Deployment resources and retreat

​Military OneSource
Military OneSource is your central hub and go-to-place for the military community. Get to know your benefits and prepare for the big stuff – deployments, reintegration, moves, parenthood, retirement and more. Browse by topic or search for that strangely specific question you want to know the answers to. No matter where military life takes you, with Military OneSource you'll always be in the loop.

PILLAR - Digital Retreat for Deployment Countdowns
PILLAR is an online digital retreat for military spouses and significant others who want to make the next deployment (or the current one) one of intentionality and positivity. It will take place over 3 days in November and will include more than 25 military community experts and speakers who will offer real, actionable advice and ideas for how to make deployment work for you.

Financial help

Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront's Critical Financial Assistance program helps military families address critical financial shortfalls. Most often, this means assistance with mortgage payments, rent, utilities, car repairs, home repairs, overdue bills, critical baby items, and groceries.

If you have a financial need, I recommend that you first seek the assistance of your chaplain or family support services at your installation. You can also visit this LINK for a listing of additional financial assistance opportunities.

Holiday support (Thanksgiving and Christmas)

Thanksgiving and Christmas military family support
Click here for this listing of resources
If you are located on or near a military installation, be sure to check with your unit or your chaplain for holiday opportunities. If your family has a financial need, be sure to also visit my list of holiday support for military families, some of which have a specific outreach to support families of deployed military.

Horseback riding sessions

Horses 4 Heroes
Horses4Heroes is a Las Vegas-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth, adults and families and enriching their lives through deeply discounted recreational, instructional and morale-boosting health and wellness programs that emphasize fun and safe activities with horses. Horses4Heroes is all about healthy living with horses.

Our large and growing national network includes more than 300 facilities in 45 states plus Canada. Through programs like Operation Free Ride, we have given thousands of free horseback rides and we are introducing a brand new audience to the world of horses.

Membership is free for all active duty service members, veterans, caregivers, survivors, first responders and their families.

Visit this LINK for a listing of additional equine opportunities for military families.


Green Care for Troops
Lawn and landscape maintenance becomes a definite hardship when a family's major breadwinner is on active duty away from home. GreenCare for Troops is designed to show the green industry's concern for this situation, helping affected families maintain their homes' green spaces.


40 Days of the Deployment Dare (The Love Dare for military families)
Have you had the thought, “What good is it to do The Love Dare book when we’re so far apart during this deployment?” We read the book with just that question in mind and offer these daily ideas to complement what the authors, the Kendrick brothers, have written so well. If you and your spouse are separated by deployment, but want to grow closer to each other and deal with the challenges of marriage, add these comments each day to what the authors have “dared.”

Actually—in some ways—The Love Dare is easier to do while separated! Don’t let Satan deceive you into thinking that it is not possible to grow together when duty calls you apart!

You will each need a copy of The Love Dare book. Here is a link to Amazon to order your copies. (This is an Affiliate link which means that I get a small commission at no cost to you if you order from this Amazon link.)

There's an app for that! - Lifegiver app by Corie Weathers
Corie Weathers, a licensed professional counselor certified to work with PTSD, has a rich history serving military and first responder families. As the 2015 Armed Forces Military Spouse of the Year, Corie had the unique opportunity to expand her expertise beyond the counseling office through the Lifegiver Podcast, speaking, consulting military organizations, and churches. 

She authored Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage after traveling with the Secretary of Defense to visit troops in Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and ships in the Persian Gulf. Sacred Spaces offers a raw look in to a military marriage that has inspired hundreds of couples to be more intentional in strengthening their own marriage.

The Lifegiver app brings your marriage a unique opportunity to invest in your marriage like never before in an interactive way. In one place you can now:

  • Listen to powerful interviews and marriage topics on the Lifegiver Podcast
  • Watch videos, talks, and webinars on marriage and family topics at your convenience.
  • Apply content to your life in a lasting way through fillable notes
  • Be the first to be notified when new content is available
  • Share your favorite episodes and content easily with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

For more information, please visit www.corieweathers.com

Visit this LINK for a listing of additional military marriage resources. If you need additional help or counseling, be sure to contact your chaplain. Military OneSource is another resource for your marriage.

Pet foster care and boarding during deployment

There are a number of opportunities for pet foster care and boarding during deployment. Visit this LINK.

Photography session​

Deployment Photo Sessions
Click here for this listing of resources
There are a number of organizations who have photographers that donate their time in support of deployment photo sessions for military families. Visit my listing to see if there is one in your area.

Snow removal

Snow Care for Troops
Project EverGreen has partnered with The BOSS Snowplow to connect military families with snow and ice management professionals and volunteers to provide free snow and ice removal services.

Vacation, recreation, camps, retreats

View my exhaustive lists of opportunities for military families (too many to list here on this page!)

Welcome Home banners and jumbo cards

Build A Sign 
Since 2008, BuildASign.com® has helped make homecomings a little more special by giving away more than 337,000 Welcome Home banners and signs to military friends and families for their loved ones returning home from a deployment. Be sure to order yours!
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Copyright 2008 - 2022 Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here.  All rights reserved.
Operation We Are Here is a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
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