Updated February 16, 2021
Reading Time 3 Minutes, 23 Seconds
Having a loved one return home from deployment is one of the most exciting moments for military spouses and families. No matter what you do to celebrate, this event will be one to remember. Find tips on how to plan a successful military homecoming with crafty signs, celebrations, and more to say “Welcome home.”
Military Homecoming Ideas
Stock the House
One of the best feelings of coming home, whether from something as short as a weekend trip to something as long as deployment, is coming back to all the creature comforts you didn’t have access to while away. Make your military homecoming one filled with love and comfort by filling your military housing with items your loved one enjoys.
In the house, stock up on their favorite household items. Is there a certain scent of detergent they like? A shampoo and conditioner that makes their hair feel best? Even small things like toiletries can feel like a luxury when you’ve been away from them for so long. In the kitchen, fill the fridge and pantry with their favorite foods. Whether it’s snack food or one of their favorite home-cooked meals, food is something to help your loved one feel comfortable and at home after their military homecoming.
Make a Military Homecoming Sign
Designing a military homecoming sign is a fun craft that everyone in the family can do. If you have children, you can either make a family sign or have each child make their own personalized sign for when mom or dad comes home. Either bring your military homecoming signs to the airport or use them to decorate your military home.
Search for military homecoming sign design ideas on Pinterest to get some inspiration, then get crafting! There are a range of design ideas, from simple to silly. If you aren’t in the crafting mood, you can use a sign shop to design a custom sign. BuildASign.com offers free custom military homecoming signs, cards, and yard signs as a thank you to troops.
Have a Date Night
It’s been a while since you have seen your loved one, and it makes sense to want to make your military reunion a personal one. Plan a date night to simply be in each other’s presence one-on-one to catch up and reconnect.
As your significant other is most likely tired from their deployment, and you are probably stressed from picking between military homecoming ideas, your date night doesn’t have to be extravagant. Too tired to cook? Go to a favorite restaurant or order in! Too exhausted to leave the house? Snuggle up on the couch and binge some shows you missed during deployment. The only important part is making sure you have some much-needed time alone.
Plan a Small Party
While many people want to be part of your loved one’s military homecoming and your loved one surely wants to catch up with everyone, doing so all at once can be overwhelming. Instead of reconnecting with everyone all at once, break up the military reunions into smaller groups.
Start off by planning a small party for very close friends and family, people who will not require much social energy to interact with. Once your loved one is settled at home again, consider throwing a larger military homecoming party with more friends. This way, big reunions can happen without interruptions while your loved one has more time to rest before having to be social in a larger group.
3 Tips for a Successful Military Reunion
- Don’t Overthink It: It’s easy to overthink the little things leading up to your military homecoming and constantly worry about making the reunion perfect. The reality is, your loved one will think the reunion is perfect no matter what! Avoid stressing the little things and putting too much pressure on yourself.
- Get Help if Needed: Speaking of putting pressure on yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out for help in the days leading up to your military reunion. Family members, friends, neighbors, and fellow members of your military community are great resources if you need help with preparation or support.
- Take it Easy: At the end of the day, your military homecoming should be focused on reuniting with your loved one and now stressing over grand welcomes. While big surprises and extravagant gestures look nice, it is just as wonderful to simply meet at the airport and spend one-on-one time together at home.
Do be aware that surprises are not fun for everyone. While surprises make for some tear-jerking videos online, it can be an overwhelming event, especially if your loved one wanted a low-profile military reunion. If you think your loved one returning from deployment would prefer to not be surprised, talk to them before they come home to plan out what they would like to do and who they would like to see upon arriving home.
No matter what you plan, having your military reunion will be an amazing experience filled with love, joy, and excitement. Enjoy the homecoming of your loved one, and tell them, "Thank you!" from Lincoln Military Housing!