Army Life: missing what matters most

What do deployed soldiers miss?  This is a question a number of people type into their Google search bar; when they do they end up here, they are looking for information, the miss someone, they’re worried, they want to know more about what their Soldier is going through.  In order to make this blog more useful I took this question to a few of the Soldiers I met while embedded with the Zabul Agribusiness Development Team; they graciously provided the following responses.


i miss being able to wash my hands with soap and water instead of layer after layer of gooey hand sanitizer.

hot baths.

days off work.

milk shakes made with milk. ice cream made with cream.

beds i don’t fall off of if i roll over in my sleep.

walking on flat , non rocky surfaces.

Minnesota State Fair and all the other fun summer things that involve food on a stick.

What I miss the most ? My sweet little girl snuggled up next to me in bed



Of course, first and foremost I miss my girls. Things I also miss:
decent steak
the smell of cut grass
Scotch (decent or other)



Beer, the beach, significant other, hunting, TREES AND VEGETATION, real food..



Things I miss:
1. I miss my family. (Daughter’s choir/horse riding; Son’s school/horse riding)
2. Wife (all the implied husband/wife intimacy-not just the dirty stuff)
3. Liquor – Jack Daniels (No7, Gentleman Jack or Single Barrel) Maker’s Mark or other suitable Southern Liquor
4. Freedom of Movement


For me the absolute, without a doubt, thing I miss is to touch and be touched by someone that really matters.  I mean even the simple act of holding hands or a hug…going without that human bond is the worst type of deprivation, followed closely by the complete lack of freedom of movement.

  1. Shopping!  I know, I know that sounds dumb coming from a guy, but I love going to Best Buy, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, etc.  I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon, even at home, but nothing beats wandering around the aisles trying to rationalize to myself why I absolutely need the latest gadget.
  2. My bed
  3. My bathroom
  4. Civilian clothes – I would love to be able to wear a pair of jeans!
  5. My ‘stuff’ –  my tools I hardly use (but they are mine), my motorcycle and all my other gadgets
  6. My Sunday morning visits to my Mom & Dad
  7. Just hanging out at home, with Kate & the kids, not doing anything…


I’ve never been a Soldier, never will be.  I have pretended to be one for a couple of weeks and I can clearly echo these thoughts.  Go a summer without smelling cut grass; you’ll miss it.  Go a spring, summer and fall without cracking a cold beer on your patio; I cannot go a week without doing this.  Enjoy walks, shopping, wandering.  I miss my kids after one day; one year seems impossible.  I enjoy my weekends, you do too.  Soldiers have no weekends.  I’m not going to jump on my soap box and tell you to thank a Soldier, but at the very least be appreciative for the things you can do after you walk away from your computer.  Hug your kids.  Water your garden.  Cook an omelet for yourself.

To learn more about going without I encourage you to check out LTC Daniel Bohmer’s blog.  Bohmer is one of the 22 Minnesota National Guard soldiers in Zabul.  Back in March of 2012 he wrote about what he missed most.


Are the above paragraphs not exactly what you were looking for?  I have it on decent authority that a number of people searching “What do deployed soldiers miss?” are interested in sending their Soldier a care package.  Based on their experiences the Soldiers of the ADT also provided me with some information to pass on to you.


Beef jerky
magazines that aren’t 1.5 years old
the occasional energy drink
chips of any kind
smoked almonds (I recommend wasabi soy)
goofy props from the dollar store that can be used in ridiculous horseplay (sunglasses, oversized foam fingers)
Pop tarts
NOT clif bars

1. Beef Jerky – (those baby slim jims are the shiznik)
2. Those litle chewy granola bar things (genius)
3. Some kind of gift cards for either Audio books or the kindle/ipad things… I never got my kindle to work, but lots of folks have tablets of one form or another and if they could get gift cards, thy could down load books and stuff.


Continue the list below, share what it is you, as a member of the Military, missed during deployment.  What did you appreciate receiving in care packages?