Homecoming Do’s and Don’ts – Spouses Speak Out

We’ve all heard crazy stories or experienced first hand the mishaps and disappointments that can occur on homecoming day. Especially if you are new to deployments and have no clue what to expect. There is nothing more disappointing than missing the “First Kiss” photo opportunity because you can’t take a photo and kiss at the same time. Let’s not even mention the terrible sunburn that is entirely possible when it takes 3 hours for your loved one to get off the boat or airplane!


I asked a few military spouses their advice for a memorable Homecoming Day. I wanted to know their top DO’s and DON’TS and here is what they had to say:


“Don't violate OPSEC. We had a real issue with that when my husband came home this last time and as a result they stopped giving out info and we were left in the dark until the bitter end” – Jane Bloggs


“Do dress for the weather, and waiting...cuz there will be waiting!” – Kara R. - Green Mountain Girl


“Do stay put and let him come to you, otherwise you'll just be circling each other for way too long.” – Jax H.


“Do remember there is no such thing as the perfect homecoming; there is only your homecoming. Be prepared to be flexible. Stay away from surprises! Communication is key! Relax and enjoy!” – Navy Wife Beth D.


“They are probably already overwhelmed with the excitement of coming home and all the changes due to that. Don't throw everything at them at once, be it the kids, problems, or everything bad that's happened while they were gone.” – Kara P – Ramblings of a Marine Wife


“Don't wear stilettos or bring other shoes.... Do bring a photographer, anyone to take pictures, or you'll have none!” - Navy Wife Marla


“Don't plan out activities and events for after the return. Do let your service member dictate what they want to do, who they want to see, what they want to eat, etc. Do be prepared for minds to change and plans to get blown when all they want to do is sleep and stay at home.” – Aim High Erin


“Do put out a sign or some flags to welcome him/her home - let the kids decorate too! Don't have extra family members staying with you - it's going to be an adjustment for everyone without having extra company and please Don't tell my mother in law I said that.” – Jennifer P. MilitaryOneClick


What are your Homecoming Day do’s and don’ts? I’d love to hear from experienced spouses on this topic.


PS. I wanted to share some new information on how you can participate in the MOAA (Military Officers Association of America) Military Spouse Employment Survey. The deadline is October 16th, so you’ll want to check it out right away. MOAA is interested in hearing from every military spouse:


Military spouses face many challenges to both employment and career advancement as a result of the military lifestyle. This imperative study will look at the employment pattern of all military spouses, especially related to a spouse’s long-term career trajectory. By adding YOUR voice, we can build a stronger foundation for military spouses’ professional needs, identify any barriers to career development and share YOUR stories with government officials, state, and federal policy makers in order to overcome obstacles and improve the quality of life for our service members and families.


To learn more and to take the survey visit: www.moaa.org/milspousesurvey

Limitless Contributor

Great tips Wendy! I wanted to add to make sure to ask your service member what kind of homecoming they would like, My ideas and my spouse's were a little different! I wanted all of our family to come and help celebrate and he preferred something more intimate! Just make sure you both are on the same page so the day is special for you both!

Wendy Poling USAA

Briana, Great advice! I learned that lesson the hard way. We had unexected family arrive the day before homecoming and as I recall were waiting at the house when we got back from the pier. Yikes!