Servicemembers compare the passage of days during a deployment to the movie “Groundhog Day,” in which actor Bill Murray is doomed to repeat the same day over and over again. At home, the absence of a pivotal member of the family can make the days feel shapeless, lacking the structure that makes a family schedule tick along. Days come and go, uneventful, stressful and significant alike. We might wish we could bypass a birthday or an anniversary or save it until deployment is done, but we can’t. Those days go by, celebrated or not.
The war has come to a formal end, but plenty of military families spent this past holiday season with a deployed parent or spouse. Perhaps they enjoyed togetherness with extended family or with military friends. Possibly they plowed through the celebrations with a determined smile.