Deployments are stinky and they’re stressful. And with all that stink and stress there’s real danger – for the servicemember and for their family left behind. While the home front is certainly no equal of the battlefront, service families are left with additional vulnerabilities in the absence of their loved ones.

Here are just a few secrets to help you hold down your fort during deployment.

1. Put your spouse’s car in the garage or at least move it around.

During one TDY or deployment, who’s keeping track anymore, my sister’s neighbors reported to her that they had confronted two men who were loudly banging on her door, looking in her windows and professing to be “meat salesmen” with an unmarked car.

How do the crazies find us? They are looking for us. My brother-in-law’s car had remained parked where he’d left it for weeks, making it apparent to any would-be-meat-salesman or, more likely, robber that he wasn’t home.

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