I always mentally replay the scene in Grey’s Anatomy when Christina leaves Meredith to venture to her new home half a globe away.

She turns around in her taxi, peering from a foggy rear view window and watches as the distance between two friendships only becomes greater and greater.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all, at some point, had to say a farewell to “our person.” Yet, we Military Spouses are unique because, let’s be honest, if we were the “out of sight, out of mind,” type of personalities we’d have three friends, three dollars, and very short term memory. We pride ourselves in our ability to look at the big picture and to appreciate the entire journey. We know how to “be there,” when we aren’t there. Here are a few tips to help our long distance military friendships thrive whether we happen to be next-door neighbors or thousands of miles away.

1. Acts of Validation and Appreciation

In a realm where spouses are often (NOT ALWAYS) prone to feel unappreciated and unimportant, simple words of praise can go a long way in showing love. If your long distance soul sister has been posting a million different photos of her kids at soccer games, dance recitals, and birthday parties, there’s a pretty good chance she’s tipping the exhaustion scale. Better yet- remembering a time when this said friend truly did or said something for you that made a difference and expressing thanks AGAIN could also help validate and lift a broken spirit. Letting friends know privately or even publicly that their actions are not going unnoticed could turn a drowning individual into a motivated one.