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Family is a Priority

Written by Ben T.

Family and close friends are generally the most important people for any service member within the armed forces. If family members at home don’t understand what we do and why we do it, their lack of understanding can become a breeding ground for concern and stress which will eventually affect the service member themselves. But how do we make our family members understand what we do? How do we make our family members understand why we do things in specific orders, or the reasons for the way in which we do them?


Aboard HSwMS Karlstad, family members recently received a guided tour filled with information covering the many facets of their sailor’s jobs and lives. The reason and purpose behind this is simple, to prevent those concerns, and provide a little insight and education by holding a Family Day. It’s very simple, we try to show them our jobs, the way we live our lives while aboard the ship, the reasons behind it all, and we bring them along on days where we can show off our skills and capability’s.


Today, the family members of the crew of His Swedish majesty’s Ship (HSwMS) Karlstad, got close and personal with the ship, a Visby class ship, built for stealth and firepower in both brown and blue water areas. The family’s got to go out to sea for a day, to see what the ship can do, how the crew work together, and to be able to understand that the crew, their family members, are the best at what they do.


Family Day’s like this are powerful tools that can be used to help the family’s understand, that even if they are concerned about their loved ones welfare, that the crew are a second family. They are a dedicated team of professionals, highly trained, highly skilled, and bonded through shared experience. They will do everything in their power to protect each other and their home [the ship].


You might ask, why am I writing this? Because I hope that you’ll understand that it’s the same all around the world. Military life is statistically one of the hardest lives in the professional world. It’s beyond difficult to comprehend deployments, long periods of separation, daily life-threatening working environments, dangerous jobs, and the possibilities of being called to war. However, it’s equally hard to be the person at home, worrying, wondering, with nothing but time to think about the worst possibilities.


As a service member married to another service member, I’m in both positions. I’m an active duty member and I’m a family member to an active duty member. It doesn’t matter that I’m active duty, the day my wife is deployed, I will worry, simply because I love my wife. But at the same time I feel secure in the thoughts that she is with the best people around and doing her job for the country that she loves, for the people she loves, for me… and I do the same for her. After seeing my wife at work, I feel much more secure about letting my country send her and her crew off to battle, because I know that she is in the best possible hands with her crew members.


The lesson here is that YOU are important for your loved ones. It doesn’t matter if you are a family member or the service member. It goes both ways and it’s of the utmost importance that you support your loved one. That is what we are trying to do at Ruck HQ, because your loved ones, your family members are also family members for every service member and their families as well. We are all a part of the warrior family, a brother and sisterhood that surrounds the world. The elite of society, the one percent who had the courage to step up and protect the rest, those few with more honor than all others.


If your loved ones are sick, you would move mountains to help them get better, to support them, and to guide them when they are lost. That is the mission for Ruck HQ. So many of my/our brothers and sisters are lost, sick, broken and/or crushed for trying to protect the masses. They are often cast to the wayside and deep sixed overboard as expendable tools by societies around the world who couldn’t care less, and live life blissfully and ignorantly at the life that was provided to them by those very cast ways.

Released by Lt. Tom Zalewski, COMDESRON 50

Now it’s our job to climb that steep hill, to try to do everything to help our own. Ruck HQ will continue to hold events, operate projects, and raise money and awareness – our own special Family Day’s – to achieve these goals. So join us in our mission to help our brothers and sisters, your loved ones, your defenders, your protectors, your providers of your very lives.

We must take care of our own, because nobody else will.

About the author

Ben T.

Benjamin T. | Vicekorpral, Swedish Navy | Ruck HQ
Benjamin is an Active Duty Vice Corporal in the Swedish Royal Navy. During his career, he has served in the Swedish Army's 2nd Engineering Regiment as a Team Leader, as a Radio Specialist in the 7th Armored Regiment, as a Team Leader in the Swedish Royal Guards at the Royal Palace, and is currently a Systems Technician in the 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla. Ben aims to attend the Royal Officers Training School in the near future, and his hobbies include motorcycles, travel, diving, sailing, and physical fitness.