19 Creative Welcome Home From Deployment Ideas

Updated March 5, 2021
Welcome home from deployment

You've waited for what seemed like an eternity for your partner to return from deployment, and it is finally happening. They are coming home! Make their return something they will never forget with one of these creative welcome home from deployment ideas.

Welcome Home From Deployment Ideas

Welcome home from deployment ideas should come from the heart. So long as there is that element, anything else goes. The plans to greet your loved one back from military duty can range from simple to elaborate. Tailor your welcome home surprise to your family and your military member's comfort level.

Make a Sign

It's easy, creative, and can be personalized just for your special person. This is a great thing to do with little ones, because what kid doesn't enjoy a bit of coloring with markers? Make sure your sign pops and is the first thing that your loved one sees when they step off of their plane.

Dress to Impress

Your family can dress up in their finest, in costume, or in theme on the big welcome home day. If your active military member has a favorite television show, play on that. If they love a specific football team, gear up for his/her arrival.

Stage a Superhero Greeting

Halloween isn't the only day of the year that is good for costumes! Buy or create superhero costumes and let them know that in your world, they are the ultimate hero. Have each family member sport a different superhero costume and get ready to watch surprise crawl across your beloved military member's face when they see you for the first time.

Portrait of children with father in superhero costumes

Surprise Him With the Unexpected

Think about all the plans the two of you made before he/she left. Maybe you talked about taking a dream vacation, renovating the kitchen, or getting into shape together. Choose a "project" and set to it while he is away. Book that couple's trip, gut the kitchen, lose the weight, and sign the both of you up for a 10k. Surprise him/her with your efforts upon the big return.

Design a Scavenger Hunt

If you feel your loved one out, and think that they have the energy to have a bit of fun upon their return, design a welcome home scavenger hunt for them. Leave clues all over your home, property, or town, leading to something special and just for them.

Ride Home in Style

A deployment homecoming doesn't come around that often (thank goodness) so do it up in style. If you are meeting your loved one at an airport or a dock, schedule a limo to take you all back to your home. Kick back and pop some bubbly. Enjoy the precious moments before reality sets in and you all have to go back to the daily grind of family life.

Hold a Holiday

When military members are away for deployment, they miss a lot. Birthdays and holidays can be especially difficult for them to not be a part of, so recreate one that they were unable to attend the first time around. There is no reason that you can't celebrate Christmas when they get home. Get the decorations out, wrap presents, trim a tree and bake a ham. No one will complain about holding a second holiday.

Party Down

Military members may come home exhausted and need space, or they might come back ready to mingle and let loose. If your partner is the latter, plan a get-together in his/her honor. Have everyone meet at your home or his/her favorite eatery or park, and spend some time laughing, hugging, and reconnecting.

Family welcomes from deployment

Get a Surprise Guest to the Meeting Spot

If your partner has an older child who lives far away, parents who are elderly and typically don't travel, or a best friend who they would never think would meet them at the arrival gate, move mountains to get them to the meeting spot. Your formerly deployed loved one will be shocked to see not only you but another person close to their heart, waiting to shower them with love.

Make a Reminder Wall

Every day that your loved one is away, write a note for them on a post-it. Jot down a joke you share, something that you love or miss about them, or a beloved memory. On the eve of their return, decorate a wall or door in their home with all of the notes. Your attention to detail during their time away will blow them away.

Stock the Fridge

He/she has been away eating what the military provided and is likely looking forward to all of his/her favorite snacks and treats. Stock the fridge with all of the goodies that you know your loved one will appreciate. Make favorite meals, buy favorite beverages, bake sweet treats and have everything ready for the big arrival.

Fun With Flash Mobs

Try to create an over-the-top gesture of love with a flash mob in his/her honor. Get the neighborhood, friends, and family in on the idea. When your favorite military member arrives back home, one dancer will appear, then another will join in, and another. Before they know it, they will be surrounded by people they know and adore dancing around the streets to an epic routine. It will take time, and thought, but just imagine your loved one's face when you manage to pull this off.

Decorate the Yard

Go wild in the front yard. Hang welcome home banners, make yard signs and have kids chalk paint the sidewalk. When he/she pulls onto their street they won't be able to ignore the fact that they are the center of your world.

Plan a Tailor-Made Date

A special date between partners is something you both have been looking forward to since the minute you parted. Make it happen. The first night home might be too ambitious. He/she will be tired and if you have children, they will want attention from the recently returned parent, but within that first week, set aside one-on-one time. Choose a place special to you both or hunker down in your home. Send the kids to a friend or relative's house. Order take out or cook a special meal together. Watch movies, go on a long walk, lie in bed and read books, do all the things that you missed so dearly.

Cheerful woman talking to her military husband

Hire a Photographer

That moment that you and your loved one finally lay eyes on each other is an unforgettable one. Consider hiring someone to capture those hugs, tears, and emotions on camera. You'll likely be too wrapped up in greeting your loved one to snap pictures or videotape the homecoming, so hire someone else to do it for you.

Organize a Neighborhood Parade

Have your community get in on the action and create a mini-parade in honor of your loved one. Let everyone on your street know what time you and your soldier will be arriving home. They can sit outside with sparklers, signs, and flags, cheering for their hometown hero.

Welcome Home Wardrobe

It has been a minute since they have stepped into their own clothes and out of military fatigues. Welcome your special person home with a customized wardrobe. Gather measurements while they are still deployed and gift them with new socks, shoes, pajamas, and clothes. Buy them plush towels, a new bathrobe, and fuzzy slippers.

Add a Member to the Family

What better way to settle back into family life than entering a home full of puppy kisses and cuddles? If it has just been the two of you, think about adding a furry family member to the mix. Have your little furball run down the driveway wearing a giant bow. It will be a welcome home moment that he or she will never forget.

Welcome home mommy soldier with puppy

Create a Special Gift Basket

Customize a gift basket just for him/her. Add all of your loved one's favorite things into the basket. Make him/her feel special with a gift that has so much thought and love inside of it.

Prepare for a Change of Plans

Even the most carefully thought-out plans might have to be altered. Make sure you consider possible roadblocks to your homecoming ideas before they strike. Planes get delayed, weather acts up, friends and families run into issues, and family members formerly on military duty might be more tired or emotionally spent than previously thought. Even when homecoming ideas go down the tubes, keep in mind that the only thing that truly matters is that the person you love is safe and at home.

19 Creative Welcome Home From Deployment Ideas