I enlisted in the Army to get away from my family and had no girlfriend back then
fortunately I was single when I served my country, but my son is now in the Marines and he is stationed over 1000 miles away, communication whether by letter, phone, or skype helps alot
My bf was Navy--got married at 18 when he met a hot waitress 7 years his senior near his ba<x>se. When he got shipped out--hookers were his 'distraction'--he acts like it's practically tradition.
I soldiered for 20 years. I got through it by talking to my wife about the good, bad and ugly. She helped me get through it by not complaining about things like red ants in the yard or the fact that the washer made too much noise.