Before A Deployment

One of the hardest times for a military family is preparing for the deployment of a loved one! Talk about multi tasking skills for a family! The military spouse is busy getting their military duties accomplished like training, locating the necessary gear and planning for their required duties while gone. The family is working out details of how to function without them and all the things they do for the family!

For some it is a frequent occurrence with little thought but for many it can be a first or second with a long turn overseas. It does not matter if experienced or not; it is tough for all involved to maintain a plan to make it easier for the family. Then there is the tough emotional part and many remaining behind spouses talk about the feelings leading up to the deployment and how they wished the deployment would just get started so they could look forward to them returning!

One of the best ways to avoid some of the curves thrown at you during all of this is to have a sit down with a “family checklist” of sorts to lay out what needs to be done! From basics like, “do you know how to turn off the water to the house in an emergency” or “how to contact the local support structure such as installation support functions”. This may be a real problem for a new spouse with little military experience who may not even know what their benefits include (yes, I have actually met a young spouse who did not know they could shop at the commissary). Or the spouse with children with specific needs or a spouse with a job and modified child care needs.

There are many resources for families to develop their own “deployment checklist”. You can find them from military support agencies and even commercial businesses with military audiences. I hope every one knows about Military One Source and they have some great deployment tools online. Or they have a 24/7 toll free line at 800 342 9647 where you can speak to someone about preparing for a deployment. Another good choice is the USAA website with specific deployment information on finances but they also have great tools for a deployment checklist on their website and you do not have to be a member to use those tools. Finally, check into the MilitaryAvenue Reading Room to find articles about your needs and best ways to handle all of the challenges you are facing!

I hope this helps as you prepare and plan for that next deployment! I’d like to take this chance to say a heartfelt thank you for your service as a military family! If you have any tips for a deployment checklist please respond so we can share them with others!byColonel KonWednesday, September 10, 2008Military Life:,,,,

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