Preparing for your first deployment.

Preparing for your first deployment.

Ok, don’t freak out. The deployment you’ve been talking about is getting closer. Personally I have been through 4 deployments ranging from 9 months to 15 months.

Here are some tips to survive and prepare in the weeks leading up to the deployment.

Take care of business:

  • Make sure you have all your POA’s (power of attorney) these will enable you to handle any financial, home, car, family or DEERS tasks you encounter during the deployment.

  • Make yourself a Battle Book. In your Battle Book you’ll keep your POA’s, a copy of your spouses deployment orders, unit orders, financial passwords or account information and important phone numbers to rear detachment. You can add anything to this book that you think would be good to have on hand. Personally I use a binder with page protectors, but whatever works for you is great.

  • Understand that your spouse is also filling out paperwork like his will and information about who should be contacted in case of emergency. Before our first deployment this freaked me out. I couldn’t stand helping to fill these papers out and thinking about all that could happen. Try to stay calm, it’s just in case of emergency. It’s better to have it all on paper than to have to figure it out when you’re in the middle of an emergency.

  • Get involved with your FRG. I know that a lot of spouses dislike their FRG but those spouses and leaders can be very helpful and supportive.

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Take care of you:

  • Make sure to pamper yourself. Stress is at an all time high so go do something for yourself.

  • Create a Pinterest board. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me in the weeks leading up to deployment. I fill the board with goals, crafts, recipes to try, new hairstyles, workouts, outfits, and pretty much anything I would like to try while he’s gone. Most of the pins I never do but when I’m having a down day I can look at the board and find the motivation to go on.

  • Buy some books. There are tons of books on Amazon about deployment. I personally have two deployment devotionals that I use at the beginning of every deployment.

  • Make goals. Set some goals for yourself whether it’s financial, fitness, or something new you want to learn.

Take care of your marriage:

  • Decide on what you’ll do with all the extra pay during the deployment. Please don’t just blow all the money while your spouse is gone. Make a list of debts to pay off or what you’re saving for.

  • Understand that your  spouse will at some point go into what I call “deployment mode”. He may not be as affectionate or dependent on you in preparation for the separation. This is nothing personal, it’s just a way of preparing and coping. I know for us I go into “deployment mode” about two weeks before the deployment. I spend that time mentally preparing myself.

One last tip, reach out to other spouses. My first two deployments I moved back home with my parents. While I loved having my family and friends around I missed my military spouse friends. It’s great to have other spouses around that understand what you’re going through.

 

Written by: Devon Bernthal

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