Monday, January 3, 2011

Deployment time

Not for Sal, nobody panic-ALTHOUGH, I know he would deploy tomorrow if he could, BUT deployment "season" is upon us and we have many friends and loved ones that are prepping for this. Our son leaves soon for the sandland and this will be his first deployment with his wife, Megan and the boys, Nicholas and little Dominic. I thought id blog about this because I think we get caught up in the paranoia aspect of prepping for a deployment and dont realize to calm down and realize there are MANY things "WE" need to do to help make the deployment go a little more smoothly.. Yes, these deployments suck, BUT this is our life as military spouses and PART of the reason that soldiers exsist.. They typically dont like leaving their loved ones, BUT MOST are ready to deploy. Soldiers need to know that their families are ready for this and capable of the MANY things that could happen during a 12 month period.. Mr. Murphy LOVES to rear his ugly face during a deployment-so be ready for him.. It is QUITE possible that your dryer and car will both break during a deployment and 1 or more of your kids will indeed get chicken pocks-USUALLY either right before or right after RR.. So here are some tips from me to you in order to assist you in making sure you are ready to hit the deployment head on and win..

*Get POAs(powers of attorney) Call all your credit companies, banks, credit unions, etc and see what they require if you need to do business during this deployment-AFTER you find out what they need, GET IT DONE... Not today or tomorrow, but yesterday... MANY businesses, including finance will require you have a specific POA, so you may end up with 5 or 6 or more POAs. Keep them in a binder(I have a cute pink one :))

*Make sure your information to your bank and creditors are current.

*If you have more than 1 car, but will only be needing 1 of them-store the other and call your insurance company and change the policy to storage mode(it will save you money)

*Get a copy of the deployment orders

*make sure you have a copy of his will and that YOU have a will as well (yes this isnt a pleasant topic but a real one..

*Have THE TALK with your soldier, the dreaded what if talk.. Burial, etc... Again, not a fun topic, but MUCH needed.

*Have a plan for if something happens to you and your children need to be cared for until you can or your soldier can get home(hospitalization, etc) Many states will keep your kids in foster care, should something happen to you until a family member can come and care for them. Jag has a form you can fill out to give POA to a friend or family member in this case, Your FRG or FRSA should know who to contact for this.

*Sit down and make up a budget for this deployment, with your soldier... Ie, how much he will get out of your account and put on his/her eagle cash card or cash.. Since they need very little over there, May I suggest 50.00-75.00 every 2 weeks..

*They typically have to pay for internet and it can range from 40.00-100.00 a month, so be ready for that.

*attend frg pre deployment briefings..

*get his/her unit info, address, rear d info

*know his/her social security number

*get the Red Cross information and keep it in that fabulous binder of knowlege

*contact ACS and find out what you and your kids are eligible for during the next 12 months

*If you leave town, please, please, please leave contact info with the rear d, frg and a friend-I cannot stress this enough.

*Realize that once soldiers hit downrange, they wont have much contact initially-DONT panic.. NO NEWS is GOOD NEWS...

*bad news will not be given to you during the middle of the night, if something happens the correct people will contact you(unit info in particular)

*spend time with your soldier, BUT know that the closer it gets, the amount of time spent with families gets shorter and shorter. Try and realize this and enjoy the time when you get it and TRY not to complain to the soldier and be naggish.

*READ - the emotional cycles of deployment, wash, rince, repeat..... as needed

*make sure you have your circle of trust ready.

*Let family members know that YOU will update them on things until the soldier can

*during RR, we know that private time is important, but its also important for the soldiers family members to see and hug and hold them as well, so be understanding in that..

*Its okay to have pajama days every now and then, but I promise you will feel better dressed and ready to rock and roll

*Make a goal sheet foor yourself during the 12 months, only put a couple of things on there and work on them, keep this promise to yourself.

*Cry when you need to, be mad when you need to and *gasp* its okay to be happy during the deployment

*Keep traditions alive during the deployment, dont go into cacoon mode because your soldier cant be there(he/she will be relieved to know that normal life does infact exsist and that YOU kept it going.. YOU kept the homefires burning, YOU did it!

These are just a few things that I HIGHLY encourage spouses to do during this 12 months, they really help and really work.. We are not weak and wilted flowers.. We are steel magnolias and are the heart of the military.. WE CAN DO IT!!!!

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