Deployment is a scary word isn’t it? When I first started dating A, the very mention of the D-word was enough to send me into tears. But now, three deployments in as many years later, I feel more prepared when the time comes. I have learned so much from others and from my own personal experience that I wanted to share a great round-up of my go-to deployment resources and advice.
Is this your first deployment? Don’t believe that staying busy will make the time pass faster; it only gives you less time to focus on how slowly time is passing. And that’s important! More advice for a first deployment can be found here.
During our first deployment, I kept everything to myself and was terrified to even tell A that I’d had a bad day, let alone that the toilet was broken for the 5th time that year. Looking back, I see that being honest with him would have been in both of our best interests. It’s important to maintain open and honest communication however you can.
Two of the ways I survive deployment is by sending my husband lots and lots of care packages and using a countdown app on my phone. Care packages help me feel like I’m still able to love on my husband even when he’s so far away. And as goal-oriented as I am, the countdown apps help me check days off just like I would items on a to-do list.
Deployment can bring up a whole lot of emotions: fear of the unknown, jealousy, loneliness and frustration when people just don’t understand or ask silly questions all the time. All of these are completely normal and something we all go through. But you don’t have to let these emotions rule your entire life during deployment! There are a lot of deployment resources and support out there to help you talk through them or find ways to handle them. Turn to other military spouses or start a dialogue with your servicemember. Both may have really different perspectives on deployment that can help you find your groove.
I could list the negative parts of deployment from now until the cows come home, but there are some good parts of the entire thing. For example, thanks to tax free income while deployed in combat zones, many military families come out of deployment having saved quite a bit of money. Discussing finances prior to deployment is an important step in preparing for a deployment so I highly suggest having the money talk.
Obviously the best part of deployment is homecoming! I highly recommend wearing comfortable clothes and bringing a camera. But most importantly, remember that no matter how weird your hair looks or how uneven your eyeliner turned out to be, your homecoming will be perfect because your loved one is home.
OPSEC, TDY, OCONUS and so on. The military has more acronyms and abbreviations than any other organization I’ve ever encountered. Learning basic military vocabulary is important, especially as you get ready for a deployment.
Something you learn very quickly when going through a deployment is how important it is to make the most of the time you have together. But it’s equally important to enjoy the you time that deployment offers, especially since you may be tempted to skip it once your loved one has returned home. Another important thing to do? Get a good night’s sleep every now and then, even though it can be really hard!
Deployment resources are always must-shares because no matter how many you’ve been through, deployments have a curveball waiting for you. What deployment resources would you share with other military spouses?