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Deployment: Survival Guide!

23 July 2013

"Crap. My SO got orders to deploy. . .What will I do? How will I manage? WHAT IF I GO CRAZY?!!?!?!

Slow your roll there, skippy. Chill. Keep going on like that you'll give yourself a hernia before they even leave. . . .

It's not all bad. Yeah sure, It sucks, but it's most certainly not the end of the world. One pro: You make slightly more money. Helps pay off some of those bills if you budget right! Another pro: . . . . .ehhh, That's all I've got. We won't get into the cons, actually, let's not look at them as cons, just mild inconveniences. Yeah, that sounds better.

If this is your first deployment, Take a deep breath, calm the hell down, and read this post! Everything will be okay!

ALRIGHT FOLKS! FALL IN! I'm here to give you the Deployment Survival Guide for Spouses!! Here is what you need to know, and what to do to prepare!

  • First off, talk to your spouse. Make sure all legal documents, including, but not limited to, General POA, Special POA, Will, any finance documents, and ID cards are all up to date. Make sure you have a list of all accounts, all bills that need to be payed, when they are due and necessary information in order to pay the bills, such as passwords and screen names. Make sure your spouse lets their bank or mortgage companies or what-the-hell-ever you use, that they are deploying and that you will be taking over for payments or taking care of any issues that may arise. They may require a power of attorney for you to take care of finances. And if you plan on buying a house, (like I did with this deployment) don't. Okay, okay, if you really want to you can. Just don't stress, yourself sick over it! Make sure you have a copy of your spouse's orders. You probably wont get those until a few days if not the day, they leave. 

  • Find programs out there for dependents who have deployed spouses. There is normally always something out there beneficial. If you live in base housing, look up what they offer! A lot of times, they have programs that help spouses, like lawn care and other things.  

  • DO NOT I repeat DO NOT, Wait until the last minute to get this crap done. 

  • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY,  REMEMBER OPSEC!!!!!! Don't go telling people any dates, locations, names of people he is deployed with, addresses, . . . .let's just sum it up like this. If it has to do with deployment, or his career, or military, keep the lip zipped. 

  • D-Day is now here. . . .Have someone come with you. If you are to upset to drive home after taking your spouse to his destination, do not drive. DO NOT WEAR EYE MAKE UP!! Well, as long as it's waterproof, you should be fine! ;)

  • Make sure you network with other spouses in your area! Set up some girl night outs you can all take turns watching the kiddos (if you have them.) Do not sit around the house and mope! Do not be afraid to ask for help!! You will only drive yourself insane. Find a hobby, or something you really enjoy! If you have kids, don't be afraid to ask for a break! Ask a family member or a friend to watch the little ones, while you sleep a bit, or do some shopping, or just some ME time! Trust me, you will need it!

  • Take this opportunity to do something for you! Like, find a fitness goal, learning to cook certain foods or even figuring yourself out and growing as a person! Some time away from your SO can really open your eyes and can make you appreciate the little things. 

  • Healthy, homemade, pre-made meals, are the way to go on days that are just to damn busy! Find a recipe that is healthy, yummy and is freeze-able! I seriously recommend this for the working people!

  • Crying is okay! Venting is okay! What is not okay is sitting on the couch for days at a time eating ice cream and cake and watching romantic movies. GET UP AND DO SOMETHING! Do NOT sit around and feel sorry for yourself!

  • You think you are having a hard time? Psh, Please! You are around folks who are somewhat familiar, you have the choice to visit family and friends. You have the luxury of eating what you want, sleeping in your bed, or even having privacy! Your SO is incredible homesick, Missing you and family, in a place that is unfamiliar, constantly worrying about their safety, worrying about you, worrying about if the bills are payed, worried about the kids, more than likely eating gross food from the chow hall, sleeping in a tent or chew, with other people on a small ass cot or twin bed. On top of that, they work 12+ hours a day, sometimes without a day off. Trust me, I know its hard folks when a spouse deploys! It really is! But do not make them feel like their problems are nothing, when their problems are everything! Always put on a smile and try to put a smile on your loves face!

  • Best advice I have been given: If something goes wrong, don't say a damn thing unless it is something they need to know.  Somethings they don't need to know or worry about. They have enough to deal with. Just put on your big kid britches and work it out yourself! They don't tell you a lot of things that happen during deployment, mainly because if you knew, you would have a heart attack and worry more! Same concept. 

  • Keep your cool! When you need a lazy day, take a damn lazy day! Go out or stay in for a night and lounge around! You definitely want to keep busy, but, we all deserve a little R&R. It's hard work holding down the home front! Go ahead! Find your best sweats and put your feet up! ;)

  • Okay, we are all adults here. So just go with it. Take sometime for yourself (if you know what I mean) or take some pictures for the hunny to see. Deployments mean a LONG TIME without any lovin'!

  • Take lots of pictures of the kids, and you and the kids, and family and friends. . .Just take a shit ton of pictures! It certainly brightens their days!

  • When your loved one finally comes home, don't expect perfect. A lot of time, transitioning from a deployed location is hard to get use to. They may be tired. Also, Lighten up on stuff. I know you have been handling the home front, and your routine will change, so allow change to happen. Don't expect the same person to come home. Also, educate yourself on PTSD. If you recognize any signs, It's time for them to get help. Deployments can change people, and it's not always for the best. Just be as prepared as possible. 
Now, It's your turn! Have any tips? Add them on in the comments section! I would love to hear what you have to say! :)

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