Family & Deployment
There are four phases of deployment: pre-deployment, deployment, return, and post-deployment. This section provides advice on what can be down to make you and your loved one's tranisition to being deployed easier on the both of you.
Many emotions will come up between the receipt of a loved one’s deployment orders and the time they leave home. You may become angry or depressed, or frustrated with having to get your affairs in order. Forms of denial about the fact that your loved one will be leaving are also common. It is important for all those affected talk about their feelings and try to spend as much time as possible with servicemembers before they depart.
After your servicemember is deployed, your emotions may range from pride to anxiety. Now is the time to reach out to family, friends and other means of support if stress and anxiety become overwhelming. It is normal to worry at this time. Sleeping and eating habits may change. Emotional stress or simply having to take care of life’s routine responsibilities on your own may cause changes in your daily schedule. On the flip side, some people become proud as they learn to live more independently in the absence of their loved ones.
Here are a few tips that may reduce stress:
Obtain as much information as you can about your loved one's deployment, but remember that operational security (OPSEC) procedures will at times limit what information is available or should be discussed. Although it can be frustrating, recognize that operational security restricts information about deployments in order to protect servicemembers. If information were readily available about troop movements, troop strength and other operational facts, U.S. enemies could gain an advantage against our armed forces.
Come up with the best way to keep in touch with a loved one. Realize that communication may be scant and inconsistent depending on the stability of your servicemember’s station area. Consider sending “care packages” when letters or phone calls are not possible. Reaching out in some form, such as with a care package, can help you feel connected and will almost certainly lift the spirits your loved one.
Join military support groups and Internet discussion groups so that you can share what you're going through with people who are in similar situations.
If you will be living alone, pick up a new hobby or take a class to fill your free time. Temporarily moving in with or closer to relatives may provide extra financial and emotional support.