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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Time To Prepare for D Day: Deployment Day

Deployment is just around the corner and there is so much to do to prepare for it. Whether it's your first or thirtieth deployment, it can all be overwhelming. It's very easy to forget some of the most important things. So I've compiled a list of what I feel are the most important things to do before your spouse deploys.

1.) Prepare important documents.

Be sure that you get your spouses Power Of Attorney (POA) and will updated. I know it may be difficult to think about something happening to your spouse, but it's very important that these are up to date. If something were to happen to you while your spouse was away, who would take care of your children and pets? Who else would you like to be able to pick up your children from school or take them to the doctor, in the event that you are unable to? POAs can be for specific things or a general POA. Be sure you have a POA that allows you to do things for your husband and that someone you TRUST has a POA to do things for you.

2.) Get a passport. 

It's super important that you have a valid passport. In the event that something happens to your spouse, chances are they will first be flown to an overseas hospital. So having a passport will allow you to join them.

3.) Discuss finances.

Deployment brings in extra, untaxed money. So it's important to discuss what will be done with the extra money. Will you use it to pay off debts? Or will it be saved up for a trip when your spouse gets back? Or maybe you'll use the extra money to  buy a new car? Be sure to discuss this with your spouse and come to an agreement, before he or she ever leaves.

4.) Get Red Cross information.

I, personally, feel this is the most important thing to do. You need to get your spouses Red Cross information. This is the information that is given to families of those deploying, that allows contact in case of an emergency. Most of the time, the military will NOT allow a your spouse to return home under any circumstance, without being contacted by Red Cross. Keep this someplace where you ALWAYS know where it is. I like to keep a copy on the fridge, in my purse, and on my phone. That way it's always around.

5.) Stay in the know.

Figure out who your spouses chain of command is and become familiar with the FRG. These are your two best sources of information. The FRG will keep you updated on what's going on throughout deployment and they will also give you the homecoming date, time and location.

6.) Build your support system. 

Deployment will have it's ups and downs. It's always hard to be away from your spouse, especially for an extended period of time. So it's important to build your support system. The FRG will give you a support system of others who are going through the same thing as you. Keep your family and friends close. Who else can make you smile and laugh when you feel like crying, better than those who have known you the longest?

7.) Keep everyone updated. 

Your spouses friends and family will want to know what;s going on during the deployment. They may ask what your spouse needs or what they can contribute to a care package. Be sure to keep them updated. But remember OPSEC! You don't want to endanger your spouse or those he or she is with by giving out exact locations and troop movements.

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