The key to a successful deployment is preparation. As with any life-changing event, the more prepared your family is to deal with the adjustments that need to be made, the easier it will be to cope with changes as they occur. Preparation for a potential deployment should begin well before deployment orders are actually received. This early preparation can reduce the stress everyone feels in the weeks leading up to the service member’s departure. Here are a few tips to assist you in making sure your next deployment is a successful one.
Know Your Resources
Pre-deployment: Prepare, prepare, prepare! Ensure that all of your personal affairs are in order such as: power of attorney, will, financial documents, bills, Family Care Plans, childcare arrangements, legal documents, Service Members Group Life Insurance (SGLI), etc.
Deployment: Keep busy. Take a class or start a project that you’ve always wanted to do. LifeSkills Training and Education offers a number of courses on everything from social networking safety to emergency preparedness. Or why not dedicate your time to volunteering? USMC Volunteers can connect you with volunteer opportunities in your area. Find a support group or join a club, plan fun outings with children or do something special for yourself. Offer support to others, seek counseling if you feel like you can’t cope, and ignore rumors about the whereabouts and activities of your Marine.
Post–deployment: Though it's a joyous time, many families may find themselves facing another adjustment period when a loved one returns from a deployment. Communicate openly about your expectations and feelings, talk about household changes, if any, spend time getting to know each other again and make a special effort to be together as a family or as a couple to re-establish relationships.
Pay It Forward: Remember some of the challenges you may have faced during the deployment, and lend a helping hand to another military family that could use some of your experience!
Marine Corps Family Team Building offers Readiness and Deployment Support workshops that help you cope with any challenges that may arise before, after and during deployments. Specific workshops are designed for Marines, spouses, children and family members to ensure that every member of the family is equipped to navigate deployments successfully. To learn more about Marine Corps Family Team Building and locate a Readiness and Deployment Support workshop near you, click here.
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