Is it the beginning of the end of your sanity? Absolutely not! When it comes to deployments, I think this is the first feeling that many of us have, especially if this is you and your spouses’ first deployment. So many questions loom over you and with all of the nagging thoughts swimming around in your head, you are almost certain that it will be the end for you and your sanity.
How are we going to make it so far away from each other? What if something happens to me? To him? How are our children going to cope? What do we do with the extra money? Do we have all the paperwork we need?
Don’t fear! Remember what I said, that whole pep talk about being a warrior, well you are going to train for this journey, and by the time Day Zero arrives, you will at least have the right tools in your arsenal to fight your best fight!
Pre-Deployment = Major Stress
Pre-deployment can be one of the biggest stressors of the entire training cycle. Some people might tell you that it is worse than the actual deployment. Everyone will have a different experience, and while I can’t tell you what this phase will be like for your family, I can tell you what tried and true methods worked for us when we took the transition from normal (what does normal even mean in the Army?) Army family to Army family about to face deployment.
Let’s take baby steps, okay, people? For now, you need to make a to-do list. If you are uber-organized like Martha Stewart, then add “make a to-do list” to your to-do list. If you are more of a fly-by-your-seat type of gal, like me, then start a brand new to-do list, and at the top add “become organized”.
Deployment Organization is Key
Yes, I said it, you have to get organized. A deployment comes with a lot of paperwork. Wills, Power of Attorney’s (POAs and, yes, that’s plural), Family Care Plans, and more – and then copies of EVERYTHING. Knowing where you are going to keep these things, and more importantly, how you are going to find them when the need arises is key to heading into the deployment with confidence.
Spend the time up front to sit down with your significant other and get all of the proper documents, because, trust me, over a year’s time anything can and something will come up. And being the smart warrior chick that you are, you will be able to pull out your handy file of information and say to yourself, “I am so glad that I took time to make that to-do list.”
For more information about all the proper paperwork for you to have, I strongly recommend taking the time to attend Pre-Deployment briefings. Your significant other’s unit doesn’t take the time and put in the effort to organize these events just so they can stand in front of a crowd to hear themselves speak. Be there! These briefings are great opportunities for you to one-stop shop all of your families deployment paperwork to-do list!