Welcome to Family Readiness
Deployments and Other Separations
Being a military family accords pride in serving one's country as well as providing many rich and new experiences; yet, military families do experience problems related to their unique lifestyle.
Pressures and frustrations often result from:
- lengthy separations or deployments
- single parenting during spouse's absence
- separation from friends and families
- a strained military budget
- constant adjustment to varying duty schedules, or
- career changes at retirement
Military Families can encounter problems from time to time. Pressures can become so great that many areas of life are affected. The military provides a number of agencies to assist families in coping with the stresses unique to their lifestyles. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness! It shows that you are concerned about your family and are willing to take actions to solve your problems.
What is Deployment
Deployment is the movement of a unit from this installation to an exercise area or to the site of an actual mission for:
- short-term training
- extended temporary duty (TDY) of 4 to 6 months.
- peace keeping
- peace support, or
Preparations for Deployment
Often times issues can be avoided by making preparations in advance, such as:
- Resolve family problems before the separation, otherwise, they will be worse at the reunion.
- Express your feelings and encourage others to do the same ("I love you", "I'll miss you", and "I'm frightened").
- Recognize that anger is OK, but don't take it out on your spouse or your children.
- Plan a family activity or a special family time without distractions.
- Work through the Family Member Checklist to cut down on potential household management problems.
- Set personal goals to meet during the deployment.
- Attend the unit pre-deployment briefing.
Helping Children Cope with Parents Absence
Children may have an especially difficult time dealing with parental absence, here are some suggestions that might help alleviate their concerns:
- Spend time explaining -- at the child's level --Why? Where? With Whom? How long will the parent be gone?
- Sit down with the whole family and talk about feelings -- what will happen when the parent is gone, and how it will be different when the parent returns.
- Let children share their feelings about previous deployments
- The departing parent should spend time individually with each child -- just the two of them.
- Take a picture of each child with the parent.
- Consider enrolling youths in activities, or more activities than before (scouts, bowling, arts and crafts classes, youth sports, tours, etc., are all good choices).
Dual Parent Deployment
Dual military families face unique challenges, and must carefully plan for their children by:
- having an approved Family Care Plan
- giving the person caring for your children a Power of Attorney (POA) for medical care
- making financial arrangements for all of the extra child-related expenses
- making sure the rear-detachment commander has easy access to your Family Care Plan, documents and so forth.