Deployments Tips

Read these 13 Deployments Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Navy tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How often should you keep in touch?

Write Letters

Keep in touch as much as possible. Write lots of letters, and be creative. Try to keep whining and complaining to a minimum on both sides. Take pictures and send those with writings on the back of where you are and what you are doing.

   
Are your wills up-to-date?

Before You Leave 2

Put your wills in order. Make sure they are up to date and say exactly what you want. Also make sure to give your spouse power of attorney in case anything should come up that only you can handle, and you're miles and miles away.

   
How can you ease the departure from your family?

Tips before the Deployments

Spend family time together, like camping, or a barbecue, or a picnic, or just a day at home as a family. Take lots of pictures so the kids can keep their hearts close to you. Also make sure to take time out for you and your spouse as a couple too with a romantic evening. Give them a small memento of the evening to remind them of you when you are gone.

   
Is there a good way to keep in touch with family?

Communication During Deployment

Deployment involves a separation period between the service member and his/her partner, friends and family. It is vital that plans to keep in touch are made prior to deployment, and that you stick to these plans. Communication during a separation period is essential as it boosts morale for both the service member and those left at home. Also, by keeping each other up to date on changes regarding finances, personal experiences, achievements, friendships, goals, etc. the reunion process can become less awkward.

   
What is a care package?

Care Packages

A care package is exactly what it sounds like-a little bit of home that says "I care for you", "I love you", or "I am thinking of you". Care packages are also morale builders during a deployment. With a little planning they can be a great link over the distances. When you get your first "Thank You" letter, you'll be eager to start your next package.

__ While shipboard life today is relatively comfortable compared to the old days, the rare commodity is privacy. Be careful of what you send. It will undoubtedly be seen by a number of people.

   
What should you do before you leave?

Before You Leave

Make a list of things that need to be fixed, and get those things up and running. For example: Get the cars working, make sure the washer and dryer are working, etc. Complete any maintenance around the house. Something always happens when you're away, but it makes it a little easier for spouses who remain home.

   
How should letters be treated?

Letters

Letters are your "lifeline to sanity"; wait until you have not received one in a while and see if you don't think so. But it takes a special skill to write a letter during deployment. You should avoid writing phrases such as "Everything is falling apart and I can't handle it without you" or "Everything is falling apart but I don't need you any more to fix it".

   
What kind of planning helps communication?

General Information

Prior to deployment, get together with those you intend to keep in touch with and make some decisions about communication.
How often you will write? How often do you expect to be written to?
How many phone calls will you make and when? How long can you afford to talk?
Decide in advance in the advent of bad news or problems, how much you want to share?

   
How can you make the deployment of your spouse easier?

Take Pictures

Take a couple of rolls of film of your spouse and your children, over the course of a few days, for instance, brushing teeth, making pancakes, playing in the sprinkler, reading a book. Then make up little books, one for your spouse, and one for each of your children, so that they can keep each other near while the parent is gone.

   
How can you cope with the deployment of your spouse?

Make Friends

Make new friends with other spouses in your unit who are going through the same thing. Invest lots of time in your children. Go to museums, parks, out to dinner (even if it's just a picnic). Go on the Internet to military chats if you are not near any military folks.

   
What should you do while your spouse is deployed?

Keep Busy

Keep yourself as busy as you can. Get a job, take up a hobby; take some classes. Do something that you probably wouldn't do if your spouse wasn't deployed.

   
Should I stock up on supplies?

Stock Up

Start planning for a deployment or long patrol in advance. Make sure you save plenty of money so that your bills can be paid while you are gone, as well as have extra for visiting each port. You also may want to stock up on the things you will need underway: toiletries, film, batteries, etc., so that you are not rushed to find these items the week before you leave, and so it doesn't put such a dent in you bank account.

   
Should I have a Power of Attorney?

Problems

Problems may arise while your spouse is on patrol or deployed, so it is a good idea to have a Power of Attorney made out so that in an emergency you can handle such things as problems with pay, taxes, leases etc.

   
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Christina Chan