The Deployment ABCs is a 26-week series where I cover every deployment-related topic, from care packages to homecomings to OPSEC. Tips, tricks and maybe a resource or two to help military spouses navigate their way through the craziness that is a deployment. If there’s a topic you’d like for me to cover or are interested in adding your own thoughts to, send me an email and we’ll chat!
I think we can all agree that deployments are difficult, am I right? And while each one is different, military spouses don’t have to go through them alone. Finding, asking for and using support is key to surviving (and rocking) a deployment. I’ve rounded up some tips and tricks from other military spouses (and offered a few myself) to make sure that you get the deployment support you need!
What is deployment support?
Support has a funky connotation for some people; needing support (like support groups) means there’s something wrong with you or your life. That mentality will only serve to hurt you in the long run, so I really encourage all military spouses to abandon it.
When you’re a military spouse, you go through a lot of life-altering moments all while having a lot on your plate. Since you likely don’t have the ability to be in multiple places at once or grow 6 extra arms, you are going to need some help to do it all. That is deployment support, at least one kind of it!
Deployment support isn’t necessarily a group meeting every week. It may be a neighbor watching one child so you can take the other to the doctor. It may be a co-worker bringing you dinner one night. It may be hiring a teenager to walk the dog every day. Or maybe it’s having coffee once a month with other military spouses and realizing you aren’t alone in this craziness. All of those are examples of deployment support!
The point of getting support during deployment is to help fill the gap that your spouse left behind and take a little of the weight off your shoulders. It makes YOU feel better by lightening your load.
Where to find deployment support?
For as many different kinds of deployment support as there are, an equal number of support sources exist.
Your Family Readiness Group (FRG) is a great place to find lots of deployment support. They may offer group social activities, provide updates on deployments and return dates and help educate new military spouses.
“Being a part of our Family Readiness Group was tremendously helpful for me. I felt involved and connected. I knew what was going on, what resources were available, and made some amazing friendships.”
–Sarah from Servant Mama
Social media is another great place to find people who get it. Be careful about who you trust with information about your life and make sure not to break OPSEC, but know that there are a lot of other military spouses waiting to connect with you.
“Find a Facebook group of spouses you can vent to. Even if they are strangers, they will get it.”
–Deployment Tips from the Seasoned Spouse
Family and friends are fantastic sources of deployment support, even if they aren’t all local. Those are your baby-sitters, dinner makers and dog wranglers. They may not completely understand what being a military spouse is like, especially during deployment. But they love you and want to help you, as soon as you tell them how.
There are countless people and groups who are ready and willing to offer military spouses vital deployment support. It can take a lot of different formats, but deployment support is key to surviving this crazy lifestyle. Where have you found support during a deployment?