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 want to start this post out with a simple disclaimer: there is no way to be 100% truly prepared for deployment and everything it’s going to bring with it. You can read a million blogs and take all kinds of advice, but the deployment monster will always bring something unexpected out of its bag of tricks. That is the one thing you can count on.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to be as prepared as possible!
I think the biggest step towards being even semi-prepared for a deployment is to ask questions and lots of them. Some of them may be unpleasant, especially if they deal with everyone’s ultimate fear, but I think it’s really important to know those answers ahead of time just in case the unthinkable happens. I would even suggest writing them down so you don’t have to rely on memory.
Questions you should ask:
- What will your schedule be like?
- How often should I expect to hear from you and in what way(s)?
- Who can get in touch with you in case of an emergency?
- If something happens to you, how will I find out? Who should I call?
- If something happens to you, what are your wishes?
- What should I do about BLANK?
Get a power of attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is the authority to act for another person in specified or all legal/financial manners. This can be super helpful in a lot of different circumstances and I highly suggest getting one even if you think you won’t use it. You may decide to sell or purchase a home or car. Perhaps you find that you need to make some financial decisions or even pay off some debts. A power of attorney may be needed in all of these instances!
Let’s talk money, honey
I’ve shared before about what a financial boost deployments can be, but you have to talk about money in order to make that happen. The financial conversation may need to go one step farther if you split bills or will split bills during your separation. If communication or Internet will be spotty, make sure any variable expenses (utilities, groceries, etc) are being paid by you instead of your deployed loved one.
Update wills and any other important documents
This is another task that falls into the “uncomfortable” category, but taking care of them means one less thing to worry about in a time of crisis.
I’ve put together a really simple printable that will help you keep track of some life essentials in preparation for deployment. It goes without saying to be careful where you keep this information since it could be sensitive, but at least you’ll have an easy reference guide.
Just click on the image and print out the attached PDF.