The Best Deployment Advice for Military Families

Written by Chelsea Guigma

Sometimes, things unexpectedly go left and hit the fan, and we feel ready to throw in the towel during a deployment. The stress and anxiety can seem to be unbearable when our service member is deployed. Immersing ourselves into a local military community during these times is crucial for us and our families’ mental and emotional well-being. RED Day, dedicated to Remembering Everyone Deployed, serves as a vital reminder to support military families in need. This initiative offers a perfect opportunity for us to come together, showing solidarity and providing support for deployed troops and our own families during difficult times.

Remember, accessing deployment resources for military spouses can significantly alleviate the burden of deployment.

Here is the best deployment advice for military families from a military spouse:


Effects of Deployment on Military Families: The Rollercoaster of Emotions

Deployment is a critical time for military families, marked by a rollercoaster of emotional phases. Initially, we may experience deep emotional upheaval, with levels of anger or anxiety at an all-time high. We are forced to learn how to navigate life without our loved ones and take on an additional workload of responsibilities. Feelings of loneliness and social isolation can creep in from time to time. However, as the arrival countdown begins, relief and excitement take over, and we return to our usual selves. This challenging journey involves a complete whirlwind of emotions for all of us.


Advice for Staying Strong and Connected

Communication Is Key

In relationships, especially before deployment, it is important to prepare, set expectations, and discuss the roles a military spouse will assume. Proper family care planning should include authorizing power of attorney, establishing wills and living wills, and arranging life insurance. Communicating openly and transparently about the welfare of the service member and the support for their military family is essential, as is discussing the reunion and future expectations when your service member returns home.

Bridging the Gaps: Maintaining Connection Despite Deployment

Staying connected as often as possible is crucial. Creating a heartfelt gift and channeling your creative energy to make a care package shows your love and care. Personalizing your spouse’s care package fosters a connection with their family and home. This activity is a fun way to involve the kids and spend quality time together. Recording these moments to share with your service members will make them feel special.

We are truly in a golden age of digitalization. Social media and video apps such as FaceTime or Messenger enhance experiences and strengthen emotional bonds between you and your deployed service member. Sharing your life and events with them and keeping them in the loop through vlogging and reels helps them feel included in special or critical moments in their family’s lives.

Building a Support Network

​​”Is my spouse deployed, leaving me lonely and stuck inside? What now?” If this is what you’re thinking, remember you should never go through a deployment alone. Start researching local events and organizations to volunteer or participate in. You’ll be surprised by how many people are in similar situations and are eager to meet and support someone like you.

Building a support system and finding a community that resonates with your lifestyle provides the solace needed during these times. Leveraging resources offered by the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) can provide childcare, food assistance, and support networks in your area. Online platforms and social media also offer another layer of support, with numerous support groups available or the opportunity to start one to connect with military families worldwide and in your neighborhood.

Self-Care and Independence

Self-care and well-being should be prioritized in your everyday life. Sometimes, making time for yourself during a deployment will feel harder. Practicing self-care is an act of self-love, so don’t feel bad about loving yourself a little more during these tough times.

  • Enjoy a walk or a hike outdoors in the heart of nature
  • Practice meditation or pray
  • Read more personal development books or something you’re interested in.
  • Join a fitness class on base or at a local gym.

Now is the perfect time to do the things you enjoyed doing before life got in the way. When was the last time you learned a new skill? Are you thinking about or preparing to enter the workforce again? Professional development is essential to improving and enhancing your confidence and employment prospects. Engaging in both reskilling and upskilling is important and will enhance your overall earning potential and career opportunities.


Supporting Military Families This RED Day and Beyond

Wearing red on Fridays and May 17th is a powerful statement of solidarity with our deployed and overseas service members and their families. Participating in RED Day acknowledges their sacrifices and demonstrates appreciation for their dedication.

The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is here to help military families in times of deployment and beyond. Through programs like Operation Ride Home, Operation Hero, and food assistance, ASYMCA addresses the unique challenges faced by junior enlisted service members and their families. Learn more about ASYMCA’s services and programs dedicated to fostering a supportive military family community wherever duty calls.


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