It has been an honor to receive so many emails over the years from spouses (or girlfriends/boyfriends) who are looking for pre-deployment advice. I have finally narrowed it down to 3 areas. Please feel free to add any more!
1. FINANCES: My husband has the tried and true formula he likes to share with others regarding deployment fiances. “Take all the money you will make for combat pay, the money you save because you do not spend any, all other special allowances, add those together…and multiply by zero. ~My Husband~” Yep, ,your truly was a little guilty of not doing well in the finance department, which did not make hubby thrilled. There are a gazillion stories I have heard over the year both from the service member and the spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend perspectives that would absolutely leave you speechless. That being said, finances need to be in order and discussed!!!!
2. SUPPORT: I tell all spouses and loved ones left behind, to develop as strong a network of support as they can BEFORE the deployment takes place. Do not actually decide to find out who is the unit or who might be able to help you out in a pinch when you need it most. I also add caution to this one. Though a strong network is so important, make sure those in it are positive additions to your life. Avoid negative and toxic people like the plague.
3. GOALS: We never know what will go on during a deployment, or life at that matter, but setting small and realistic goals are helpful. If you want to run a marathon by the end of his/her deployment – instead choose a half-marathon or even a 5K. Because Murphy’s Law of Deployment always seems to read its’ ugly head, shoot small. Don’t try and paint the whole house, paint a room! Capiche?