Deployment Tips for Guard/Reserve Spouses
If you’re married to a member of the National Guard or a Reserve servicemember, you probably already know that deployment may happen without a lot of advance notice. Since knowledge is power, here are some tips to help you through the process:
Many people are surprised to discover how many in their community have some connection to a deployed service member. Networking to find neighbors, co-workers, school personnel, etc. will provide the opportunity for mutual support on a very local level.
The Department of Defense and each branch of the military Services provide online information for military families, including those in the Guard and Reserve. National Guard families can take advantage of the Guard Joint Services Support site for information on resources at https://www.jointservicessupport.org/fp/default.aspx. Military Reserve families can obtain information from the Joint Service Support site at https://www.jointservicessupport.org.
Referrals for a wide range of needs for each stage in the deployment cycle are available through Military OneSource, by phone at 800-342-9647 or online at www.militaryonesource.mil .
Yellow Ribbon events and family readiness activities help families prepare for and stay strong during and after a deployment. Pre-deployment events will offer information about family support in areas such as education, counseling, child care and religious support. During deployment, families are assisted with handling the impact of separation. Upon the servicemember’s return home, post-deployment activities help families reconnect.
Immediate family members of active duty Guard or Reserve members can avail themselves to the services at military installations including Army Community Service Centers, Fleet and Family Support Centers, Airman and Family Readiness Centers, and Marine Corps Community Services.
Unit family readiness groups and other programs rely on the voluntary efforts of family members, so once you become a pro at deployment, pay it forward and help someone take their first steps on their journey.
Family readiness is not only as critical to mission success, but also to quality-of-life issues for those who serve and the ones who offer the most support, their families.