With the modern day military family facing frequent deployments during times of military service, deployment support is beneficial for family members that are left behind. As a result of deployment, families are separated, leaving only you, mom, to complete the roles of both mom and dad. Where can you find deployment support while your spouse is away?
Local Support Groups
Many communities around the nation have established deployment support groups that welcome new military families seeking assistance, friendship or advice. These support groups are generally helpful for both seasoned and newbie families that are experiencing the effects of deployment.
If, by chance, your community does not have a local support group, perhaps you could form a group that would provide the necessary support to other military families that you, yourself, are seeking. Some support groups offer age-appropriate activities to assist children with their feelings related to deployment while you are participating in an adult support group.
Make New Friends
Likely, you will meet new friends through local support groups. Take time to get to know fellow military spouses as they will likely be the most appropriate and understanding form of support during your spouse's deployment. Offering to help other military spouses will more than likely yield positive results, in which others will be happy to help you as well. Offer to help one another prepare meals, run errands, exchange childcare duties or just hang out and talk.
Online Support Groups
In addition to community support groups that meet in person, you will find a multitude of online deployment support groups, aimed at providing resources and support for military spouses during deployment. Online support groups offer chat rooms, discussion boards and forums, photo sharing, idea sharing and more. Because these support groups meet online, there is no need to live in a specific area or find a convenient time to commit to participating with other members.
Provided Military Support
Because the military does realize the difficulty of being separated from your loved one, branches of the military provide deployment support for military families. For example, the Marine Corps offers a Readiness & Deployment Support program for personnel and their families. Workshops include pre-deployment briefs, kids deployment workshops and "In The Midst" workshops for military spouses and children. The Navy offers a program through the National Naval Medical Center that is able to help military spouses with obstacles and challenges that are commonly experienced during times of deployment.
While you should familiarize yourself with the various forms of support that are available to you, the spouse, it is also important to remember to support your spouse. Likely, your spouse realizes the heartache and turmoil that you are experiencing during deployment. What they don't realize is what exactly is taking place in your life and the life of your children. It is important to mail out care packages frequently or write letters. Involve your children in this process and encourage them to write letters also.