The PreDeployment Funk

No matter who you are, no matter how much you’ve prepared, no matter how many deployments you’ve been though…the PreDeployment funk will hit you in some way, shape or form! The level of severity varies almost like medical terms…there are various degrees of PreDeployment funk. One important tip is to be honest with yourself and your emotions – know that it is OK to go and talk to someone: a trusted friend or family member, a MFLC (Military Family Life Consultant), Priest, or counselor. Asking for help is a sign of STRENGTH and DO NOT ever let anyone make you feel negative about it! Now to civilian friends, all military spouses will agree to never ever say something along the lines of: “oh I know how you feel because my husband goes away for work…” military spouses on the same token don’t ever take their emotions for granted either because for some families having hubby away during the week or on weekends is tough! When Troy was a Youth Minister I dreaded summer time because it meant more youth group activities of mission trips, camps, retreats, etc and less time for family. It sucked but that was our life then. However I cannot compare those moments to deployment because each is its own beast!
To well meaning family and close friends that practically are family please DO NOT constantly ask or say things like; “oh have you heard from him? Oh it must be so hard…” I am personally old school Army style, my dad retired from the Army and long ago my parents taught me that “no news is good news” and now a days if you get a message from a key caller that’s no reason to freak out. I may be morbid but it’s the green suitor that you never want to see! (That’s a totally different thing to deal with that I pray I will never have to deal with).
Also to family and friend and other military spouses PLEASE DO NOT VIOLATE OPSEC (operational security). Facebook is NOT the place to post things like the date he’s going to be home etc. Guess what I know you’re excited to see your brother or sister or son or daughter but by doing those things you are truly putting them in jeopardy! Don’t believe me? Ask folks who’ve been around for a while, the term “loose lips sinks ships” is so true and very real even today! So please be informed that’s great but also stay within OPSEC!
Back to PreDeployment…please get involved in your FRG (Family Readiness Group) yet also as an FRG Leader let me tell you – don’t ask your leader for details – trust me, we aren’t withholding information, we all know how the army operates and boom something changes at the very last minute. We do our best to relay information from the command team to the families so please if you’re mad don’t use us as a punching bag! We are here to help and guide you to the resources you need. I’ve got a binder FULL of resources! (Side note if you haven’t yet I highly suggest taking Resiliency Training).
On a final note about PreDeployment don’t forget about the kiddos – even the babies – even the ones in utero (as Dr Seuss says: “A persons a person no matter how small”) so do not take their feelings for granted. Trust me I know, I grew up one and being an Army Brat is tough! I didn’t realize it at first but Sophia had a tough time way back when she was just two years old and Daddy left for the Army. He had this big blue soft blanket and she attached to it and called it Daddy’s soft blue blanket. Then we saw him for his Basic Training graduation and took video of him reading her stories. She loved to watch those movies when he was at AIT and that blue blanket – OMG she is like Linus with it – it’s now her blanket and she takes it everywhere with her! Thanks to Operation Gratitude she now has a Daddy Bear and has quickly become attached to it. Her and Troy have talked about how it’s her Daddy Bear to look at and talk to and read to, etc while he’s gone. It took me a while but now I realize the importance of acknowledging my child’s emotions. No matter what the age, deployments or long trainings, etc hit those kids hard so as a spouse it’s my responsibility to help them be resilient. There are MFLCs for children too and listen folks again, it is OK to seek help!
To all out there facing deployment or going through a deployment please know that you are all in my prayers – it’s tough and the PreDeployment funk smacks you in the face no matter what; yet I know you can rise up and be strong – ARMY STRONG! 😉

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