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McChord Enlisted Spouses Club
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McChord Newsletter

 Here are ways to assist in preparing for your spouse's deployment.

Family Readiness checklist:
  • Are there any Pre-deployment briefings happening on base?
  • Do you know your spouse's organization First Sergeant's or Commander's name and phone number?
  • Do you know your spouse's social security number?
  • Is your military I.D. card current or about to expire? What about for your children that will be turning 10 years of age in your absence?  Do you have the proper paper work?
  • Has the car maintenance been discussed?  Where should it be taken for repairs?
  • Do you know who to call for house maintenance?
  • Do you know about the various agencies such as the Family Support Center, Family Services, Air Force Aid, Chaplain and what each agency can do and when to contact them?
  • Do you understand how to use the TRICARE medical facilities? The number of the family primary care physician? Is your family enrolled in the DEERS program?
  • Do you have a child care provider or alternate and their information? Do you have your child care schedule outlined?
  • Do you have a list of emergency contact numbers that can be easily accessible?
  • If the deployment is for an extended period, do you have an agreement for frequency of letter writing? Do you know how to complete assignment/deployment address?
  • Have you discussed where your spouse is going, when they will return with your children?
  • Have you and your spouse made will and are they current and in a convenient place?
  • Have you discussed or obtained the need for a power of attorney?
  • Do you have an adequate allotment or access to funds?  Enough to cover rent, utilities, food, bills and other expenditures?  Build a budget.
  • Does your spouse know the process for moving household goods if TDY leads to PCS?
  • Have you discussed with your spouse your feelings about deployment and how to handle the return?
  • Do you know where important family documents are located? i.e. Birth certificate, orders ect.
  • Have you given your home a security check?  Locking windows, door locks, secured outside buildings, access to combination locks or have spare keys, how to test smoke alarms, light bulbs ect.
  • Do you know how to reach your deployed spouse during an emergency?

Helping yourself and children during deployment:

  • Create a support system with others whose spouses have been deployed.
  • Look for positive events and people. Don't get caught up in negative thinking or emotions.  Positive relationships mirror growth. 
  • Make use of base family services
  • Set goals for yourself for example taking a car care class, resuming a hobby or taking college classes.
  • Keep a journal of you and your children's growth while your partner is gone.  Include pictures or videos and share them when the family is together again.
  • Let the children have pictures of the deployed parent in their room. 
  • Explain to your children as often as necessary about why the other parent must leave, where they are going and with whom.
  • Show your children picutres or on a map the area of deployment so they have some idea where mom or dad is going.
  • Emphasize family contributions the children can make, from setting the table to walking the dog.
  • Make sure children know they are loved and missed.  Explain that they deployed parent may not be able to call or write often.  The deployed parent may want to leave presigned birthday cards with with the remaining parent just in case the mail service is erractic. 
  • Work with your child's teacher, keep tabs on child's performance in school.
  • Try and keep a regular routine with your child.
  • Take advantage of the give parents a break program which offers free child care.



For help in answering the above questions, contact your Airmen Readiness Family Center (Family Support Center), 982-2695.