A deployment soon after a move can be challenging for military families, but it also brings opportunities to make friends, spend quality time with your family, and become familiar with your new home and community. Military OneSource professionals can connect you with the support you need. Here are a few strategies to help you and your family stay resilient through the transition.
Make new friends
Start building your support network at your new location.
- Attend pre-deployment briefings, meetings and chats to meet other families and find out where to go for help if you need it.
- Know how to contact the unit’s family readiness officer or ombudsman, the installation chaplain, or the rear detachment commander.
- Take advantage of programs and services like military support groups or civilian church groups.
Get out there and explore
Exploring your new area can be a fun adventure and a great way to become a local. Try these ways to get familiar with the sights and sounds of your new community:
- Tour the installation and find the commissary, fitness center, library, and family center.
- Find a good coffee shop, a bookstore or park that you and your service member will enjoy when the deployment’s over.
- Sign up for classes through your installation’s Military and Family Support Center, which can help you settle into your installation and make new friends.
- Volunteer on and off the base. Your installation Military and Family Support Center can connect you with volunteer opportunities.
You’ll be keeping in touch with your loved one whenever you can, and you can use your communications to show how well you’re handling the transition. As you explore your new area, you can do things to make your partner feel a part of your new home, too.
- Use video clips, pictures and letters in creative ways to show your new location to your service member.
- Keep a journal or a list of interesting places to visit and things to do when your service member returns, and share it when you communicate.
- Involve the whole family in your explorations so everyone can play the part of savvy tour guide when your partner comes home.
Prepare with the help of professionals
You’re not alone in this. Prepare for the deployment and get through it with help from your installation’s Military and Family Support Center. The center’s programs and services are staffed with professionals who can help with deployment issues, relocation assistance and financial management.
- Tell trusted family members where you store important papers like school records, powers of attorney and financial documents. You never know when you might need them.
- Make an emergency plan for your new home and make sure everyone knows it.
- Visit your children’s school and meet with their teachers to tell them about the deployment.
- Take advantage of programs in the Military Family Readiness System, like the Deployment Support Program, relocation assistance program or Personal Financial Management Program.
If you ever need help during this stretch, reach out for resources and services through Military OneSource non-medical counseling or through your installation’s Military and Family Support Center. With the right relocation assistance and support, you can master this move and begin the next adventure of your life.