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Deployment Tips


Military Spouse

  • Do something special to welcome your spouse home-help the children make a welcome banner, make your spouse's favorite dessert, etc., but be understanding and flexible if your spouse is too tired to notice.
  • Give your spouse time to adjust to being home. Don't tightly schedule activities for them. Don't expect them to take on all their old chores right away. Understand that your spouse may need time to adjust to a different time zone, a change in food, etc.
  • Plan on some family togetherness time. Suggest a picnic or a special family meal. Time together helps the returning spouse to get back into the rhythm of family life.
  • Be patient and tolerant with your spouse. He or she may not do things exactly as before. New experiences during deployment may bring changes to attitude and outlook.
  • Stick to your household budget. Don't spend money you don't have on celebrating your spouse's return. Show you care through your time and effort.
  • Don't be surprised if your spouse is a little hurt by how well you were able to run the household and manage the children without them. Let them know that your preference is to share family and household responsibilities with them no matter how well you did on your own.
  • Stay involved with your children's school activities and interests. Don't neglect the children's need for attention as you are becoming reacquainted with your spouse.
  • Stay involved in your own activities and interests, but be flexible about making time for your spouse.
  • Don't be surprised if children test the limits of the family rules when your spouse returns. It's normal for children to want to find out how things may have changed by acting up a bit. Consistent enforcement of family rules and even-handed discipline are key to dealing with acting out.


  • Go slowly - don't try to make up for lost time
  • Accept that your partner may be different
  • Intimate relationships may be awkward at first
  • Take time to get reacquainted
  • Forget your fantasies
  • Reassure your children
  • Seek help for family members if needed

(Developed by David Gretsch, Mobilization & Development, Ft. Hood MWR)


Deployment Checklist


  • Attend mobilization meetings and take notes Know the exact name of unit
  • Know the names and ranks of chain of command
  • Have a copy of your service member's orders
  • Know service member's travel itinerary
  • Know service member's full name, social security number, and complete military address
  • Have emergency plans in place

Your Finances

  • Plan ahead
  • Discuss what and when bills are due, where receipts are kept, etc.
  • Have enough saved
  • Create family budget

Around the House

  • Extra set of car keys
  • List of repair persons to call
  • Location of utility (water/electricity/gas) shut off valves
  • Know your neighbors

Family Matters

  • Child care plan
  • Elder care plan
  • Emergency plan for pets


Legal Affairs

  • Have Will
  • Have Power of Attorney
  • Have Military I.D.


  • Pre-addressed, stamped post cards, pens
  • Seek counseling if necessary


Red Cross

  • Know how to contact your local American Red Cross
  • Know name of local Red Cross
  • Know address of local Red Cross
  • Know telephone numbers
  • Duty hours
  • After-duty hours


American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides service to military families 24 hours a day, seven day a week. Get familiar with the chapter and keep the address and telephone numbers on hand.

You may reach us at:

Greater Long Beach Chapter
American Red Cross
3150 E. 29th Street
Long Beach, CA 90806

Emergency Communications 888-737-4306

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