Deployments are a tough, stressful time. Preparing for them can be even more stressful as you try to not only come to terms that your loved one will be in a different country for months or even a year at a time, but as you also make sure that everything is done and affairs are in order before your spouse leaves.
In this section you will find tips from other “veteran” spouses as well as checklists and forms to help you during the pre-deployment time. As always if you have anything to add, please send it to me!
*We are currently working on a Deployment Handbook that will be available in PDF format. This book will include everything that you see in the Deployment 101 section (along with forms) and much more. So bookmark us and check back soon. Or if you are a FRG Leader / Key Volunteer and would like more information or a timeline with this is expected to be released, please contact us.*
THINGS YOU NEED
Birth Certificates of all family members
Copies of driver’s license’s and social security cards for all family members
Power of attorney’s
Addresses & Phone numbers of those to notify in an emergency
Account numbers and contact information (billing addresses, phone numbers and customer representative names) for credit cards, mortgage loan or rent, bank accounts, loans (i.e. car or student), and safety deposit box
Investment statements (i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investments)
ATM pin numbers and passwords for accounts
Policy numbers and contact information for insurance policies such as health, life, auto, disability, homeowners or renters’ insurance
Contact information for any professional help your family uses and or may need access to including lawyers, doctors, financial advisors or investment professionals, mechanics, repairmen
Maintenance records for cars, major appliances, etc.
Name of his/her unit
Names and ranks of his/her chain of command
A copy of his/her orders and travel itinerary
Your military I.D.
Your marriage certificate
Copies of both your and your spouse’s wills and living wills
Instructions about guardianship arrangement for your children
Car title and registration
THINGS TO DO
Put together a critical info binder – You will need a 3 ring binder, sheet protectors, and dividers. Label a divider for each of the following: Financial, Contact List, Accounts, Documents, & Misc. Below is a what should be included in each section:
Financial – This should include all checking and savings bank account information, loan information, credit card information.
Contact List – This should include the name, address, phone number(s), and email(s) of everyone that should be contacted in the event something should happen.
Accounts – List all non financial accounts along with their address, account number, and phone number. If you have a log in online for an account list that as well.
Documents – This should include COPIES of all family members drivers license, social security cards, birth certificates, deployment orders, and POA’s for easy access. Keep originals in a fire/water proof safe.
Misc. – Include any other useful information in this section that doesn’t fit into a section of its own.
Make a Deployment Goal List – A deployment goal list should consist of what goals you would like to accomplish this deployment for both the spouse and service member and as a couple. Whether it be a financial goal, such as saving so much money, or a personal goal such as loosing weight.
Be specific with your goals and stick to them. Setting goals for a deployment gives you both something to work too. It will also keep your head and body busy as you try to accomplish those goal(s), which is a must for any deployment.
Make a Deployment budget – You can either choose to include what extra pay you should receive or not. If you’re above goal is to save money you may not want to include the extra pay and instead immediately have it transferred to a savings account or an allotment set up to a separate savings account for that amount.
Set up allotments – Set up an allotment to any bill you can (car loans, etc.. that have a fixed monthly payment). This will make it easier to make sure things have been paid before spending any money. In fact this is a good thing to do even when it’s not deployment time. The less bills you have to worry about, the better.
Discuss last wishes – No one likes doing this, but it needs to be done. The service member should write or type out his or her last wishes so there will be no confusion or second guessing of ones self by the spouse during what would already be a difficult time. In fact now would be a good time for the both of you to do this, so the other one knows exactly what you want to happen should you “kick the bucket”.
Notify Credit Agencies – Call or Send a copy of your spouses orders and a letter stating that you wish to invoke the SCRA to all credit agencies / loans that are in his or her name so you can take advantage of the 6% interest rate given to him or her under the SCRA. (Per a user, some companies will even do it if you are the only person on the account if you tell them you are a stay at home mom. Although individual accounts of the spouse are not protected apparently it doesn’t hurt to call the creditor and find out if they will lower the rate or not).
Notify Teachers – Now would be a good time to notify your child(ren)’s teacher of the upcoming deployment. Obviously you do not want to give an exact date due to OPSEC, but a general time frame such as Spring, Fall, Early Summer, etc… will suffice and will keep the teacher in the loop. See Children & Deployments section for more info.