Deployments are slowing down and less soldiers actually deploying each time, but the difficulties of the deployment are still real and relevant. In preparing for the deployment of a partner, there are a few key things to keep in mind. I have
Prepare: Preparation is key to almost everything we do in life. We prepare for highschool by going to middle school. We prepare to run by learning to walk. Why wouldn't we prepare for a deployment as a couple? Start by getting as much information you can about the deployment. Knowing the duration and location of the deployment are great places to start, but don't forget to prepare all the necessary bill payments, car maintenance, house repairs, and anything else that you wouldn't want slipping through the cracks. One great way to prepare is to set goals together for what you both want to accomplish during the deployment.
Communication: Keep eachother informed of how you are feeling before, during and after the deployment. Good communication includes knowing what to say and when to say it. For the person at home don't forget that not everyting needs to be said all the time. If you had a bad day, you don't have to tell them all about it right away. Be a good listener and know when to bring up both good and bad news. Understand that there will be opportuniteis to talk but not as many as either one of you want. Enjoy the time you do have and resist dwelling on what you don't have.
Support: This one is pretty simple to understand but may be hard to implement. You and your partner need to know that you have eachother's support so don't forget the communication piece of this and be a good listener. Major factors for this are understanding of eachother's situations and patience with eachother. Also, use the support that you have in your family and friends. You may find that people want to be there for you and help you through the difficult times. Don't forget to make sure you use all the resources that are available in and around your local community.
Dont Stress: This is my favorite. I take pride in being pretty good at this one. Basically, don't sweat it. Embrace the good times and move quickly through the rough patches. Don't dwell on the horror stories that you have heard over the years. There are so many great stories that don't get told. Be one of those deployment success stories and spread the good news.