As Army moms, we’ve all heard that dreaded word: deployment. The first time I knew my son was being deployed, I felt so scared and sad. It was all so new and I had a lot to learn.
In this post I’m going to explain army deployments and share some resources to help support you.
So, what does army deployment really mean?
Let’s talk about what it does NOT mean. Most people think that deployment ONLY means that an army unit is being sent to a combat zone.
That is NOT always true.
Here’s the actual meaning of army deployment:
- Sometimes, army units are deployed to war zones, like Afghanistan or Iraq.
- Other times, service members are deployed to non-combat regions like South Korea, Germany or Kuwait where there is NO war.
- Yet other deployments send army service members to areas for humanitarian missions, especially to help the region after a disaster.
You can see that these deployments are very different from each other. In each scenario, the word deployment means that your soldier is going from their duty station to another destination for a period of time.
What else is common with deployment?
No matter where our soldier goes, especially out of country, it’s a challenge for family members.
- We miss our soldiers no matter where they are.
- We worry about them.
- We look for ways to communicate better. For example, if your army service member is in South Korea, read my post about Cell Phones in South Korea.
Regardess of what type of deployment, getting the support you need is important!
Where to Get Support for Family During Army Deployments
When our loved ones are deployed, it’s a challenge! Some deployments are certainly more stressful than others.
I have to admit that when my son was in Afghanistan, I was buried in a sea of constant worry. But when he was in a non-combat area, I didn’t have that burden of worry and stress.
Here are some resources that should help. I’ll be adding to these lists as I find other trusted groups.
The Army has services that help families cope with deployment:
- Family Readiness Groups (FRG). The unit FRG is the connection between families and the army unit. FRG provides news about the unit and other services. Ask your soldier who the FRG leader for the unit. Learn more about Army FRG.
- Family Training Programs. These programs are designed to help enhance deployment readiness through resilience-building training courses and other services. Learn more about Army Family Progams.
- Army Community Services (ACS). Chaplains are available to help families in times of emotional need. Also, if your soldier is having a difficult experience, suggest they talk to the chaplain for help.
Check your local community for military support services:
- Blue Star Mothers. This country-wide support organization has local chapters in many locations. Learn more about Blue Star Mothers.
- Local Church groups. Some churches have groups of military moms that gather to support each other. Check your local churches.
- If you are in Canada, National Morale & Welfare Services has many programs available. Learn more about Deployment Support in Canada.
Join online Facebook Pages and Groups. There are many that you can join. Here are the ones that I personally know and can recommend:
- Official Army Mom Strong Page. Find inspiration, support and encouragment in the largest army mom community on Facebook. Check out the Army Mom Strong page.
- Be Safe Love Mom. Elaine Brye, author of Be Safe, Love Mom, (and my good friend!) has an awesome Page where you’ll find encouragement and support from this amazing mom of four military officers. Check out Be Safe Love Mom.
- Operation We are Here. Created an organization for awareness of the challenges of the military community and provides a wealth of resources. Learn more about Operation We are Here.
- Parents of Deployed Service Members (PODS). This awesome Facebook group is run by Marcella. I met her a few years ago and she is fantastic group leader. The group is open to all branches and you will find some wonderful support there. You will have to fill out a form to join the group. Check out Parents of Deployed Service Members.
Books to help support you during deployments:
- Be Safe Love Mom. One of my favorite books from my good friend Elaine! She has coped with multiple deployments of her four children, all military officers. Learn more about the book.
- The Heart of a Military Mom. I partnered with Elaine to put together an inspirational, pictoral book to help encourage you as you let your child go to military service. Learn more about Heart of a Military Mom.
- Battles of the Heart. Tracie Ciambotti gives you a glimpse into the emotional rollercoaster she experienced when her son deployment. She also shows you how to survive the challenges that military families face daily. Learn more about Battles of the Heart. You can also read my review!
Whether our army service members are deployed to a combat zone, non-war zone or on a humanitarian mission, we face challenges! I hope you find these resources helpful as you navigate the journey of deployment with your soldier.