Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

Previously viewed stories are grayed-out.

Proactive Steps to Take in Wake of Massive Equifax Security Breach

4 Response Strategies for Interview Questions

Translating Your Military Resume for a Corporate Audience

Military Discounts on Cellular Phone Plans

Navy Offers Emergency Preparedness Tips

TRICARE and Traveling

Veterans and Vaccines

VA Related Hurricane Updates

Hurricane Related VA Med Center Alternates

Hurricanes and the GI Bill

Military Discounts on Cellular Phone Plans

How Military Spouses Pay For College

Another Hurricane Is on the Way: Is Your Military Family Prepared?

Sample Resume for a Military to Civilian Transition

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Evacuation Loans

New VA claims process promises decisions within 30 days

The Importance of an Updated Resume

How to Repair Your Reputation

Evacuation Entitlements If The Military Tells You To Go

Disaster prep: How military families can stay ready

Changes Are Coming to TRICARE. Are You Ready?

TRICARE: State of Emergency in Texas, Louisiana

New DoD benefits ‘mascot’ Robyn explains new retirement offerings

IMPORTANT, Prevent Steep TRICARE Fee Hikes Letter

GI Bill Payments Will Continue For Those Affected By Hurricane Harvey

Free Mental Health Care For Veteran Students

Here's How Harvey Is Impacting Military, Veteran Benefits

Select Service Army Marines Navy Air Force National Guard Coast Guard Spouse Member? Login Military News Military

National Parks Give Over 1 Million Free Military Passes

New to the VA World? Here's What You Need to Know

Harvey help: How military families can get emergency aid, and tips for donors

New Law to Streamline VA Claim Appeals Eases Some Protections

5 Things You Can Take from the Battlefield to the Boardroom

Air Force Boosts Pay Incentives, Targets Retirees Amid Pilot Shortage

VA Caregiver Support Line

This is the Skill All Employers Are Looking for

Annual Express Scripts Consent Coming

New Vet, Spouse Campaign to 'Ask Better Questions'

Commemorating WWI Aviation Heritage

CG National Retiree Help Desk

Vets Benefits, Military Pay Would Likely Continue in Shutdown

Tricare Users Must Approve Mail Order Drug Prescription Renewals

Trump signed the ‘Forever GI Bill.’ Here are 11 things you should know.

Smart devices can make life easier around the home for disabled Veterans

Online Network Connects Veterans and Spouses with Professionals

Trump Signs VA Funding Bill, Averts Choice Program Crisis

11 Things Employers Want from Job Candidates

As you prepare to get out of the military, don’t make these mistakes.

How Do You Write a Resume That Fits the Job?

The Top 10 Military Employers

15 Reasons The Coast Guard Is Completely Underrated

Research: You Should Attend Transition Assistance More than Once

Congress Passes New Forever GI Bill

VA to Decide on New Agent Orange Ailments by Nov. 1

VA 'STOP PAIN' Best Practices Guidelines

Service Dogs and Other Lesser Known VA Benefits

VA Medical Center plans for future national history center

VA Counseling Services

Vets Can Now Use Smartphones for VA Consultations, Appointments

Stay Informed About TRICARE

Post government Employment: Conflict of Interest?

Updating Your Resumé for a Civilian Job

5 Steps to Building a Winning Network

Making the Most of Job Fairs

The Cost of Selling A House

Air Force Gets Creative to Tackle Pilot Shortage

13 Hobbies Veterans Recommend for Dealing With Stress

TRICARE Expands Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

Upcoming Tricare Change Could Hurt Families

Commissaries Update Website

Sidewalk Sales at the Commissaries

Commissaries Offer Their Brand

Squeeze Every Dime From MyCAA

How to Quit Your (Civilian) Job

Military Principles to Help You Succeed in Your Civilian Career

Franchises: One Way Veterans Can Own a Business

10 Back to School Deals for Military Families

5 Easy Questions: Should You Go Back to School?

You asked, MOAA answered: How will TRICARE’s new enrollment rules work?

Army Offers Legal Assistance

Navy Offers Education Vouchers

Great entertainment for veterans and first responders

Top 11 Career and Transition Apps for Officers

10 Military Discounts for Spouses

7 Hot Tips on Negotiating Your Salary

Veterans among the first to benefit from cutting edge bionic arm

Top 10 Don’ts of Home Selling

See all your military benefits in one place

Business Lessons from the Tuskegee Airmen

Tricare Officials to Continue Online Portal Upgrades

How To Make The Most Of Store Loyalty Cards

New GI Bill Would Make College Education a Lifetime Benefit

Interviewing Etiquette: 14 Steps to Success



Home front help: 14 tips for dealing with deployment, from spouses who've been there

Secrets and Marriage: When They Just Can't Talk About It

5 Questions To Ask When You Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life

National Parks Pass Price for Senior Retirees to Skyrocket

How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions

AF Offers Ph.D Tuition Assistance

Cheap Lodging for Military Families

The 5 Steps to Building a Solid Personal Brand

3 Top Tips on Handling Resume Keyword Filters

Finding Careers That Fit Your Military Experience

5 Steps to Position Yourself for a Career Change


House passes fix to veterans health care tax credit controversy

5 Possible Reasons Employers Aren’t Calling You

Rules for Saluting US Flag

How to Stay Motivated and Focused During a Tough Job Search

The Top 16 Careers for the Future

Supreme Court rules in veteran's favor in closely watched divorce settlement case

Air Force Retiree Services

Air Force Warns Airmen Against Talking Politics on Social Media

Reservists to Get Equal Death Benefits Under Bill

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

70 military and veteran job fairs across the U.S. — now through January

Scam Alert: Top Five Veteran Swindles

6 tricks for veterans transitioning from college to the workplace

Hit the Ski Slopes with Military Discounts

TRICARE and Flu Shots

TRICARE and Assisted Living

New USAF Drone Combat Officer Course

9/11 Memorial Concert

5 Ways to Emergency Prep Like a Pro

Enter your Title5 Ways to Emergency Prep Like a Pro

Should You Sell Back Leave or Take Terminal Leave When You Get Out?

Yes, You Need a Business Card

ROTC & JROTC Awards Presenter Thank You

Read our Newsletter
Breaking News   
Register for News Story Emails

Home front help: 14 tips for dealing with deployment, from spouses who've been there
This Story expires on: Thursday Nov. 30, 2017

  At times while her husband was deployed, Cindy Brewer was so busy that when he called, she would just set up the laptop in the middle of the room for a video chat, and he would simply watch and listen to all the activity. 
“It would be dinner time or bedtime, and I’m not paying any attention to my husband, but he just took pleasure in seeing us cook, or have dinner, or me race around. He’d often ask for that. I think that was reassuring to him,” she said. “The kids would pop over, ‘Oh, Daddy, look,’ pop in and out of the screen from time to time.’ 

“He could kind of be there, even if he wasn’t really there. It was especially good for my husband.”

They’d often “chat” for an hour. And the setup meant that the three youngest children, then toddlers, didn’t have to sit still the whole time. 
The Brewers have 11 children, ranging in age from 6 to 27 — three are grown and married. The five youngest, all girls, are adopted. Lt. Col. Bruce Brewer is a chaplain in the Utah Air National Guard now stationed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; they’re living at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. This is the first time the family has accompanied him away from Utah. 

These video chats helped the children stay connected to their father, and helped him feel a part of the busy family even while he was deployed.  

There are multiple programs to help families prepare for and handle deployments, and resources like Military OneSource that offer assistance to families before, after and during the separations. But sometimes the best wisdom comes from the spouses themselves, so we checked in with four deployment-savvy spouses for some words of wisdom, whether you’ll be facing your first deployment or you have several under your belt.  
“There’s no guidebook — every deployment is different, every family is different,” said Air Force wife Amy Amsden, mother of seven, ranging from 2 to 18. “But if you have a strong family core, you can weather anything.” 
Lt. Col. Kevin Amsden last deployed in 2011, but the memories remain vivid, Amy Amsden said.  

Some advice from these experts, and others:

1. Know what’s out there. Whether it’s a holiday gathering, activities for children of deployed troops, even something as simple as an oil change, find out what’s available within your military community, Amsden said. 

Check out the installation’s website and social media feeds, and visit Military OneSource for militarywide programs. But don’t forget the old-school ground game: Marine Corps wife Somer Beatty, whose husband, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Geoff Beatty, has deployed five times, suggested visiting youth activity centers and family centers for ideas, even picking up a base newspaper. 

2. Find friends. Go to unit gatherings before and during the deployment to meet other spouses, Beatty said. She also found friends when she stopped into a local yarn shop, and learned how to knit, crochet and quilt. She now gets requests from others to share her skills. 

3. Know your nonprofits. During a deployment in 2013, some of the Brewer children qualified for programs offered through Our Military Kids, a nonprofit that pays for activities for children of deployed Reserve and Guard members and children of wounded, ill and injured military members.  

“That was great. The kids all had something special to do” based on age, ability and interest, ranging from dance lessons to sports camps, Cindy Brewer said.  

The OMK activities also provided an opportunity for the children to spend time with other adults at a time when Brewer was exhausted.

Amanda Rector, whose husband is deployed with the Indiana Army National Guard, said her youngest son is using OMK funds for church camp. During two previous deployments, OMK paid for swim lessons for both boys. “It makes you feel appreciated, and makes the kids feel appreciated,” she said.

The Amsden children have participated in Operation Purple camps, offered through the National Military Family Association. “Military kids are with other military kids who can relate to what they’ve been through,” Amy Amsden said. “It’s an opportunity I’d wish for every military child to experience.” 
brewer family deployment
Members of the Brewer family pose with a message to their deployed father during a recent vacation.
Photo Credit: Cindy Brewer

4. Be accepting. If you need the help, Brewer said, don’t be too proud or too shy to take it. Some friends stepped up when Brewer’s husband deployed. For example, one claimed Brewer’s share of driving duties in the kids’ carpool. “That was super helpful, a big deal,” she said.

5. ‘Dare to ask.’ Rector has realized that people want to help. “They appreciate what your family is doing and it gives them a way to feel they’re serving their country, too,” she said.

Cindy Brewer got better at asking for help during an especially difficult 2013 deployment, she said. 

“Part of asking for help is being prepared to be hurt,” she said. “Dare to ask and let it go if someone can’t help. Don’t take it personally. ... They may or may not step up. But if they don’t, don’t crawl into a hole and never ask again.” 

6. Learn to let go. “There were certain things I didn’t fight the kids on,” Brewer said. “I insist on a clean house, and I insist on [them] brushing their teeth. I gave up on wearing pajamas to bed, as long as they wear clean clothes.”

7. Set boundaries. Don’t feel guilty when denying requests from inside or outside the family, Amsden said. As her teenage son pondered summer-job options, she asked him to find something close to home so she wouldn’t need to drive him to and from work, for instance. 

“The most freeing aspect [came] after I learned to say no — shoveling off my plate until I had  a plate I could handle,” she said.
8. Stay connected. Try to include the deployed service member in family life as much as possible, as the Brewers did with the video chats. Rector videotaped her son at a recent quarterback camp, so her husband could watch it. “He felt part of it, and our son was happy he could watch it,” she said. 

In his civilian job, Indiana Army National Guard Capt. Dan Rector teaches high school history and is a football coach. Though he’s in a remote area, he’s able to text and talk on the phone with their two sons, Dane, 14, and Caleb, 11, chatting about sports and other subjects.

9. Take a deep breath. Always think before you speak, text, email, write a letter or otherwise communicate with the service member. Emotions run high on both sides of deployments.
“I think showing grace and mercy to each other is good advice, too,” Rector said. “You’re going to have conversations you regret, but being able to easily forgive one another and move past it.” 

10. Be understanding. “Everybody has to do what they need to do to get it done,” Geoff Beatty said (He and his wife were interviewed while in a car during their move from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to Camp Pendleton, California).

Things may not always be done the way the service member would do them, whether it’s disciplining children, paying bills or even redecorating.

When he returned from his first deployment to Iraq, he said, “she’d redecorated the bedroom with palm trees. The last thing I wanted to see was palm trees and desert-like colors, all browns and tans. But I was happy to be home, and I dealt with it.” 

11. Make time for you. “If you don’t, you’ll start to lose yourself,” said Amsden, the mother of seven.

She runs a piano studio, teaching 30 students. “That’s my time to do something fundamental to my soul, which is music,” she said. 
She also heads to the gym every morning, with children in tow. “That’s what I need to be a good mom,” she said.    
12. Start the countdown. Create a visible sign of progress toward homecoming. Mark the days off on a calendar, or get creative.  

One option: Count out marbles, beads, etc., to represent deployment days and put them in a jar. Each day, move one bauble from that jar, labeled “Days to Go” into another jar, labeled “Days Down.” Find some other examples here
“The worst time for me and the boys is knowing he has to go in two weeks,” Somer Beatty said. “That’s kind of our dreaded period. As soon as he’s gone, we start a countdown.”

13.  Don’t dwell. You’ll get sidetracked by thoughts that make you anxious, but try not to stay sidetracked.

“Not that you don’t think about it, because you always think about it. But you don’t fret. You can’t change it,” Beatty said.
That also goes for dwelling on what you’re giving up during the deployment. Instead, put yourself in your service member’s boots, a perspective that “helps you cope, gives you sympathy, and helps you be concerned about someone other than yourself,” Rector said.

14. Keep the routine. Continue with the family routine as much as possible, which provides some stability for children. Beatty posts a schedule, so her boys know exactly what they have to do and when.

Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

· Copyright ©2017 Charleston Chapter – MOAA P.O. Box 70421 Charleston SC 29415 ·
· Contact Charleston Chapter – MOAA · Editorial and Privacy Policy · Webmaster · Browser and Email Settings ·
· MOAA Website by ·