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Deployed! U.S. Military Deployment CheckList for Military Wives / Spouse

Updated on January 20, 2013

A Brief (but important) Military Deployment Checklist for the Spouse

  • You hav a current power of attorney that will not expire until he returns
  • You know how to acquire a copy of his LES from www.dfas.mil
  • You have agreed upon a pre-determinded amount of money that he will take out of the account every month. You must agree to these terms before he leaves! (You can also establish a separate checking accounts to avoid money mix-ups.)
  • He has "briefed" your children about where he is going and when he will return.
  • You have the number to the command (or another emergency contact number) in case there is a problem.
  • You know the procedures for sending a Red Cross message if necessary.
  • You have arranged for someone to check on you (such as a friend or family member) at least weekly.
  • He has taken care of all military paperwork and allotments. It is sometimes very hard to conduct military business for your spouse, even with a POA.
  • He has called all of his family members and notified them that he is leaving. You do not want to take care of this after he is gone, especially if you have in-law problems.
  • He knows how he can reach you based on your schedule. (You will be visiting your parents in June, etc.)
  • He has a phone card/ cell phone that works from overseas.
  • You have his familys phone numbers and know whom to contact in case of an emergency. In turn, his family has your number and knows how to contact you in case Aunt Mabel gets sick (or another emergency occurs.)
  • He has checked the car to be sure that it is in tip-top condition. It will never break down until he is gone.
  • You know what is and is not allowed in care packages based on the regulations of the command and his destination country. (For instance in some countries "Maxim" magazine is considered porn and is therefore illegal.)
  • Your name is on all of your utility bills. Some of these companies will not talk to anyone who is not on the bill, POA or no.
  • He has checked smoke detectors and air filters in your home and shown you how to do the same. He has taught you how to do the things you are not accustomed to doing yourself such as lighting a pilot light, taking care of the lawn, etc.
  • You have given a trustworthy neighbor a set of keys in case you get locked out.
  • If you are not already taking care of the bills, he has left you a list of the ones that need to be paid and when.

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    • charlamoss profile image

      Charla Moss 4 years ago from Apopka, FL

      As an Air Force Veteran AND a former Air Force Wife, I totally agree with your comments. Once I became a military spouse, I decided to get involved and volunteer at my husband's unit and at a base-wide level. The Air Force has a base/unit program called "Key Spouse" program. The program is run by the base Family Support Center. Each squadron should have a "Key Spouse."

      The "Key Spouse" should be a family member, vs an active duty military person, so that they are always and not deployable. If your spouses unit doesn't have a "Key Spouse", think about taking on the position. The main job of the "Key Spouse is to serve as a link between the family members and unit leadership. Also, they serve as an information and referral resource.

      I also worked at the Family Support Center as the Asst. Family Readiness program Coordinator. My main job was to take care of the military family members, year round, not just during deployments. While I worked there, I saw spouses coming in for assistance for all of the above mentioned items you listed. It was just a given, that everything that could go wrong, happened, once the military member deployed!

      My best advice, speaking from experience, is to make sure that you know everything you need to know, BEFORE, your spouse deploys. You have to be proactive, not reactive. Make sure you don't just have a copy of the LES, but know how to read it. If there are pay issues, the Finance office will not talk to you, unless you have a current Power of Attorney.

      The military member isn't the only one who needs to have a current POA, you, the spouse need one as well. If something were to happen to you, while your spouse is deployed, someone needs to have the authority to make decisions on your half. Make pre-arrangements for someone to take care of your children, on a temporary basis, should you become unable.

      If you have any questions about life as a military spouse, send me a note. I was an active duty Air Force member for 7 years, an Air Force spouse for 11 years, and worked at the base family support center as well.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good advice - especially about the car breaking down. Might add to the list a mechanic your spouse have checked out before he/she leaves. Blessings on all who serve both overseas and at home. What a debt we owe y'all !

    • gjfalcone profile image

      gjfalcone 5 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      This is crucial to understanding the devastating effect of war upon military families. As a ex-member of the military, I get the ramifications of your situation. It is horrific. Thank you for sharing. This is a vital hub that points out the overwhelming sacrifices military families endure in the name of patriotism. God Bless you and yours.