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Being a military wife can be quite challenging and extremely hard, even as a girlfriend. I like to include military girlfriends, although in the eyes of the military unless it’s official you’re not a wife. Girlfriends are considered as the significant other. It’s ok, we all started there at some point in our life. Don’t let the official status discourage you if that’s the man you love stick by your man. Military life for a wife or girlfriend is a commitment that you are willing to make to support your soldier and accept that the military always comes first brings me to this post, Military Spouse: How To Prepare For Any Military Event.
As a military wife, we’ve witnessed that some military girlfriends don’t stay but the one that does stay and become a wife, deserves a shout out. With that said being part of the Military community, it comes with lots of events in which you have to attend at least once. I won’t sugar coat it military life also comes with ups and downs and changes. Whether you are a newlywed or a veteran wife once in your life as a military wife you will go through PDA (Permanent Change of Station), deployments and military events. How do we prepare for Military Event? Here are some tips that have helped me prepared for Military changes and events.
PCS (Permanent Change of Station)
What is PCS?
PCS is a Military jargon for Permanent Change of Station. It’s the official relocation of an active duty military service member along with any family member living with him to different duty location and military base.
As a military wife, there’s a possibility your soldier will be moved from one unit to another with the possibility of relocating to another state. This is the fact of life in the military. So ladies make sure your mentality and physically prepare yourself if this occurs, this is a big change in your life.
- Create a Moving Plan- Whether you are going to have the Army do the move for you or you are doing it yourself have a plan in motion.
- Keep in mind your soldier is being moved from one unit to another for a change of assignment in which he will be there for two to four years, depending on the assignment. Every unit runs different only your spouse will advise how long the assignment will be.
- Decide what furniture you are keeping and what you are not that you can possibly have a garage sale.
- Once the official Orders are received start preparing in a timely and responsible manner. ( Don’t pull your hairs out)
- Ladies do your research on where you are moving so you more or less know what’s outside the Military Base especially if you don’t plan to live on post.
- Create a PCS Binder where you will keep important documents all in one place
Ladies this is the part of being a military wife that we hate and dread. The possibility of our spouse, our soldier going off to war overseas just make our stomach into a knot. But this is a reality that we can’t ignore because it’s part of the package when we said: “ I DO”. I’m sorry but preparing for deployment is not easy. Your feelings and emotion will be all over the place, but this is the time where you have to be strong and work as a team.
- Once your spouse receives their orders about deployment the first thing as a couple you should do is talk about it. This is very important to express your emotions and assure each other you will be there for one another. It will help you plan how you are going to proceed for the next year without your spouse.
When my husband, fiancée at the time got the official word that he was getting deployed he didn’t tell me right away. It was a very hard time in our relationship because we were going through a melting point. Our son was 10 months old, and now this news he was going overseas. When he finally told me about his deployment all we were able to do is prepare and create a family care plan. We didn’t speak about our emotions and later on found out the hard way this was something we needed to Do. After that we promised each other we will talk about our feelings if another Deployment arises.
- Make sure ALL paperwork’s are in order. Your soldier has to go through a process of certain documents filled out, updated and have in order.
- Create a Family Care Plan- This is something most people don’t want to talk about or think, but unfortunately, we have to do.
- Check if all your insurances information is up to date and is correct.
- Have all legal documents up to date, like Wills, house deeds, etc.
- Create an Emergency Plan, in the event an emergency does happen you already have all in order how to proceed.
- Have FRG info on how to contact them FRG/FRO in case of emergency and you need to send a Red Cross message to your soldier.
- Know your Soldier address and info’s where he will be stationed overseas.
- Organize finances and create a budget plan, how bills will be paid, who will pay them and how.
- If you need to hire a power of attorney, do it.
- Check if the spouse and kids ID are up to date.
- Speak to your kids and let them know what’s going on, especially if the kids are older.
As a military wife or girlfriend, these are events throughout the Military Community that you should attend at least once in your lifetime. Note: Each Branch (Army, Marines, Navy, Airforce) is different therefore they plan their events differently this is just a general list.
- Graduation from basic training- This is a very important day for your soldier that signifies accomplishments throughout his training into the military. Some military post will have a family day before graduation. It’s an event to look forward to.
- Military Ball – It’s a formal event that a military branch host for military communities to get together in which spouses can attend. Service members wear their class A or Dress Blue uniform for the event. Each branch host Military Ball differently.
- Command Holiday Party– This is a great family event for the holidays. It’s filled with raffles, good food, and many activities for the kids including Santa Clause and sometimes Mrs. Clause giving gifts to the kids.
- FRG Meeting- (Family Readiness Group). If you are new to the Military family and don’t know what an FRG is don’t worry I will explain. An FRG stands for “ Family Readiness Group” it’s a command-sponsored organization associated with a particular unit. It consists of Family members, volunteers, soldiers, and civilian personnel to support and keep you informed during your soldier deployment and also during your soldier time with that unit. I’m sure you been warned or heard a horror story about FRG, yes some of it it’s true but not all FRG is the same. If your spouse gets deployed they are the best resources you need for information and support. You be the judge for yourself, give them a try.
- Yellow Ribbon Program- Is a program created by the Department of Defense ( DoD) to help National Guard and Reserve Members and their families connect with local resources before, during and after deployment. This is very important for a military spouse to attend this ceremony because it’s packed with tons of information to help with the process of deployment. Service members and their families attended classes where they will provide. information on health care, education and training opportunities, financial services and legal benefits. Some Military Unit doesn’t have the Yellow Ribbon but has something similar to it. Take advantage of all resources especially when your spouse is getting deployed.
- Tips: Yellow Ribbon Ceremony is a great opportunity to connect with other wives and girlfriends that will be experiencing the same thing you will. And when your spouse is deployed you need all the support you can get.
- Homecoming– ladies get your BOX of TISSUES ready because you are going to need it. Every ceremony is held differently but the main idea is to greet your spouse. Don’t dress like a hooch remember it’s a family event. Sorry ladies but I’ve seen some chick that I’m like wow!! You can go all out have balloons and signs. Doll yourself up in a conservative manner, hair, and makeup as well. Most of these homecomings are held at Airport, hangar or Ship you want to look beautiful yet conservative because it will be an amazing tearful moment. Tips: Have a friend or family member capture the magical moment on video or photo. You are going to be too emotional to remember to whip out your phone to snap pictures.
- Change of Commands- Depending on your spouse command/unit some don’t invite outside family members but if you are able to go to one of these it’s amazing. Some will have street/road closure for parade marches and others will keep it in-house more privately just for the soldiers. When it was my husband change of command, the only reason I was allowed to attend because of his rank. When I attended there weren’t that many family members.
- Military Family Events– Time to time your spouses unit will plan a gathering like 4th of July BBQ, 5k/10K run, family days with tons of activities for the kids.. or sporting events like football, hockey or baseball games will have Military Appreciation Day, these are great events to attend you and your kids will have a good time.
- Promotion Ceremony- This is such a proud moment for your soldier. If your soldiers been in the military for many years, you know that they will be going up on ranks. Make sure you bring your camera it will be an amazing time where you will meet some of his commanding officers.
If you are a new military wife, I Know all of this can be overwhelming and stressful. But if you get organized, most of these events won’t be so stressful that you are going to be running like a chicken with no head. Hope you find these tips useful.
How have you prepared for a military event? What did you have to do to make the process smooth? I would love to hear all about it. Don’t forget to Subscribe, and share… Sharing means caring.