Handle deployment, don’t let it handle you!

Thank you to our guest blogger, Trista LaBorn from A Purpose Driven Wife

Deployment SUCKS! It’s horrible to spend this much time and effort thinking the “What If’s”, worrying, getting depressed, etc. These are things that need to be done, so you can enjoy a peace of mind knowing that you are prepared for the worst.

Deployment Sucks Image

Make sure you get a POA (Power of Attornery). A power of attorney gives someone else (a spouse, relative, good friend) the legal power to act on your military members behalf. Setting up a power of attorney would allow the trusted individual to conduct business in your name, for example, banking transactions, selling or buying property, and everyday medical decisions.

Now lets talk about money during deployment, here’s an idea of what to expect. There are a few separate entitlements, and the pay is tax exempt.

Look at a normal LES and see what is taken out in federal tax per month… you’ll be keeping that while s/he’s gone. Then s/he’s also eligible for family separation pay if s/he’s gone over 30 days, and imminent danger pay if s/he’s in a designated zone. It’s a nice chunk of change… so use it wisely.

Savings Deposit Program (SDP) was established to provide members of the military serving in a designated combat zones the opportunity to build your financial savings. For more information on SDP read HERE.

Deployments can not only suck, but become depressing all at the same time, It is VERY important to surround yourself with a support group, OPEN up to someone you may trust, family members, friends, etc. If you are a Marine Corps spouse and new to your base area, one of the things I recommend is definitely start with a L.I.N.K.S class.

L.I.N.K.S. is an official Marine Corps program which helps families connect to the Corps.

It stands for:
L – Lifestyle is a way of living; in this case, it means understanding the military community and the unique lifestyle it offers.
I – Insights come from experienced Marine Corps spouses, who relate their experiences of living the Marine Corps lifestyle.  These spouses understand first hand what you are going through and who want to help you adapt to the new culture you married into.
N – Networking represents the relationships you form during L.I.N.K.S. and throughout your journey in the Marine Corps.
K – Knowledge is what you will leave with and what will help you understand and navigate the Marine Corps culture.
S – Skills learned to help you enjoy and thrive in our Marine Corps community.
Each base may have these different types of LINKS classes for spouses, kids, marines, teens, parents and extended family.
If you’re not near a base, You can also take it online.
To take links online:  

  • Log In – must use his Social Security number as log in and his date of birth for password
  • Go To Course Catalog
  • Click on Marine Corps Training Courses
  • Click on L.I.N.K.S.
  • Enroll in the course
  • Launch the course

When you first sign in, it will recognize you using your Marine’s name. Go to account information and change to your name so your completion certificate will have your name on it.

NOTE: It is best if you can take LINKS class in person.  You will make a lot of valuable contacts, and even a few friends.
My Last tip that has helped me when starting out in this military lifestyle as a new spouse and even pregnant as a new mom…
Start out looking for a church home. This may not be THE most popular tip or advice, but If I did not get into a church home, I would be lost without the advice and guidance of the women I came across when attending church.
Especially if your pregnant, you want to at least have an emergency back up for the worst case situation. Getting in touch with your FRO (Family Readiness Officer) can direct you to the necessary resources that can help you during this emotional time.
Living in a new area without your spouse can be hard and frustrating but you want to connect with someone, in case the worst happens, for more information check out my tab: Helpful Military Resources

Trista LabornBlessings,

Trista Laborn
Trista is a Christian, Mom, Marine Wife, and Business women.  She is  passionate about encouraging and inspiring moms to live out their purpose in life!  With a deployed husband, 8 year old twins and a 2 month old, she has a full plate and loves every minute of it!
For more family support links, please see MilitaryOneClick’s Troop and Family Support Page.