The Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) hosted its second Spouse Deployment Training class of the season on Nov. 14. The first was held Nov. 10. These courses are typically offered twice a month at the A&FRC, but Team Hill units can also request individual opportunities as needed for upcoming deployments.
This course was offered to “better inform and prepare spouses and families on programs available to them through the three phases of deployments: pre-deployment, deployment and reintegration,” said course instructor Master Sgt. Carrie Morgan, A&FRC. “Overall, our goal is to better prepare the military member and their family by easing the burden through program awareness. We also aim to ensure the spouses and families feel connected to the military family while their loved-one is away.”
The class included a slide briefing detailing resources available to them before, during, and after a deployment. There are numerous ways families can prepare for a deployment- whether by attending the pre-deployment processing with their deploying member, taking advantage of free childcare, creating Hill Hero dolls for comfort while a loved one is away, preparing financially and legally, and more. These methods of preparation are designed to help families set their minds at ease before large changes.
Common emotional phases of a deployment were discussed and methods of coping, such as counseling, were offered. Tips for spouses were also offered to help make the deployment go as smoothly as possible.
While deployed members are away, spouses have access to an oil change, free childcare, webcams and internet access for communicating with your spouse, support groups with free family activities, and more.
When loved ones returns home, there is a time period of reintegration. Free childcare, a couples reintegration dinner, and more are available for families transitioning back in to life at Hill.
“Ideally we would like all deployed spouses and/or families to attend during the pre-deployment phase. When the classes are offered at the A&FRC, children are always welcome to come. If they are unable to attend in the pre-deployment phase, then at any time during the deployment process, we would like them to come,” said Morgan. “It’s important to ensure we are disseminating this information to the masses. There are some fantastic programs available before, during and after a deployment and this briefing is one way of ensuring these families are not missing out.”
For more information about available resources for any of the three phases of a deployment, call the A&FRC at 801-777-4681. “Some of our programs are available only to Air Force and Reserve families, but not all. There are some great events and programs available to ‘all military families’ regardless of branch or component,” said Morgan. “Because our tracking system varies throughout the sister services, we may not have that family loaded to our tracking system.”