Six things to do before you separate from the military

There are a lot of bennies to being active-duty military – freebies, discounts and other little benefits, both from the military and civilian sides - that we often we forget about. If you are retiring or separating from the military for other reasons, be sure to do these five things first:

 


Christmas – Deployment Style

By Samantha Carroll

We love celebrating the holidays with our soldier when he is home. We enjoy decorating, shopping and attractions that are fairly local. And often times, our families will come to us.

When he deploys though, I usually pack up the motorized sleigh with presents, dogs and our daughter and cover the miles spanning both sets of grandparents. The year 2012 was no different. My husband left on December 15, so with 10 days until Christmas, my 4-year-old daughter and I used that time to keep busy and prep for the craziest road trip yet.


This Deployment, is Lonely

Some deployments, I’m determined.  I have projects.  I know we’ll get stuff done.  We’ll do home improvements and learn things.

Some deployments I’m happy, believe it or not. Fun things keep me busy, and I don’t have much time to e-mail and dwell.

Some deployments I’m serious. Worried about bills and broken appliances. Wondering about our child’s education.

Some deployments I’m sad. Watching our child take her first steps without him.  Reading how hard it is for him in between the words in his email. Upset he’s missing another birthday.


Local Languages are Tough, But Try

I am trying to learn German. I really am. On year six of living in this country, you would think this would be easy by now.

The Germans are fond of compound words. And using two layers of language – the “formal” vs. the “informal.” There are also different dialects that have many different words for the same thing. Add to this the fact that Germans are fond of correcting you when you speak incorrectly, and the language only becomes more intimidating.


Baby Arrives, Daddy Deploys

They tell you labor gets easier and shorter.

Well, I had a 10-hour labor with my first child, a four-hour labor with my second, and a 48-hour labor with my third.

It was long, painful and shocking. My son was born at home after almost two days of labor.  He came into the world face-up, with both arms by his head, weighing nine pounds and a full inch longer than both his older sisters.

He also was born hours before his father deployed.

It was the biggest shocker about his birth entirely.


The Wandering Life: Childbirth Overseas, An Experience Like None Other

By Jan Childs

My son will turn 14 in a few weeks. He was born at the 121st Military Hospital at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea.

The staff was a mix of Americans and Koreans, and on that particular night – Oct. 10, 2001 – there were two Korean nurses on duty in the OB unit.


As it All Comes Crashing Back

The first time I went to college, my husband was deployed. It was only my three- year-old son and me, and we had our routine down to a fine science. It was difficult at first, but we learned pretty quickly that we had no choice to accept that we needed to make it work.

That year, I maintained a near 4.0 GPA, became a Phi Theta Kappa honor student, and kept a pristine house. Seriously, it was immaculate all the time.


Coffee, Wine and Cookies

A friend of mine is mid-deployment.  Her husband has been gone; her out-of-town company has left. 

Due to the school schedule, vacation time is over.

And, well, she’s stuck.  It’s the deployment doldrums.

And so, yesterday, I left on her doorstep coffee, wine, and cookies.

Last week, after I survived the biggest event I run for a non-profit all year – with only a few minor panic attacks – I flopped down in my bed.

My husband found me an hour later, staring at the ceiling, seemingly checked out.  Or dead.  At the time, he said he wasn’t sure which.


10 Ways to Help A Grieving Spouse

During my husband’s worst deployment, in the midst of the surge in Iraq in 2007, I dreamed over and over that he had died. I had visions of what I would do if that happened, how I would react and how I would grieve.

Later, when he was deployed as a commander of nearly 1,000 soldiers in 2010, I had visions of a different kind: What would I do if one of our soldiers was killed, and I was called upon to help the spouse?


Decisions, Decisions - Teetering Between Your Hopes and the Military's Needs

We are talking about what lies ahead lately.

We have a year, maybe less than, and with such frequent deployments, my husband knows he’s in the hunt for our next set of orders. And soon.

After the holidays, we will have to decide – along with the rather severe and not always so accommodating needs of the Navy – where we are going.

East Coast or West Coast; North or South; a maintenance or teaching job.

We could move to somewhere we used to live; we could move to a whole new location.

It’s all very exciting. And, exhausting.

Pages

$6,000 SCHOLARSHIP
For Military Spouses
Apply for the Salute to Spouses scholarship today and begin your education! You’ll be on the way to your dream career.
BLOG CATEGORIES
MONTHLY ARCHIVES

© 2013 SALUTE TO SPOUSES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED