141st - Family Readiness Tips

Family Readiness Tips

Deployment and separation from family and friends is never easy. Every member of the family is affected when you are on a deployment. Are you and your family ready if you have to leave home for an extended length of time? Here are some tips to help ease the burden of family separations.
Getting Organized 

Develop a budget. Find out what your pay will be while on active duty. Your pay will go to direct deposit on the 1st and 15th of the month. Who will pay your bills? Determine what costs are likely to change (childcare, phone, postage). How and where will family members obtain medical services?

Does your spouse know how to read your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)? Do you have names, addresses, and phone numbers of all close family members? Make sure someone knows the location of important documents. Insurance policies, wills, deeds, mortgages/lease agreements, automobile title, tax paperwork, etc?) Other areas to consider are household maintenance and automobile maintenance.

Survival Guide for Military Members - Know your fears. Will your family need/want you? Talk about your fears and concerns with others. Get involved in activities, services programs. Be clear in communicating - don't second-guess. Communicate with each child individually.

For a more complete list of emotional signs and coping strategies broken down by age groups, <>click here<>.

Talk about deployed member daily. Communicate in age-appropriate manner. Recognize acting-out behaviors. Avoid "Wait until your father/mother gets home!" Stay in touch with teachers. Involve them in activities (sports, scouts, church, etc)

Communication is a key ingredient to a successful TDY/Deployment! Telephone pre-paid phone cards, Hearts Apart morale calls, letters/post cards, tape recordings, e-mail, teleconference video calls though our Communications Flight.

Practice the Four M's. Maintain your life, exercise, socialize and eat well. Manage your life, love, praise, and forgive yourself. Monitor your life, check yourself for stress signal. Maneuver your life; relieve your stress through relaxing, etc. Keep in touch with other deployed spouses. Seek assistance if you need it. Send CARE packages!

Families should discuss the following: burial instructions, cemetery plot (deed), and guardianship (single/dual) death benefits.

Information and referral to on and off base agencies. Special programs for deployed personnel and families: e-mail, Hearts Apart Morale Calls, (free phone calls), Give Parents a Break, free childcare for four hours twice a month. Employment assistance, family life education programs. Videotapes are available to check out on family issues.

Chaplain, legal and family advocacy (counseling).

Readiness Checklist:

As a member of the Air National Guard family, it is important to be ready for deployment. This list should assist military members and their families in developing a file of vital information in case the military member is deployed. 

-Personal Inventory Record (DD Form 1543)
-Family Care Plan (If applicable) (DA Form 5305-R or AF Form 357)
-Certificate of Acceptance as a Guardian or Escort (If applicable) (DA Form 5840-R)
-Power of Attorney (DA Form 5841-R)
-Employment Documents Record
-Application for I.D. Card/DEERS Enrollment (DD Form 1172)
-Tax Return Documents
-Start/Stop Allotment (DD Form 2558)
-Record of Emergency Data (DD Form 93)
-Medical Forms/Documents/Immunization Records
-Insurance Forms and Policies
-Copies of Birth Certificates/Marriage License/Divorce Decrees
-Financial Obligation Documents
-List of Important Names/Telephone Numbers
-Household Inventory/Personal Property Records i.e., Deeds, Mortgages, Titles, etc.
-Bank Account Numbers/Investment Documents
-Deployment checklist for single military members 

Because of the importance of your personal documents, keep this file in a SAFE and SECURE place. Be sure your spouse or a family member knows where this file is located.