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Deployment

Deployment is a time of extra stress and adjustment for your family. Planning ahead and knowing what to expect can help families navigate through this time apart. Here are some resources that could help.

Click on the links below to jump to each section.
For Families
For Couples
For Parents
For Children and Teens
For Yourself

For Families

Military Deployment Guide [PDF]
This extensive guide from the DoD contains detailed information for couples and families for all phases of deployment.

For Couples

Military Deployment Guide - Communicating During Deployment [PDF]
Pages 128–142 of this DoD guide covers the importance of communication when one member of the couple is deployed. It also reviews the advantages and disadvantages of various methods to communicate during deployment. 

For Parents

Guide for Helping Children and Youth Cope with Separation
This informative guide helps parents (and others) help children and teens deal with deployment-related separations. 

Teens and Deployment: What to Expect and How to Help
This section of the Real Warriors website provides information about what to expect from your teen, with tips to help you cope during and after deployment.

Helping Children Cope with Deployments and Reunions
The Defense Centers of Excellence has suggestions for helping your child cope with a parent’s deployment, plus tips for helping parents cope too.

Taking Care of You - Taking Care of Your Children
Check out the RealWarriors campaign that provides tips and Q&As for parents and caregivers to help children cope with a parent’s deployment, including symptoms to watch for that show a child’s distress.

Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes
Talk, Listen, Connect offers strategies and resources parents can use to help their young children cope with deployment, homecoming, and the changes needed to establish a "new normal." It provides age-appropriate examples for helping children cope with the transition of deployment.

Courage to Care for Me: Tips for Caring for Your Newborn and Yourself
From the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS), this brochure discusses what military parents of newborns can expect, tips for helping you and your baby settle in together, and tips for remembering to take care of yourself.

For Children & Teens

Sesame Street for Military Families: Kid's Games
This website is a partnership between the DoD and Sesame Street that children of military families can use themselves. The games include using art and music to express thoughts and feelings.

Goodbyes are Hard [PDF]
This interactive booklet from Operation R.E.A.D.Y helps children between the ages 6 and 8 cope with deployment. 

Separations Happen [PDF]
This booklet is intended for teens to help them communicate better with their families, cope with separation, and handle emotional expectations during the reunion stage—from Operation R.E.A.D.Y.

The "SOFAR" Guide - Talking to Your Child About Deployment and War [PDF]
From the Strategic Outreach to Families of All Reservists (SOFAR), Chapter 6 (pg 18-20) of this deployment guide contains information on the importance of family rituals and how to maintain them throughout deployment and during reintegration. 

Military Youth Coping with Separation: When Family Members Deploy
Follow this link to download Military One Source’s video program for older children and adolescents facing military deployment in their family.

For Yourself

Caring for Yourself While Helping Support Your Service Member
The Real Warriors campaign has an article on how spouses can care for themselves while supporting their deployed service members.

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