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Easing School Transitions for Military Families
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What You Didn’t Know About Deployments

07/06/2016 Published by: Amy Soupene

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Recently the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines released their “hot spots” around the world.  Follow the links and see where our nation’s armed forces are deployed.  It truly is all over the world.  So often we hear the term deployment and we automatically think of combat.  While this is true, it is not always the case.

To be prepared for the combat tours, our military must train.  Training is imperative to their success.  However, training also takes time.  It can be several days, several weeks, or even several months.  To the family left behind, whether it is combat or training-related, their service member is gone.  And as the saying goes, “Gone is Gone”.

Of course, combat tours bring more stress due to the increased danger.  But ask any military spouse, we all know tragic accidents can happen during routine training.  Fortunately, these accidents are infrequent. 

After these training missions the military member returns home tired, dirty, and hungry.  And so the reintegration begins with a needed shower, a meal, and a nap.  Next, it’s time to catch up with family.  Depending on how long they’ve been gone and the stress of the deployment, reintegration time will vary.  Then, after things seem to settle down and life returns to normal, it is time for another deployment.

This battle rhythm is the norm for military families all over the world.  I think it is important for us to realize that our military families sacrifice much and rarely ever say anything.  It is what they do, it is their life, their reality.  Many wouldn’t have it any other way.  They do whatever they have to in order to support the one they love.

This commitment takes a toll on even the strongest of family units.  When the military member is gone, the spouse must find a new normal to the day.  This can work itself out in new habits and new expectations for the children.  It may be rough going at first but soon everyone will get used to this new routine. 

Routine is key.  It is what makes the days pass and it imparts a sense of order.  This is imperative when there are so many other aspects of your day that are out of your control. Just being a single parent is challenging, add in the unexpected break-downs and bills and it turns into a totally different beast.

Let’s not forget that while our loved one is away we miss them terribly.  We impatiently wait for emails or a phone call.  There is nothing more bitterly disappointing than waiting and waiting for that phone call, only to miss it.

This shift in the home life dynamic has ripple effect on the children.  Even if the remaining parent handles the deployment well, daily life is undeniably different.  Military-connected children are highly resilient and adaptable.

These types of experiences shape them into unique problem solvers.  Every person they meet has the potential to be a positive influence.  Military children reside in every zip code.  If you work with kids in some capacity, chances are very good that you are crossing paths with military children.

Think back about a time in your life that was difficult.  What type of person did you most want to have in your life then?  Become that person for someone else.  I love the idea of becoming the person you wanted in your life when it was hard.  Imagine what it would be like to be a child that experiences the frequent deployment of a parent.  Imagine the sense of loss, fear, sadness, or even anger. What kind of person do they need?  Can you be that champion for them?

Why not go a step further and look into a professional development course designed to help you understand and empower military children?  We do offer many professional development seminars and trainings. If you are interested, please look into it.  MCEC Trainings 

The reason for my blog this week, however, is to highlight our military families and the very real sacrifice they make on behalf of our nation.  I hope this information leads you to action.  Ask yourself, what can you do today to make a difference?  Be brave enough to answer and step out.

 

Wishing you all the best,

~Amy

 

***Help us get the word out about SchoolQuest™ by liking us on Facebook!   Please visit our Homeroom on-line community and join the discussion. We’d love to hear what your thoughts are about this important topic!  SchoolQuest™ is an initiative of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®).   Follow us on the MCEC® Twitter feed . . . for the sake of the child!  

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