Making It Through A Deployment

Making It Through A Deployment

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Image: Max Winegar – Civilian Male Military Spouse Max Winegar Shares About How To Make It Through A Deployment – Macho Spouse

 

Winegar_2.jpgIf I were to offer any advice to a military spouse either preparing for or experiencing their first deployment, I would tell them four things.

First, turn off the news! As a spouse, naturally, you worry. The media certainly does not help you out. Occasionally, I would watch the news or see internet headlines that just “grab you” to make you read. But, this really is a balancing act. If you have the news on all day, you will end up making yourself sick!


Believe me, I have been there too many times. You need to separate yourself and (for my second point) find something to do with your spare time. Some spouses may find they have no time, especially after working full time and then spending time with their kids, doing all sorts of housework, playing with their kids, etc. But, somehow, try to find time for you.

Through my wife's first deployment, after work, I spent just about every day working out in a gym and running around the neighborhood. But, granted, I was not a father during this time. Through this last deployment, I did not follow my above advice, and I can tell you the stress can really get to you! Exercise is a great release -- not only for the stress, but it also makes your body feel physically better. I've recently taken up running again, and hope I can stick with it no matter how busy things get. I recommend setting a goal for yourself before your spouse gets back.

Third, social interaction is important! This is where I think it is harder for male spouses to interact with other military spouses (which I would like to discuss soon), but joining a Family Readiness Group (FRG) allows you to meet with other spouses, discuss important events/things on your mind, and it helps you build relationships you can count on when you are in a bind. I have had the opportunity to be a company FRG Leader through my wife's first deployment and as a Company FRG Co-Leader through this last one. All of us are really a “family” and, even after our spouses get back, many of us stay in contact with each other for years to come.

Finally, teach your children to take age appropriate actions should your family have an emergency at home. For instance, I thought it was important for my eight-year-old to know how to call local emergency numbers and family members. I made a list and posted them on our refrigerator.

These are the four things I would share with a spouse experiencing their first deployment. I want to encourage other military spouses that have been through a deployment to share your thoughts or advice. And, if you are a military spouse currently making your way through a deployment, hang in there. You are not alone!

Thanks, and God Bless!

See also...

image for Do You Know Your Military Base Firearm Laws?

Do You Know Your Military Base Firearm Laws?

Did You Know?

Military Base Firearm Laws can be confusing, especially when you end up living at two different military bases within one year like I did. I own several firearms and the first time I encountered military base firearm laws was during the PCS move when the movers asked me if my firearms were registered on the base. My response..."Huh?"

This incident took place when we had to move from the Pentagon to Maxwell AFB for my wife to go to school. I was already a male military spouse for more than 10 years, but I had never thought about or encountered military base firearm laws. An interesting point to note here is that in my entire time as a male military spouse, we have lived on base once. While this may have had something to do with my not encountering the military base firearm laws before this PCS move, it had nothing to do with my ignorance of the laws.

image for The First  Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

The First Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

MMSScholarship.jpgThe School of Firearms Technology (SFT) at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and Macho Spouse have announced the first ever Male Military Spouse Day dedicated to the male spouses of America's service members. To celebrate the launch of Male Military Spouse Day, SDI is offering a scholarship opportunity for male military spouses. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be a member of the MachoSpouse.com community (registration is FREE and all we ask is your email address). This year's debut Male Military Spouse Day will see one spouse within our community win a full-tuition scholarship for the School of Firearms Technology professional Gunsmithing certificate course. The winner will also receive a complete build of an AR-15 rifle, for a total award value of more than $3,000.

SFT created this course specifically to fit within the MyCAA scholarship. However, you do not have to qualify for MyCAA benefits to be eligible for this scholarship opportunity.  Hear from Terry Fields, a male military spouse on this great opportunity in the video above.

Male Military Spouse Day

The first Male Military Spouse Day will be May 7, 2015 in order to honor the lives and struggles of our under-recognized population.
With nearly 190,000 male military spouses globally (per DoD), our large but scattered group faces significant challenges. Stigma and social disconnection complicate common military spouse issues such as underemployment and family stress, leading to a divorce rate nearly three times higher among military-affiliated couples in which the wife is the service member. (Just released stats show this high % of divorce for male military spouses to be dropping, great news, but we still have a lot of work to do!)

The purpose of Male Military Spouse Day will be to raise the public profile of this group in order to facilitate awareness of male military spouse concerns and the development of solutions to preventable problems such as social isolation and educational access. Here's what Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, had to say about being a part of Male Military Spouse Day: “Considering that Macho Spouse is the only legitimate resource available to male military spouses, it is a great feeling to be part of an official "Male Military Spouse Day." In fact, given that this is probably the first official Male Military Spouse Day ever, it's even more exciting! Now, throw in the fact that one or our members will be awarded a life-changing opportunity to receive an SDI Gunsmithing scholarship, and this will be one hell of a day!”

Gunsmithing Scholarship Opportunity

SDI's scholarship opportunity offered in conjunction with the first Male Military Spouse Day is intended to showcase the resources that are available to male spouses who have yet to take advantage of their military-sponsored My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) education entitlement. However, the Gunsmithing scholarship recipient does not need MyCAA eligibility to qualify for the award.
The School of Firearms Technology's Gunsmithing certificate course is an introductory class that teaches the knowledge and skills required to obtain an entry-level position as a gunsmith. All coursework is online and accessible from any location. Hardware for the course is shipped to the student as needed.  Graduates of SFT's Gunsmithing course will receive a certificate to present to employers as evidence of their training in the building, maintenance, customization, and legal sale of different types of firearms. Certificates can be used to obtain valid employment as a gunsmith. Many graduates take the course to get more knowledge on an enjoyable hobby or to get started on their own business. With military connections, they have a ready-made customer base.

Follow-Up Information

Macho Spouse and the Sonoran Desert Institute are initiating Male Military Spouse Day and the 2015 scholarship giveaway as a gesture of recognition and solidarity with male military spouses who struggle with economic or family stress. Readers can learn more about Gunsmith training at the online home of SDI's School of Firearms Technology or register as a member of Macho Spouse before the May 7th announcement of the scholarship winner.

About Sonoran Desert Institute: The School of Firearms Technology began in 1921 (that's even older than the NRA!), under the name of the School of Gunsmithing. Since then, it has transformed into an internationally recognized school offering multiple programs, including one of the only Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degrees in the country, some of the nation's best Gunsmithing Certificate programs, and a diverse armorer's programs. The School of Firearms Technology's elite faculty and staff include celebrated military personnel, nearly 75 years' worth of combined higher education experience, nationally recognized firearms experts and more.



 

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