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A spouse's guide to deployment preparation
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Cooley, Yokota Airman & Family Readiness Center readiness NCO in charge, talks to Akane Mason about opportunities available to her during her husband's deployment. The A&FRC offers multiple programs before, during and after deployment to assist military members and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Desiree Economides)
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A spouse's guide to deployment preparation

Posted 9/8/2011   Updated 9/8/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Desiree Economides
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/8/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan  -- Though deployments present challenges for any family, the Air Force offers a number of programs and services designed to ease the burden for those back home.

"As our service members dutifully answer the call to serve... the effectiveness of our Joint force depends largely on the ability of our service members and their families to manage deployment-related challenges and bounce back from setbacks," said Gen. Norton A. Schwartz at the July 21, Caring for People Forum in Arlington, Va.

Part of managing the deployment-related challenges mentioned by General Schwartz is to know who can help, what services are available and where to find them.

Here at Yokota, family members can receive help from a number of agencies on base to include the Airman & Family Readiness Center, Family Advocacy, Military Family Life Consultants, the Chapel and Squadron Key Spouses.

"To take care of our Yokota families, we work together and try to figure out a way to reach everyone in the way they need," said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Cooley, Yokota A&FRC readiness NCO in charge.

The A&FRC has a number of programs available to help families during deployments. These services range from coupon booklets, to car-care certificates, classes, luncheons, outings and once-a-month babysitting services.

To receive these various opportunities, dependent spouses will need to bring in a copy of their deployed spouse's orders and show their valid dependent ID card, said Sergeant Cooley.

In addition to knowing what services are available during a deployment, service members and their dependents should also know how to prepare prior to deployment.

"The most important thing you can do as a deploying service member is to take care of your family and what they will need before you leave," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Goins, 374th Family Advocacy resiliency element NCOIC. "Doing so will help tremendously in keeping everyone less stressed."

Before leaving, deploying Airmen should take care of any powers of attorney, ensure personal finances are in order, update their family care plan and verify dependent ID cards will not expire, so their families are taken care of, said Sergeant Cooley.

To learn more about programs offered for family members during deployments and how to prepare for a deployment, please contact the A&FRC at 225-8725.

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