If you are married to a Marine, more than likely your Marine will be deploying overseas several times. It can be a tough decision whether or not you want to stay at the military base you’re stationed at or move back home to be with family and friends. I’ve done both, but read about some other pros and cons and make up your mind for yourself. Think about your support system and where you will do the best. Make sure you surround yourself with other strong military wives—don’t get caught up in drama or bad situations.
Should I stay on base when my husband deploys?
PROS: You will be surrounded by loads of other spouses in the exact same situation as you. When you vent about being upset or frustrated, people will understand. You will also have resources at your fingertips being on a military base. If you live on base, your neighbors will be checking up on you and offering a helping hand, knowing that your spouse is gone. You will make friends with other spouses in the unit and there will be other spouses to get together with on a regular basis.
CONS: You won’t have the comfort of having your friends and family around. This is a safe place for many and a good place to lean on others.
Should I move home when my husband deploys?
PROS: You will have your family and friends at your fingertips. You can potentially save some money if you move in with a parent, sibling or friend.
CONS: If you move out of your house, you will have to pack it up, move it, and store it yourself. Living with family or friends for six months is a long stretch; people will more than likely get on your nerves and you won’t have a place to escape to. If you encounter a problem and need military assistance, you will be on the phone and computer trying to get answers.
How to Read an LES
LES: (Leave and Earnings Statement). This is big and you will want to know this. When your spouse is deployed, all sorts of extra money will be coming your way and you will want to make sure that it is right. Here is an example of a deployment to a dangerous location (because this is an example, none of the numbers add up in totals because they have been changed off a real LES).
Buying a car or motorized vehicle while deployed
One of the benefits of being deployed for 30 consecutive days or more, is that you can get some great discounts on cars, trucks, or other motorized vehicles like four wheelers or motorcycles.
Military Advantage Program: (All Countries outside of US): Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, Harley Davidson, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury.
Auto Exchange Online: (Germany, Italy, UK, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Bosnia and some others): Audi, Infiniti, Volkswagon, Nissan, Mazda, Landrover, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Victory motorcycles, Polaris
Military Auto Source: (All Countries outside of US): Victory motorcycles, Volkswagon, Audi, Nissan, Mazda, Infiniti, Landrover
Daddy Dolls: If you have young children at home and your Marine is getting ready to deploy, I highly recommend buying one or if you are a family in need or meet certain requirements, you can get a doll for free.
Flat Daddies and Flat Mommies are life-size photos of deployed service members. They are provided to help children better cope with the separation they experience when a parent is away from home for long periods of time.
Henry Hero Bear: An 11″ cuddly teddy bear accompanied by a story book designed to help young children cope with the absence of a military parent or loved one during a long deployment.
Operation Kid Comfort: The Armed Services YMCA’s innovative Operation Kid Comfort program creates custom-made quilts and pillows for children of deployed U.S. military personnel who experience grief from missing their mom or dad. Photos of the deployed parent are printed onto fabric and sewn into the quilt or pillow. Each child received a quilt/pillow depending on age. Children 6 and under receive a quilt, 7 and older receive a pillow. Both quilts and pillows contain pictures of the deployed parent. Each quilt takes eight hours of volunteer sewing, as well as $45 worth of quilting materials. The program started at the ASYMCA Fort Bragg location as has expanded to serve military families nationwide.
Operation Love (OpLove) Love Reunited: The last thing on your mind when your wife or husband arrives home after a 4 to 18 month tour, is capturing all this love– on film. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions they forget to simply point and shoot the camera they are grasping of their child’s first hug, or that single tear of relief from a mother being able to hold her twenty year old son again. With the help of Operation: Love ReUnited and local photographers near your base, you can.
Welcome Them Home: A network of photographers who donate their time and skills to military and their families as a thank you for the sacrifices that are being made for our country. Each photographer in the network has agreed to photograph your homecoming, free of charge.
Free Care Packages: There are a number of organizations which will send your Marine a care package or letter to their APO/FPO address overseas. Many of these organizations will send a package to your loved one, but many of them have a variety of different ways they help the families remaining behind and those deployed.
- Marine Parents Care Package Project
- Operation We Care
- Operation Shoebox
- A Million Thanks
- Adopt a Platoon
- Armed Forces Foundation
- Defenders of Freedom
- Give 2 The Troops
- Hearts Across the Miles
- Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW
- Marine Corps Family Support Community
- Montana Supporting Soldiers
- Operation Care and Comfort
- Operation Care Packages
- Operation First Response: Sending backpacks to wounded overseas in hospitals
- Operation Gratitude
- Operation Holiday Stockings
- Operation Interdependence
- Operation Military Support
- Operation Paperback
- Operation S.A.M. (Supporting our Military)
- Operation Thank You
- Packages from Home
- Salute Our Services
- Soldiers Angels
- Support a Soldier
- Operation Support our Troops America
- Tennessee Marine Families
- Treat the Troops
- USO Care Packages
Free Welcome Home Banner for the Troops Returning From Deployment
Build a Sign: Since 2008, BuildASign.com has donated more than 240,000 Welcome Home banners to friends and family of returning servicemembers. It’s our way to say thanks for their sacrifice and service, and to make all homecomings a little more special.