What to do When Your Spouse’s Deployment Orders Get Extended
The summer of 2007 was a difficult one for us in Schweinfurt, Germany. Our husbands had been deployed since the August before, and things were starting to wind down on their deployment. Although their orders said 12 months, there was a lot of talk about them coming home in June of that year, making the deployment nine months.
That didn’t happen, and they said that the deployment would be a year. And then, one day, it became much more than that. My husband’s unit was part of the surge in Iraq. They would no longer be coming home in August. Their orders were extended for October which became November.
My husband returned home to us a little shy of 15 months. We had not seen him since R&R, 11 months before. To say this was a long deployment was an understatement. And it felt like the deployment would never end. Even when we got close, it got extended.
Having your spouse’s deployment orders extended is one of the hardest things to have to deal with. Even if you have prepared for this happening, there is still a part of you that hoped it wouldn’t happen. You will probably feel crushed, broken, and wonder how in the world you will make it until they can get home.
If your spouse’s deployment orders get extended, here are some things you can do to help you make it through:
Let it out
When you first hear the news, you are probably going to break down. That is okay. Have a good cry about the situation, vent to a friend, or just let everything out in a journal.
It’s okay to be mad about the situation, it’s okay to be angry at the military, it’s okay to be upset because your spouse is going to be gone longer than you thought.
Look at the benefits
For us, we started to receive an extra $1,000 a month after the one year mark. This was a benefit to me and although I would have preferred to have my husband home earlier, it was nice to have that extra money.
Take some time to figure out what your benefits are, even if they seem small. Focusing on the advantages of the situation can help you handle it better.
Make a game plan
Once you have cried it all out over the extension, come up with a game plan. Back in 2007, a group of us spouses got together at McDonald’s after we heard the news. We were in shock, but we wanted to figure out how we were going to get through this. And we knew we would have to depend on one another.
Figure out how to stay busy
Staying busy is going to be even more important the last few months of an extended deployment. You don’t want just to sit around being bored. That will drive your nuts. Continue to stay busy and get out there. You will be glad that you did.
Try something new
The end of this deployment is a good time to try something new. Maybe for you, that is starting a new book series or volunteering somewhere. It could also mean starting school, looking for a new job, or even going on a small trip. The key is finding something you can focus on.
Extended deployments are so difficult to deal with, but they are a part of military life. Orders get changed, and there are a lot of different reasons why your spouse might be deployed longer than you thought they would be.
Have you ever been through an extended deployment?