This Retreat Can Help Spouses Prepare for Deployment

logo of pillar deployment retreat
(Courtesy Photo)

Dealing with a deployment can be overwhelming and frustrating, but two military spouses are working hard to make it easier.

Becky Hoy, an Army spouse and founder of Brave Crate, and Joanna Guldin-Noll, a Navy spouse and the force behind Jo, My Gosh!, have combined forces to bring you the very best deployment advice in the Pillar Deployment Retreat.

Having gone through deployments, the two want to make it easier for others.

"We want it to be simple for military spouses to find the support and resources that can help them to thrive during deployment seasons," Hoy said. "We believe that deployment (when approached with intentionality) can be a transformative experience for military families. PILLAR works to create a space where spouses can create their own action plan for deployments that help them to make the most of each moment while they count down to homecoming."

What makes this retreat special?

The free, online retreat, which takes place Nov. 8-10, packs a wealth of knowledge into three days.

Hoy and Guldin-Noll have brought together more than 20 seasoned military spouses and lifestyle experts to help you navigate deployment and avoid feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and exhausted.

The lineup starts with keynote speaker Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the bestselling "The 5 Love Languages®" series.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Gary Chapman to PILLAR. And we're so excited to provide military spouses and significant others a chance to ask an internationally respected relationship expert questions and hear those responses. Dr. Chapman will be speaking specifically about the five love languages and deployment during the PILLAR retreat in a question-and-answer session, led by Becky Hoy," Guldin-Noll said.

Other speakers whose names you may recognize include:

  • Jacey Eckhart, a longtime Navy spouse, author and expert in military family life
  • Kellie Artis from Millie talking about PCSing during a deployment
  • Amy Bushatz, editor in chief of, teaching how to manage time wisely
  • Rachel McQuiston giving tips on how to put together the best care packages like the ones she shares on Countdowns and Cupcakes
  • Krystel Spell, the spouse behind ArmyWife101, talking about that post-deployment vacation

You'll also see three panel discussions, receive an e-book digital guide and be part of an online support community. Over three days, you'll get content covering subjects from how to save money to how to navigate deployment with children and plan for reintegration. Plus, there will be three days of giveaways.

Who should attend?

"PILLAR is open to military spouses and significant others who are getting ready for deployment, are currently dealing deployment, or want to prepare for future deployments," Guldin-Noll said, adding that there are no registration limits and the deadline to register is the first day of the event, Nov. 8.

However, if registrants want to submit a question for featured speaker Chapman, Guldin-Noll stresses that early registration is key.

"To submit your question to Dr. Chapman, you need to be registered for the event no later than Thursday, Sept. 10," she said. That's next week, in case the pandemic has distorted your sense of time, as it has ours.

Register here.

Each retreat session will last about five to 15 minutes -- which may be one of the best parts. It is customizable to your interests and schedule. And it's free!

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--Rebecca Alwine can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @rebecca_alwine.

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