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Preparing For Deployment: Their List, and Ours

A soldier offers his "How to Prepare for Deployment" list. What about the homefront? Well, we need to get ready, too. If you want to prepare for a deployment, really, really prepare, there are a few things you can do to get ready.

1. Drop your spouse off and have an emotional good-bye. Have him call you an hour later to tell you to come pick him back up. Repeat four times.

2. Have someone disconnect a few wires under the hood. Slashing a tire would be a great touch, too. Make sure that it's very late at night for maximum effect.

3. Take a chainsaw to the hot water heater. It'll prepare you for things to come. Trust me.

4. Call someone in a remote village buried deeply in a country 15,000 miles away and try to carry on a conversation with them through the crackling phone line.

5. If there's someone you would love to get a call from, make arrangements for them to call. They should absolutely, positively make sure the call comes the one time you leave the phone in the car. Because it will happen.

6. Release one or more bats, rats, or other unattractive creatures in the house.

7. Begin eating breakfast at noon, lunch at 7:00 in the evening and dinner at 3:00 in the morning. Or, begin eating breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. The point is, start doing weird things.

8. Consider NoDoze, or equivalent. It will help your body prepare to stay awake during the entire deployment.

9. Buy some airtime on your local television station. Announce to the entire town that your spouse is deploying. This will allow you to get the pity-party out of the way all at once.

10. Prepare for people to suddenly become inquisitive about you and your life. How do you feel about cages?

11. Know that things will change, and rapidly, they always do (see #12).

12. Have a friend or family member arrange to come see you. On the day they should arrive, have them call and say they've been delayed. Better yet, have them contact you through a third party to relay the news. Repeat this process 22 times. This will help you prepare for the redeployment date.

13. Choose to laugh, even when it's hard. The alternative just isn't a good option....

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