We Like Free Stuff! A Military Life Handbook

While SpouseBUZZ was down for maintenance, we posted to our Facebook page a link to information about this neat sounding new military life handbook from the Defense Centers of Excellence. Since then we managed to get our hot little hands on one and are here to report why you should order it too.

The majority of the book talks about how to deal with the stress and emotions of each part of the deployment cycle. It’s safe to say that I have heard most of that in the past at a variety of command sponsored meetings. But I have never before seen a single book that organizes everything together, with information and resources for both spouses, children and extended family in all services.

The book includes four sections, each dealing with predeployment, deployment, post deployment and resources respectively. While it does have the usual, hum-drum advice on using exercise to deal with stress and making sure you get enough sleep, it also offers several lists of creative ideas to help you and your kids connect with your spouse, as well as a whole slew of helpful resource and organization links.

Guard and Reserve families who are far removed from any support centers or bases and may not have the chance to hit many information sessions with their units could truly benefit from this information, in particular the list of resources in the back.

But the people for whom this may be the most valuable are our extended family. Most of us have been to the briefings that tell us how to deal with deployment, but our extended families likely have not. Giving this book to a particularly clingy and fretting mother in law, for example, may help ease some of her stress (it’s at least worth a shot).

If you have been through multiple deployments the most help this might give you is in the form of reminders about what you already know or a heads-up on some resources you might have not heard of before. I’ll be keeping this book on my shelf where I can easily grab it the next time I’m freaking out about my husband leaving. Let’s be honest: sometimes the usual advice on finding someone to talk to, writing letters and making videos or making sure you get some alone time is a good reminder.

To get a free copy of the book visit the Real Warriors Campaign.

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