Provide guidelines for letter writing, with acceptable rides to follow; the postal guidelines for packages,
the sending of emergency messages particularly important messages and telephone calls; MARS ham
radio availability; and the ombudsmans telephone tree.
THE FAMILY CAR
The family car is very critical especially during periods of deployment and separation. An automobile
needs certain normal maintenance procedures that are designed to prolong its life and significantly
decrease breakdowns. Depending on the type and make of car, repairs can be extremely costly, nerve
racking, and time-consuming, as well as inconvenient. In your support guide, provide a fill in the blank
application form for maintenance information; a maintenance checklist; what can be done in cases of
emergency passes, decals, and stickers; what can be done for certain dilemmas such as starting
difficulties, flat tires, running out of gas, frozen fuel lines, keys locked in the car, radiator boilover, and
frozen door locks.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
As an aid to emotional adjustments due to separation from spouse, parent, and/or children that may lead
to feelings of loneliness and isolation, provide a list of personal growth opportunities. As family members
discover new sources of strength and support in themselves and others, you might include suggestions
for making emotional adjustments; taking on added responsibilities; taking good care of oneself; taking
good care of children; seeking help when needed; and practicing religious beliefs and convictions during
periods of separation.
HELPFUL HINTS ON PERSONAL PROTECTION
Provide suggestions and guidelines on personal safety family members can use in a variety of circumstances
including being at home alone; before departing on a trip, when out of the house alone; accident
prevention and personal protection at home; accident prevention and personal protection in the car;
accident prevention and personal protection in babysitting situations; personal protection measures if
confronted; and general tips for coping with periods of deployment; specific tips for couples with children
and those without children; participation in command videotape recordings; and sending snapshots to
The period following the excitement of the end of deployment and the reuniting of the family is one of
the major readjustments for the Navy family. It calls for serious reorganization of roles, feelings, and
behaviors under which the family has been operating as a separate unit for the past several months. Of
critical importance is the normalizing of the husband-wife relationship in terms of home, finance,
discipline, and mode of child rearing.
Counselors who work with military families say that few couples can resume their marriages after along
separation without some problems. Other counselors go even further and say that a separation is always
a crisis in marriage. The first 2 months back are normally very critical. Therefore, you should provide
in your support guide information about family roles; good communications; new friendship the
children and authority; and what to expect during the first week.
Separations will never be fun. But neither do they have to be a disaster. The keys to survival are simple:
cultivate the right attitude; be supportive of the military member; keep the military member before the
children daily, and plan together for the return; retain ones faith; keep up communications within the
family; let the separation make your marriage even better...grow through it; and use the time to make
you and your marriage better and stronger.
Figure 2-4.Outline of a support guideContinued.