When deployment orders come down for your soldier, it can be pretty emotional. You have a lot to do to get ready for them to leave. One decision you might have to make is if you plan to stay at your duty station for the deployment or if you plan to move back home to be with family.
For some people this is an easy choice to make. For others it is a bit more difficult. There are many different factors that go into making the decision.
Reasons why people might stay at their duty station during a deployment-
- They have created a life there that they don’t want to leave. It can be hard to pick up and start over even if you are going back to your hometown. You may have a good support system and a nice home you don’t want to give up.
- Kids in school is an issue. If your kids are older you probably don’t want to take them away from their school for 9 months to a year. They probably have friends that will be a support to them while their parent is deployed.
- Lose too much money. Moving costs money. It is also possible that the BAH (housing allowance) is higher at the duty station. You also might lose your house on post and trying to find another when you return could be difficult.
Reasons why people want to move home for the deployment-
- They know they can get better support at home. If you know you will get a lot of love and support from family and friends back home, you may really want to move there during the deployment. It is always nice to know you have a great support system when your spouse deploys.
- Bad living situation at the duty station. When we were getting ready for our 2nd deployment I thought I would go home because I couldn’t stand where I lived. I couldn’t imagine being in that tiny apartment for a year without my husband. In the end our Brigade moved to a new duty station and we were able to move to a much nicer place before the deployment started.
- Family situations. If you have a sick parent or sibling you might want to go home during the deployment to help. It might be better over all for you to be there and not 1000s of miles away. Your family might need you more than your duty station does.
Each family’s situation is a little different so there isn’t one right answer to whether you should go home during a deployment or not. I have never moved home for a deployment but I did spend the summer with my family during our second deployment. I needed a break from Germany and it was the perfect amount of time. If you are trying to decide what you should do, make a list of pros and cons. And don’t feel guilty about making a decision not everyone will agree with you on. You really have to do what is best for your own kids and family.