My family and I have been a part of the military for 24 years. We have been on/through many deployments, PCS changes, and even a few hurricanes. As much as I wish I could tell you that it was all peaches and cream, it was not.
Up until a year ago or so, my thought process was a deployment is a deployment and that it just comes with the territory. Our family was coming up on our first “combat” deployment when we were introduced to FOCUS…PERFECT TIMING!! My husband, being the thorough kind of guy he is, started sharing with our teenage and older children about where he was going and what his job was going to entail. Unbeknownst to us, our only daughter was taking it in and letting what her father said permeate her mind and heart to the point where it really bothered her.
It was during our FOCUS sessions that we learned just how much it bothered her as well as other things in our other teenage/young adult children’s lives. We found the FOCUS program to be very enlightening and helpful during a stressful time. We learned how to communicate effectively, be mindful of other’s feelings, and even learned ways my daughter could keep in contact with her dad while he was away, which eased her mind a lot.
As a parent, I wish FOCUS was around a long time ago. It taught me to think about my children’s feelings and how things may affect them. Now it’s not just another deployment! I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO HAVE GONE THROUGH THE FOCUS PROGRAM!
FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress) is a resiliency building program of the Department of Defense. The FOCUS program is designed for military families, couples and children facing ongoing stress and change. FOCUS promotes family strengths and supports families and children to help manage the challenges of military life.