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Surviving Deployment: A Guide for Military Families Paperback – April, 2003
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It's a guide to the nuts, bolts, and sheer difficulties of the process. Pavlicin writes from experience. -- Star Tribune (May 16, 2003)
Pavlicin is experienced in offering practical solutions to spouses, parents and children as they face their stressed lives during deployment. -- Montana Parent (Feb 2005)
Written in straight forward easy-to-read style. A book that should be in every military family household. -- Carthage Republican Tribune (May 15, 2003)
About the Author
Karen Pavlicin is an award-winning writer known for her practicality, insight, and sense of humor. Her challenging yet positive experiences during her Marine husband's many deployments, and her volunteer experience working with military families, inspired her to write this book.
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Top Customer Reviews
One thing I liked about this book was the section on how to win cooperation from your kids and how to avoid child abuse. None of us thinks about this much because of course we would never want to hurt our kids. But deployments put a lot of pressure on a lot of single parents who are also under tremendous stress. After reading this book, we talked about the ideas and brainstormed more at our key volunteer meeting. My favorite is when the heat gets high in our house, we put on good music and dance! Another is when anyone (kids too!) feels like hitting, we hug something instead. Some stuffed animals got the stuffing hugged hard right out of them!
Another idea I got from this book was to keep a journal of how I spend my time and when I or my kids get upset. It really helped me realize some of the routines we could adjust to make it easier for everyone. The book is full of little tidbits like this.
I also liked that it walks you through different stages of feelings. It was nice to know that feeling guilty for being happy that he's gone is normal! I hate goodbyes and I'm always glad that part is over even though I hate for him to be gone.
This is a big book that covers a lot of ground. One thing I wish it had more on is faith. It's obvious the author has a lot of faith - I would have loved some more ideas on how to keep the faith deployment after deployment. I think the worry just increases (are we pushing our luck with another one?).
Some of the things here are common sense. But who has common sense when your partner is in a combat zone for a year? ;-) It's worth the money even if you only get a few reminders of what you know from previous deployments (at least it's all in one place organized for you!). Overall, I'm glad I read the book and I will still use a lot of the ideas when the deployments are over.
I heard the author speak to a group of Army Reserve and National Guard families. She has a great perspective and was very inspiring. She grew up near an Army base, was married to a Marine (who died recently) and volunteers her time to help families in all branches.
This book was published just before the war in Iraq. The author could not have known that so many people would be deployed for such a long time. National Guard used to have a six-month limit on deployments until 9/11 and now they can be deployed for up to 18-24 months. It is tiring to go so long in these deployments and no book is going to have all the answers, but I've found this one to be the best of any about deployment (I think I've read them all now!).
Just a note to all of you who like to help other military families - this is one of the authors who is very accessible. I really liked talking with her and felt that she really cares. She shared ideas that have come up in her workshops since this book was published. To help families with reuniting after long (a year or more) deployments, she is writing a book on reunions. A friend of mine was interviewed for it - more info is on the survivingdeployment.com site. The author said she wants all branches again and all types of reunions - so tell your story to help others going through this hard time!!
I'm very thankful for all the people who took the time to write about their experiences and things they've learned. In addition to this book, I also recommend for kids Michelle Ferguson-Cohen's "Daddy, You're My Hero" and "When Dad's at Sea" by Mindy Pelton (even though it's Navy-focused, I thought it was really touching and my kids loved it). My daughter also liked writing in the "Deployment Journal for Kids" by Rachel Robertson.
I have four young kids. My husband has been deployed for a year and I sometimes lose my patience! I learned some great tips for "winning cooperation" and seeing things from my kids' perspective. (And yes, I realized a few things that are my fault that I've been blaming on my kids!)
I highly recommend this book!
And if you can, get the author to speak at your post/base. The workshop was a nice complement to the book. She made it very relevant to our battalion's situation. I was feeling down when I went in and I came out feeling inspired and ready to handle the last stretch of deployment. It was nice to see the author's sense of humor and examples continued in the book. I think my kids are very happy I attended and read this book! Get it for yourself and your kids will benefit too!