If you are like most soon to be Army wives, the thought of your husband leaving for nine weeks is overwhelming and a bit unreal. But like it or not, it is going to happen. The best thing you can do is to prepare ahead of time. This is actually very good practice for when he leaves on deployments once he has been assigned to his unit.
Know about the bills
This is especially important if your husband was handling all of the finances. If possible, go ahead and take over this duty before he leaves so you can ask questions if you need to. You should know what bills are due each month, when they are due, the amount due and where the payment should be mailed.
Learn how to balance a checkbook
If youíre going to be handling the bills, you also need to be able to balance the checkbook. Your local bankís customer service representative should be able to help you if no one else is available. Be sure your name is on the account and that you know about all of the accounts (checking, savings, etc.) It is important that you have access to all of these accounts while he is gone.
Get a POA
A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to speak on behalf of your husband while he is gone. You can sign in his place and conduct transactions that he would normally have to be present for. The POA is a powerful document and should be used wisely. There are a variety of POAs available. A general POA is the broadest of them and is the most commonly used. There is no need to pay an attorney for this. The JAG office can help you or you can find a sample online to modify. The document must be notarized to be effective.
Ask him what he wants to be notified about
It seems silly but this was one thing I asked my husband about before he left. I knew if an immediate family member died, he would want to be notified and come home. What about if it was a distant relative? What about if someone was hospitalized? He told me specifically the kinds of things he would want to know while he was in training and the things he didnít want to know about. Itís an important question to ask. Some of his answers surprised me!
Draw up a will
This is an important document for both of you, especially if you have children. Be sure to lay out your wishes in writing. This is a morbid task and one that most people avoid. But if the circumstance arises where it must be used, youíll be glad you had it.
Memorize his social security number
You will need to know this number for EVERYTHING! Your social security number barely has relevance now that youíre an Army wife. If someone in the Army asks you for your social, nine times out of ten, theyíre asking for his not yours.
Stacey Abler is an Army Wife and owner of the website, http://www.marriedtothearmy.com.
In addition, she also operates several Cafepress stores - http://www.cafepress.com/soldierswife for Army families and http://www.cafepress.com/soldierswife2 for Navy, Marine and Air Force families.