HMCS Regina, families and the halfway point

Commander Jacob French (left) conducts the Navy Shadow Bike-A-Thon. Photo by Leading Seaman Stuart Carmichael

Commander Jacob French (left) conducts the Navy Shadow Bike-A-Thon. Photo by Leading Seaman Stuart Carmichael

Melanie Tetreault, Contributor ~

Deployments are a unique test of a family’s endurance and resolve.

There’s the pre-deployment stress, the deployment routines, and then the post-deployment reconnection.

Military families come in all shapes and sizes, which means they all have different successes and needs during the deployment process.

There are also lots of milestones.

We mark the first 30 days, the countdown to Leave Travel Allowance, and the last days before homecoming. The families of HMCS Regina are experiencing, or have experienced, all these moments, whether this is their first deployment or one of many.

The milestone we conquered recently is the halfway point.

The halfway point can feel like a somber celebration; yes, three months of separation have gone by (technically four now), but there remains more than two months to go. That’s another two months of an empty bed, long distance communications, and activities without our family members. It is important, however, to celebrate the triumphs of the first half of the deployment and really give ourselves a pat on the back for our efforts.

My personal survival tactic to getting to the halfway point, and this is my third time doing it, is staying busy and staying connected. I finished my last semester of college. I continue to volunteer at the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) as the family contact for the ship. The kids and I attend MFRC and PSP events such as potlucks, movie nights, and hiking. The children attend extracurricular activities such as swimming, skating, Pro-D day camps, and deployment workshops.

We talk every day about their father’s deployment. We visit our friends, we make new friends in the community, and we take time to relax and be lazy.

This is not a strict road map. Lots of families make it through the first half of their deployment in vastly different ways. Some take new jobs, or go back to school, some enjoy working on their home, some get a new pet, some travel, and some just continue as if no one had left.

The family deployment journey is as diverse as the stars and we work hard to make sure those journeys are shining bright and are supported.

The Halfway Party for HMCS Regina families was a celebration of these bright journeys. It is an important reflective time for families and especially for me and our children, as we continue through the next couple of months.

We celebrate their father’s dedication and hard work, yet we also celebrate our dedication and hard work. We will make it through, whatever happens, and the halfway point signals that success.

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