We attended a deployment fair last night at Fort Carson. It was my first, and I’m not sure how I felt about it.
There were representatives from Army Community Services (ACS), The Red Cross, Military OneSource, Military & Family LIfe Consultants, Tricare, Religious Services, the post’s Wellness Center, Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA), Judge Advocate General (JAG) and several organizations for families with kids (since we don’t have kids yet, we didn’t stop at any of those booths).
We were both impressed at the sheer number of services provided by ACS. We spoke with the Red Cross representative, who explained to me how I can use the Red Cross to send emergency messages to him during deployment. And we talked to TriCare about how my civilian health benefits and military coverage will supplement one another once my fiance and I are married.
When we spoke with a former Army chaplain who runs marriage workshops, I got excited. Anything we can do to learn more about making our new marriage stronger during deployment is information I want to be educated about. My excitement quickly faded when I realized that every last marriage workshop being offered was being offered during the business day. (I work full time.)
The most jarring moment of the fair was when we stopped by the JAG tables to pick up our Powers of Attorney. Colorado requires separate forms for each type of legal situation (financial, automotive, medical, etc.). The JAG representative asked us if we’d like to pick up a medical form so that my fiance could let me know what his wishes would be if he “ended up on a feeding tube”.
Getting married is not a small decision to make. But to be reminded again last night that by marrying my soldier, I’ll be replacing his parents as his Power of Attorney on decisions like life support left me feeling light-headed and heavy-hearted. The weight of that responsibility became real last night, even though I’d internalized it on an intellectual level long before we were handed those forms.
So my fiance and I move forward with planning things. We’re planning an elopement ceremony. We’re planning my name change. We’re planning for his deployment. We’re planning for our future adventures and home and family. We hope for the best in all of those things, but those booths at the deployment fair last night reminded me that we also have to plan for the worst.