Guest speaker offers deployment tips

By 27th SOW Public Affairs

The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted a special guest speaker June 13 to discuss how military spouses can “survive” when their loved ones deploy.

Two separate sessions of “How to Survive a Deployment and Keep Your Marriage: A Seminar for Military Spouses,” were led by Nancy Jo Sutton-McLeod, a published author and spouse of an Army National Guardsman.

Some of her past experiences making her an expert on the topic include working as a crisis counselor for the Glendale, Ariz., police department in the sex crimes unit and as a child therapist for foster children.

Linda Sapp of the A&FRC said that the seminar focused on intimacy and communication between spouses during deployments and remote assignments, as well as helping children cope with family separations.

The military does a great deal to make sure servicemembers and their families have adequate support when families are separated by deployments. The Cannon A&FRC thought that the seminar by Sutton-McLeod was one such program that would be beneficial to airmen and their spouses.

“During the seminar, Ms. Sutton-McLeod also brought up that when a spouse returns from deployment, it is often looked at as an “event” rather than a process of re-learning about each other and building new routines,” said Sapp.

“One way of helping out spouses when the other is deployed includes simply reaching out. The situation is different for every family, so let them tell you what they need,” she added.

Sapp said the numerous families that went to the seminar enjoyed it and say they learned a lot. The A&FRC is looking forward to having Sutton-McLeod back in the fall.

Copies of Ms. Sutton-McLeod’s book are available free of charge to military spouses at the A&FRC, as well as a wealth of other information about a variety of topics.

Sutton-McLeod is tentatively scheduled to return to Cannon sometime in September to present the same seminar.

For more information on the seminar or any other A&FRC events or activities, call 784-4228.