FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Soldiers and Families do not have to endure deployment stress alone. Army Community Service provides deployment stress assistance.

"We're involved all the way through the deployment cycle," said Dave Stamper, program manager for Mobilization and Deployment.

There are three phases of the deployment cycle, he said. Those phases are predeployment, deployment and redeployment.

In the first phase, Soldiers and Family members are informed of what needs to be done before the deployment. They are advised about resources available to them during deployment.

Information is passed along by way of briefings, Stamper said. Training and update of training is also provided for Family readiness groups and rear detachment commanders.

One available option during predeployment is to make use of the "Read to Me" program. The program allows deploying Soldiers to record an audio CD of a book-reading session that the servicemember's child can listen to when he or she is deployed.

During deployment, DeStress, a class geared to provide stress relief, is offered at the installation level.

Previous DeStress classes have included jewelry making and water aerobics, said Megan Forslund, M and D specialist.

The M and D program can advise Family members about issues that arise during deployment, such as a young spouse assuming the responsibility of being head of household or grappling with the challenges of being a single parent in the absence of a deployed spouse, said Stamper.

If a Family has to relocate while a servicemember is deployed, M and D also provides assistance.
Once a deployed Soldier returns, M and D works with Soldiers and Family members as far as reintegration is concerned. Once the "honeymoon" phase of the reintegration wears off, other issues may arise, such as a shifting of roles, Stamper said.

A Family will need to determine how financial responsibilities are handled or how the parent-child relationship evolves upon the servicemembers return to the household.

Whatever the deployment stress, M and D is available to assist the Soldier and his or her Family.
For more information about the Army Community Service, Mobilization and Deployment program, call 432-3742 or visit