Deployment is one of the most important things which happens to Army families, and as such is worth discussing.
Families have no control of when their soldier deploys, although they are often aware of it well in advance. There are plenty of projects out there to help at this time, like Storybook Soldiers, or Reading Force, and many schools are aware of the issues facing children of soldiers on operations.
On a personal note, we have just said goodbye to my husband, and I am looking down the wrong end of seven months of separation.
Social media will be invaluable, as faceboook friends offer huge support online, as well as the unit welfare team providing updates on their pages.
Not everybody wants or needs welfare support in the traditional sense, but information and understanding is key. I'm delighted my children's school has experience of Army families and has started a group especially for children with deployed parents so the children can write letters, or just talk about whatever is on their mind.
I'm all for more of this and I hope the Armed Forces Covenant will formalise what so many of the better civilian organisations are already doing.
Meanwhile, I have lots of treats planned for us all while my husband is away!
Check out our website www.aff.org.uk if you have any questions on deployment.