Deployment FAQs

Deployment FAQs

What is a deployment?
The GMFRC considers a deployment as anytime a military member is away from home due to operational commitments for a period of 24 hours or more. Eligible family separations, otherwise referred to as deployments, include:  being away on a course, training, tasking, imposed restriction (IR), or being away overseas or within Canada or the US. 

How do I qualify for deployment supports and services?
All you need to do is let the GMFRC Deployment Services Coordinator know that your member will be away from home for more than 24 hours, or the military member can let us know too!

Who do I contact to let them know that I will be deploying or that my CAF member is/has deployed and how? 
You can contact our Deployment Services Coordinator at 902-765-5611 or by email to GMFRCdeployment@gmail.com.

What information will I have to provide?
There is a form to fill out, the Family Information Form, that will provide us with all the important information needed to support you and your family before, during, and after a deployment. You will need to provide the member’s information (Rank, Name, Contact Information, Service Number (if you know it) and home unit); basic deployment information such as location and dates; family information (name, address, phone numbers, and email address); children’s information (name(s), age(s) and school(s), if applicable); and any other information that you feel would be beneficial for us to know to be able to support you and your family best throughout the deployment. 

Who is eligible to receive services and support at the GMFRC? 
Families and loved ones of Regular Force members, Reservist members, family members who live in our catchment area of CAF members who are posted to other bases or wings in Canada, we also serve RCMP and civilian personnel who are deployed overseas.

I am a Reserve Force member/family; am I entitled to receive support services through the GMFRC?
Absolutely! We support families from the Reserve Units of Greenwood, Bridgewater, Yarmouth, and Aldershot. All of our families within our catchment area are eligible to receive support services.

What if we are a dual service couple? Are we still entitled to receive support services through the GMFRC?
Yes, of course! Our mandate is to serve military families, and it doesn’t matter if you are both serving members or not. If one of you is deployed, we will support your family regardless of occupation.

Who can access programs and services?
When a CAF member is deployed, whomever they deem ‘family’ is who we will support. That may mean a spouse/partner, parent, sibling, child(ren), friend, or neighbor. For us, family is who you deem important to you and who you think may benefit from our programs and services. It is entirely up to you!

What programs and services are available to deployed families?
At the GMFRC, we offer many different deployment programs and services. Specifically for deployed families we offer Warm Line Calls/Emails, a free Morale Mail program (courtesy of 14 Wing!), Family Information Briefings, Respite Childcare, Children’s Deployment Support, Networking and Social activities (virtually and in-person when we are able to), Information and Referral services, Road to Mental Readiness workshops, assistance with Childcare Planning, and one-to-one supports (in-person, virtually, telephone, or email).

How can you help my family prepare for a deployment?
Being prepared for a deployment can help make the difference between a successful one and a more challenging one. When you, or your member, let us know that you have an upcoming deployment we will provide you with a copy of our Family Guide to Deployment. This will be a great resource for you throughout your deployment journey. We can help you prepare by providing you with a comprehensive checklist, either on paper (included in our Family Guide to Deployment) or virtually, on our App, if you prefer an electronic checklist. We will also let you know about all the programs and services that are available to you. We offer the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) workshops to help you before, during, and after the deployment to help you better cope with the ups and downs of a family separation. We will also make sure you know who to contact with any questions you may have.

What can we do if we have not let the GMFRC know that we are experiencing a deployment and we find ourselves needing some support, or we have questions? Is it too late?
It is never too late to let us know that you are experiencing a deployment! Just give our Deployment Services Coordinator a call at 902-765-5611, send an email to GMFRCdeployment@gmail.com, or when we are open, pop into the centre to see the coordinator in person!

Can we mail parcels to our deployed member? How do we do this?
Yes! Courtesy of 14 Wing Greenwood, family and friends of deployed members who are overseas or in CFS Alert can mail parcels and letters once per week, free of charge, through the GMFRC Morale Mail Program. There are size, weight, and content restrictions that can be found at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/contact-us/write-troops/instructions-for-mailing-overseas.html. The parcels must have a Belleville, ON PO Box address for eligibility through the GMFRC Morale Mail Program. To send morale mail just bring your parcel in to the GMFRC and we can help get it wrapped up and addressed; including the Canada Post mailing label that must be affixed. Make sure to have a list of contents and the approximate value of the items included! We have all the wrapping and labelling supplies available for you!

What can I send in a parcel?
Here are some ideas of items you can include in your morale mail parcel:
  • Snacks (who doesn’t like a good snack!) such as chips (recommended in containers like Lay’s Stax or Pringles to prevent getting squished), gummy candies, Skittles, lollipops, jellybeans, Lifesavers, pretzels, trail mix, cheese and cracker packs, cookies, or snack cakes
  • Homemade crafts, letters, cards, or photos
  • Protein or cereal bars
  • Small boxes of dried cereal or instant oatmeal
  • Powdered drink mix
  • Personal care items such as toothpaste, new toothbrush, Kleenex, favourite soap, sunscreen, lip balm, or foot powder
  • New cotton socks 
  • Books, magazines, or word search books
  • Something fun – Hacky Sacks, Yo-Yos, foam footballs, Rubik’s Cube, or fidget toys
  • A new journal and pen
  • A new reusable water bottle
  • Coffee or Tea 
  • New towel set
  • Create fun little tags to attach to each item, with funny sayings, cute personalized notes, or a funny picture
  • Create a theme for your parcel – movie theme (include popcorn and other movie theatre treats!), all things snacks or all things cheese flavoured, sports themed, colour themed, or Superhero themed
It is always best to check the specific details on prohibited items at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/contact-us/write-troops/instructions-for-mailing-overseas.html just to be on the safe side!

I’ve heard about Warm Line Calls, what are they?
Warm Line Calls are telephone outreach calls provided by trained staff, or volunteers, of the GMFRC to the family members of deployed military members. It is a way for us to stay connected, provide information on upcoming events, activities or services, and to check in to see how you are managing. It is also a way for us to be able to provide you with referrals to other areas within the GMFRC to support you the best way we can.

I keep hearing about a program called R2MR, what is that and how will it help me or my family?
R2MR is the Road to Mental Readiness program that we offer to all families who may, who are, and who have experienced a Deployment. The program helps to build resiliency in military families to better cope with separations due to deployments, training courses, or IR postings. The GMFRC offers this program which mirrors the training received by our CAF members when they are preparing for deployments. 
R2MR will help you by providing the following:
  • Recognize and understand the different phases of deployment and what you can expect during each of the phases;
  • Identify some of the challenges that you may encounter before, during, and after a deployment;
  • Learn about the Mental Health Continuum;
  • Give you new tips, tricks, and tools to manage stressors that may arise;
  • Talk about how to support children through a deployment;
  • Provide you with information about additional resources available to you; and
  • Remind you to also have FUN! 
What if I have children, are there any supports or programs available to them to help when their parent is deployed?
We offer a Children’s Deployment Support group designed for children aged 3-12 years. The program is designed to provide children with an opportunity to interact with other children who are experiencing a deployment. It is a fun way to allow children to express their emotions in a healthy, safe way with peers and a GMFRC staff member. It is also a great way for children to know that they are not the only ones who have a parent away, to learn some coping skills, to share their experiences with others, and to support one another. 
The Children’s Deployment Support group runs during the last half of our monthly Deployment Supper and Social. This program runs while our Deployment Coordinator is spending time with the adults. We also have deployment specific resources available for parents to use at home with their children of various ages. If additional support would be helpful, we can always arrange to have some 1:1 time spent with a child, or children, to support them through their deployment journey.

What if my adult child is the member deployed, am I eligible for your deployment supports and services or is it only for a spouse/partner?
Yes! Our deployment supports and services are available to anyone who has a loved one away, regardless of relationship! We welcome parents, spouses/partners, siblings, and children! 

I’m a single CAF member, how can GMFRC deployment services help me?
The GMFRC can help you, our single members, by making sure that you are aware of the supports and services available for your parents, siblings, friends, or neighbours while you are deployed. We can, and will, support whoever you feel is important to you and may benefit from our services. We will also make sure that you have our handy checklist to make sure that before you leave for your deployment you are prepared and have put things in place to reduce chances of hiccups while you are away. We can provide you with community resources that are available to you for things like pet care, home maintenance, etc. 

I’m feeling really stressed about my CAF Member coming home. I’m excited, but still a little nervous and stressed. Is there someone I can talk to about this?
Absolutely! Contact our Deployment Services Coordinator to let them know that you are feeling anxious about your member’s homecoming. It can be a really exciting time, but it is perfectly normal to also feel a little stressed about it. There will be an adjustment period for all of you; afterall, you have been apart for a while and during that time things will have changed such as routines, personal growth, etc. For some families it can take months to readjust and find your new normal as a family, and that is ok! We highly recommend that you take the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) – Homecoming and Reunion workshop prior to your member returning home to help you navigate and be prepared for the homecoming. We can help you navigate this part of the deployment journey to help alleviate some of the common stressors associated with Homecoming and Reunion. We have lots of tips and tricks we are happy to share with you! If you find that you need a little more support, we can also introduce you to our Mental Health team who have lots of additional resources that are available to you as well! 

What do I do if I need someone to talk to, or if I need support, and your office is closed for the day/weekend/holiday?
As military families we are fortunate that we have additional resources available to us 24/7. These resources are also bilingual. For additional supports here are some of the resources available to you at no cost:
Family Information Line – 24/7, bilingual 1-800-866-4546
Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program  (CFMAP) – 24/7, bilingual 1-800-268-7708
14 Wing Duty Operations – after hours 902-765-1494, local 5457
14 Wing Chaplains 902-765-1494, local 5883
14 Wing Mental Health 902-765-1494, local 5215
Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) 1-800-883-6094
SISIP Financial Services 902-765-6714
 
What is Emergency Childcare and how do I access it if I need someone to care for my children in an emergency?
The goal of GMFRC Emergency Childcare Services is to support the CAF members to be available and ready for duty. This includes short notice deployments as well as to assist families in emergency situations when regular childcare arrangements cannot be used. The GMFRC may provide, upon eligibility, emergency childcare by trained, qualified staff. To access emergency childcare, please contact 902-765-5611 during regular business hours or 14 Wing Duty Operations at 902-765-1494 x 5457 after regular business hours.