Tuesday, January 30, 2018

So Your Spouse is Going to Korea...

I have been MIA from this blog for a bit. We PCS'd to another post and a couple weeks later found out my husband was deploying to South Korea...

He has deployed before to Afghanistan and our relationship was completely fine. However, Korea is a first for us and comes with different challenges. With this deployment, there are different things we needed to prepare for that I didn't think we ever would.

I can't say much about what happens while they are there because well, this is all new to me too. I'm in the thick getting ready for of him to leave right now. I figured that this would be a good time to write this as someone who is dealing with the unpredictability and still trying to figure this all out.

Before we delve into these tips and tricks I've learned from the wise spouses who have dealt with this already....please note that every deployment is different. Korea is a vast and unique place and no one deployment experience will be the same...at all...never ever...amen.

The News Will Not Help You
 Is there a lot of tension in the Korea peninsula right now? Yes. Has it always been that way? Pretty much. I think we often forget sometimes that there are still people in South Korea just living their lives throughout these contentious times.

The Korean War "ended" in an armistice (aka we will stop fighting but we're not ending this war) in the 1950's. North and South Korea have been at each other's throats ever since. Life had to go on for the South Korean people, and they have rebuilt their country into a thriving nation.

 Despite this, you will see the news speak of nuclear war, "rocket man", etc. like this is all new. It is not. The rhetoric might be ramped up but there is a reason that the United States has been there as long as it has because this back and forth happens a lot between the two nations.

You can google North Korea for hours on end, but it will only make you even more scared. It is not worth your happiness and sanity to make yourself upset.

Get Your Passwords In Order
As I write this, my husband is making a list of all accounts with passwords and answers to security questions for me. This is a great thing for me since I have the memory of a goldfish and can't remember my own passwords 95% of the time. There is internet access in South Korea of course, but it is nice to know that I can have access to all our important info like online banking and bill pay.

Know What Your POAs Cover
Powers of Attorney essentially give you the legal power to make decisions on another person's behalf during a certain time. For example, I will need to update the registration on my husband's car. Since I was not named on the registration I will need a POA to update the registration on his behalf. Powers of Attorney can cover anything from taxes to selling real estate.

There are three types of POA that are commonly used for deployments according to MilitaryOneSource:

     1. General power of attorney - "A general power of attorney gives the person you designate the power to perform almost any legal act on your behalf for a specified time. This can include managing bank accounts; selling, exchanging, buying or investing any assets or property; purchasing and maintaining insurance; and entering into any binding contracts. Because the authority granted is broad, give this type of power of attorney only if a special power of attorney won't suffice and if the person you choose is trustworthy and financially responsible."
     2. Special or limited power of attorney - "A special or limited power of attorney gives specific powers to the designated person for a specified time. When drafting a special power of attorney, you're required to list the particular decisions over which the designee has power."
     3. Durable power of attorney — "A durable power of attorney remains valid even if you become incapacitated or unable to handle your own affairs. If you don't specify a durable power of attorney, it'll automatically end if you're incapacitated in the future. A general or special power of attorney can be durable with appropriate language. This eliminates the need for a court to choose a guardian and conservator to make decisions on your behalf during your incapacity."

To know exactly what is needed for your family, reach out to your local JAG (Staff Judge Advocate). Click Here to find the closest JAG office to you.

Get Ready for Questions
"What is he going to be doing over there?"
"Probably sitting at a desk, I guess."

"Is he going to North or South Korea?"

"Can't you just go and live with him there?"
"No I can't"
"But spouses are stationed there that doesn't make sense."
"Yes but-"
"That is ridiculous!"

"Are you afraid of Kim Jung Un?"
"Personally? No, but-"
"Have you seen the news?!"

 Just understand that people do have the best of intentions. It is normal for these questions to arise and no one is being mean or ignorant for asking them. There is so much great support out there both in the military and non military community, it would be a waste to get worked up about a question.




1 comment

  1. Hi Maddie,

    Just read this, and for passwords, I really recommend getting a password manager. Nicole and I use LastPass, and it lets you share some or all of your passwords with a "family member". So you each have your own "vault" with all your passwords (you just need to remember one password to log in to that). Most security gurus recommend password managers already, but in your situation, with having to share things, it's doubly useful :)

    - Bob


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