Cancelled Deployment? What You Need To Know


It’s one thing to wish the deployment would never come.  It is quite another to have that wish come true.  When the carrier Harry S. Truman  cancelled deployment within days of departure due to budget concerns, it left a lot of families not knowing quite what to do next.  How do you plan for the unplannable?

Daniela’s husband was scheduled to do his first deployment on the TRUMAN.  When they found out about the cancellation they were in shock. Daniela wrote, “We looked at each other and simultaneously said, ‘What do we do now?’

Daniela is in school at her local community college in TX. She lives with her parents. She wrote’s Ms. Vicki asking, “We’re newlyweds, and I’m not sure what I should do! I could move to be with him in Norfolk or I can stay here. We have no idea when he leaves, if he leaves. Thankfully all our stuff is packed in my apartment. We didn’t sell cars or furniture.”

Daniela is looking for some tips or advice. I have a few things in mind to get her started, but I would love to know what you would do with a cancelled deployment.  What would you tell Daniela and all the other family members attached to the USS TRUMAN?  I’d start with:

This is a weird time.  Cancellations of deployments don’t happen very often, so it is hard to predict what will happen next. Since 2010, our country has maintained a two carrier presence in the Persian Gulf.  That has now changed.  What will happen next?  No one really knows for sure. Not even the Secretary of Defense.

Military life is lived in spurts, not stretches.  It would be great if the military would give you a blow-by-blow plan of exactly what will happen next.  That ain’t gonna happen. Decide to do the best you can with what you know now and deal with tomorrow when it comes.

Expect your sailor to be bummed.  Our servicemembers miss us as much as we miss them–so there is a part of them that is glad not to deploy.  But the deployment is a time of training for them.  Deployment is a time sailors are using the skills they have learned.  Taking the ship out on deployment is the point of being in the Navy.  So expect a little professional disappointment—and don’t take it personally.

Be here now.  If I were Daniela, I would come to Norfolk now.  Texas is too far away to geobach.  So I would jump right in and get an apartment and be with my beloved while we could.  I would contact Tidewater Community College (I love those people) and get them to help me transfer my credits.  I would not wait until I was promised a long time to be together before I moved. I would take the cancellation as an opportunity to start our married life together. Right now.

But that’s just me.  What kind of tips or advice would you offer Daniela?  Should she stay in Texas with her parents until the situation sorts itself out?  Or should the couple assume they are staying in Norfolk ashore for the foreseeable future?



About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at

6 Comments on "Cancelled Deployment? What You Need To Know"

  1. I think it's always important to be there if you can, no matter how long you have or how long he'll be there or how up in the air everything is. The time with him is important, and I personally wouldn't want to be anywhere else but at his side. That's military life, you have to take the time you have with your spouse when you can, no matter when it is, because if you don't you'll be kicking yourself later. And you never know how long it will be before you get that chance again.

  2. Cherish every moment you can spend with your Military spouse. My husband had a 24 year Navy career, with multiple carrier deployments. He suffered from PTSD and multiple injuries from secret recon missions into Viet Nam so many years ago when he was dropped in country by helicopter to try to rescue our downed pilots. Because they were secret missions, we could find no documentation and he could not get 100% disability for his injuries. He passed away a few short months ago. He suffered from multiple health problems, probably caused by Agent Orange exposure—heart, lung, diabetes, constant pain in his feet from neuropathy, etc. Aircraft carrier cruises were 8 to 11 months long during the height of the Viet Nam War. I cherish every moment that I was able to be with him before, during, and after his military career. Don't miss a moment of time you could spend with your spouse, and always "Bloom wherever you are Planted."

  3. Be happy, be very happy because you will be facing another deployment, just not right now. More than likely the next deployment will have a shorter lead time to get ready because they are going to have to reshuffle the schedule with this canceled deployment and overhauls being pushed down the road too. Bottom line however is enjoy the time you have because it is NEVER enough.

  4. I see a cancelled deployment as a blessing. Albeit, you'll have to rearrange your plans and living situation, but those are all temporary problems that can be solved. Time together is precious – take it and run!

  5. What has to be done is have the Military by pass tyhe DOJ which is not doing its job and take the guiltry members of the senate and congress out along with the savage in the oval office try thjem all for treason

    It is a disgrace how a few democraps such as Peloisi /Feinstein/ Schmuer / Boxer took the greatest country on earth DOWN

  6. The Sarge | March 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

    Don't worry, they will see their combat time, as the POS Commander-in-Chief will just let his Islamic friends come over here to fight us, as a budgetary measure, and ensure that the FDA has all the Ammo, and not our troops or citizens. (Not really, but it sure seems that way) Just think about it. And to any Military or Veteran who votes for the POS, Thank you as our whole nation is now FUBAR!

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