Deployments are a hard but inevitable part of military life for families. To help combat the stress spouses may typically feel, The PILLAR Digital Retreat for Deployment Countdown will host its inaugural retreat Nov. 8 – 10.
The free online event will feature a variety of panel discussions and presentations by nearly two dozen civilian and military lifestyle experts. According to event co-founder Becky Hoy, it is designed to empower spouses to make every moment count while counting down deployment.
“There are so many resources out there that spouses may not know about; many may feel disconnected or only hear about resources through the grapevine,” Hoy said. “We wanted to bring everything together in one space over three days.
The event includes experts on financial planning, mental health, parenting, time management and more. Family counselor and author Dr. Gary Chapman will deliver the keynote speech. “The 5 Love Languages,” one of Chapman’s most popular titles, is published in more than 50 languages and has sold more than 12 million copies. It is currently on the New York Times best-seller list.
Jacey Eckhart, military sociologist and nationally-syndicated columnist, will discuss her insights into the inner workings of military families. She has been featured as a family subject matter expert by the New York Times, NBC Dateline, CBS Morning News, CNN, NPR, the Washington Post, Washington Times, Woman’s Day Magazine and many others.
One of the most impactful things about the retreat, according to Hoy, is that spouses will leave with a digital guide that allows them to take action and build a personal deployment plan for success. Additionally, each session is interactive, tactical and provides diverse experiences and topics. Hoy added the event will ensure there is space for discussion as well as resource sharing.
It is also more fun than simply informational, Hoy said with daily yoga sessions by Yoga Therapist Bernadette Solar, giveaways and a daily mocktail recipe.
“We are providing key ingredients to help spouses and families have a successful deployment.
“We created PILLAR as a way to share two vitally important ingredients of deployment success with other spouses – community and connection,” Hoy said.
Hoy and Guldin-Noll say they hope the retreat will facilitate a sense of community among spouses in all branches as well as the National Guard.
Related: Finding a rhythm after deployment.
“A big goal is to help spouses shift the paradigm. This doesn’t have to be only a season of struggle. It can be a season of self-reflection, personal growth and evolution,” Hoy said.