JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
As military members, it’s important to remain ready to deploy on short notice. If you got the call to deploy, would you be ready? Would you have the necessary documents to ensure that your family and household are taken care of?
In 1990, the 1st Fighter Wing rapidly deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield. This led to 1st FW pilots claiming the first confirmed aerial kill in of the operation.
Retired Master Sgt. Mark Glover was one of the first to deploy and had only a few hours to prepare. At the time, Glover was married with three children and had to quickly hand over all of his responsibilities to his wife.
When Glover reflected on his experience, he stated, "You never know when you will be called on. You need to be ready. Your family depends on you to have everything in order before you leave."
This example reflects the importance of remaining prepared to serve abroad.
What documents help maintain legal readiness?
A will is a written declaration of how you want your property and personal belongings to be distributed to your heirs and name trustees to manage your estate and care for your dependents. If you already have a will, you want to make sure your will accurately lists your beneficiaries and property. A will is one of the most critical documents you can complete before deploying. It should be considered without the pressures of a deployment, so you are encouraged to complete a will well before you are tasked to leave for your deployment.
A living will allows you to decide what life saving measures can be taken on your behalf and who will speak for you if you are unable to make these decisions yourself. Additionally, you could appoint a durable Power of Attorney for healthcare matters. Through a Healthcare Power of Attorney, you can choose someone to make important, sometimes life or death, medical decisions for you if you are unable to.
A Power of Attorney, or POA, is a document which allows you to give another person the authority to perform acts on your behalf. There are two types of powers of attorney—general and special. A general power of attorney gives someone else the legal authority to do almost anything that you could do. A special POA is more limited and gives someone else the legal authority to perform specific tasks on your behalf, like get your child medical care, register your car, or selling specifically listed property.
How to get these documents?
To create a will, living will, healthcare power of attorney or update your current will, complete a will worksheet at https://aflegalassistance.law.af.mil and call the Langley Law Center at (757) 764-3277 to schedule an appointment with an attorney. Appointments typically last one hour.
For a Power of Attorney, complete a POA worksheet at https://aflegalassistance.law.af.mil and come in to the Langley Law Center or just visit the Langley Law Center front desk from 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 on Thursdays. There is no appointment necessary for Powers of Attorney.
For more information, call (757) 764-3277 or check out the Langley Law Center web page at http://www.jble.af.mil/Units/Air-Force/Langley-Law/.
Finally, feel free to stop in the legal office, we would be happy to discuss the documents that are most important for your personal situation. The Langley Law Center is located at 33 Sweeney Blvd., at Langley Air Force Base.