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Creating Community

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It has been my experience that mil spouses have the hardest time making new friends after a PCS move {Permanent Change of Station}. The service member meets new people once they check into the command and kids meet new friends once they start school. The spouse on the other hand has to work the most to meet new people.

If you did not grow up moving around often and lived close to lots of extended family your first move can be very difficult. We all want to have someone we can connect with, can share things with, someone we can call a friend. An added difficulty can be if your husband deploys soon after you PCS, because then your one built in friend is gone.

Creating community is the key to a positive experience at a new duty station. The sooner you can have a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a shopping excursion with someone the sooner you will feel at home. That homesick feeling will only begin to go away once this new place begins to feel like home.

There are so many ways you can meet new people, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You can’t expect to meet new people if you never leave your living room. If you service member is at a deployable command chances are high they have some type of FRG {family readiness group}. This is a great way to meet other spouses who are going to be dealing with the same deployment schedule etc. Find out the next time they have a meeting and go. All you have to do is show up. If you meet just one person to connect with your effort was a success!

Maybe your  service members command doesn’t have an FRG, look to see if the base has a spouses’ club {usually an officer & enlisted}. Check out the base newspaper to see about activities going on:  a base chapel bible study, a moms & tots group etc. Our base Fleet & Family Support Center {FFSC} has a few different weekly moms & tots meet ups through the New Parent Support Program.

If your base doesn’t have any of these things start one yourself. No really, do it!  My husband’s command does not deploy, therefore I had no easy way to meet people. The base only had an officer’s spouses club. The church we attend is 45 minutes away and doesn’t have other military families. I needed a place to meet other gals who understood what was going on in my life. I prayed long & hard about it, had constant conversations with my husband and a close mil spouse friend and took the leap. I started an enlisted spouses club for the base. I was so afraid people wouldn’t want to join, but they did!

You don’t have to start a spouses club, you can start a book club, or a mom & tots group, a bible study, whatever you think is best for you. There is always going to be someone else who is hoping there is something for them to attend so they can meet people.

Creating a community is essential to you not packing up and moving back “home” once deployment time rolls around. It is important to make each duty station your home. It is so worth it in the long run.  You owe it to yourself to cultivate relationships at your new duty station, to meet other spouses who know exactly what you are going through, who understand deployments, duty, and moving every few years.

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