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When Friends Become Family

Photo Credit: Jenelle Hatzung

Sometime this spring or early summer we will be packing up our belongings and PCSing {Permanent Change of Station} to somewhere new. We’re not exactly sure where, but we know it is happening.  As time winds down at our current duty station I cannot help but reflect on what has happened during our time here.

We have been beyond blessed with so many doors being opened for us. But, hands down the biggest blessing we have received is the friendship we have created with our friends Rik and Liz. Scott was first stationed with Rik back in Italy during their first duty station in the early 2000’s. Rik and Liz arrived here last summer and we quickly became friends. It is funny to think back to those first few interactions. I wanted to contact her so bad to hang out but I didn’t want to come across as needy or crazy! She was feeling the same way. We both spent far too long composing simple Facebook messages to one another. Fast forward 18 months and we text each other daily about almost anything.

We have spent many a nights making dinner, watching our favorite television shows, laughing and talking. In the past few months we have all experienced a few ups and downs. The beauty of the friendship we have cultivated is, when we are having a good day we can celebrate together, but more importantly when we are having a bad day we can rely on one another for support. I can say a random comment and instantly Liz knows I need a few positive words of encouragement.  She can text me with a concern of hers and immediately I am helping to solve it and often times getting more heated about it than she is! This is the point at which you know your friends are far more than just friends, they are family. 

Being in the military, often means we are not able to be around our family. Finding friends who turn into family make each duty station feel more like home. It makes dealing with the bad bearable.  The Navy, or any branch of the military is a journey you can’t do alone. While I am blessed to have a family that can very much relate {My dad and brother in law are also in the Navy} it is so necessary to have someone who is only a 5 minute walk or 30 second car ride away.

I am sad just thinking about having to leave our amazing friends come this summer. However, I know the Navy is a small community and I can almost bet we will see them again at a duty station in the future. While I don’t expect to find the same kind of friendship at every duty station knowing it is possible makes the thought of picking up and starting over again just a little bit more manageable.

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