You are a military spouse and you’ve just arrived at a duty station and are tasked with finding a home, a school for the child(ren), and a job.
You’re tasked with completing all of this alone, because your spouse is away on a six-month deployment. You do this, and so much more, every two to three years, and it’s never easy.
Because of this frequently experienced scenario, it’s important to find a support network within our military community. I hope that you will agree that establishing a support system among military spouses is essential. While our active-duty counterparts are on deployment and extended training away from home, we are left to figure out how to survive in a new place, perhaps knowing no one, and that can be stressful.
So, if you are struggling with getting to know other military spouses or people in general, I want to share some advice on ways to develop new relationships and build a support network.
The military community provides events for personnel and their families — hiring events, command functions, classes, local activities. These are great opportunities to develop new relationships. You can meet individuals who offer invaluable information on your current or next duty station. No matter who you meet, take the time to get to know these people. To do this, make use of your base installation resources. Each base has several opportunities for military spouses to network and get to know other spouses.
Command ombudsmen, who serve as links between commands and families, are available to assist military spouses with finding resources on- and off-base to fit their specific needs. They can also inform you of other available groups and programs.
Each command also has a Family Readiness Group (FRG), where you can meet other spouses through meetings and other command social events. It’s a great opportunity, especially to make friends and to find out about more resources available within your command.
If your command does not have one or either of these, your base Fleet and Family Support Center can provide you with more resources. They also provide classes, workshops and groups that can provide opportunities to meet other military spouses you can find support from and network with.
Whether you are looking for employment, a resource, or a friend, there are opportunities present where you can meet other spouses and hopefully develop a positive relationship that can extend beyond your duty station.
With a little time and effort, you will see the results from putting yourself out there and getting know your military community.
— LaPora Lindsey is the owner of High Caliber Resumes. She enjoys volunteering in her spare time. She, her Navy husband and their two children live in Silverdale.