New friendships, sharing experiences make Army life rewarding
March 31, 2011
Packing up your life every few years can take its toll on a person. Sure, it's a pain to find a place to live and replace items lost or damaged in a move, but what about what's lost or damaged on the inside'
I'm a self-proclaimed "Army brat." I was born at Fort Campbell, Ky., and I attended more than my fair share of different schools both in the U.S. and abroad. You'd think, being an Army spouse, that moving would be less painful because I've done it so much, but it's not. Nothing makes leaving Family and friends any easier.
Every time we move to a new place, we start fresh. We find a place to live and settle in, and I start looking for a job. While my husband's job allows him to walk straight into a workplace full of potential friends with similar interests, spouses have to work to find their own friends. Sometimes we already know someone stationed at our new home post, sometimes not. Eventually, we become part of a circle of friends and are surrogate Families to one another, knowing that in the near future, some of us will make a permanent-change-of-station move or face a deployment.
When my husband was deployed to Iraq in 2009, I had to rise to the occasion more than a few times. I moved here from Fort Rucker, Ala., alone with all of our household goods and a dog. I had one friend, whom I'd only known for a few short weeks who moved to Fort Drum from Alabama at the same time. I count myself lucky to have had one person I could depend on in a new place. I remember that summer, she and I were attempting to repair her riding lawn mower. Never in my life did I think I'd have to be anywhere near a torque wrench, but alas, there we were in her garage fixing a piece of lawn equipment. We still look back on that day and laugh.
One time I actually caught myself thinking, "why even bother meeting new people because they're just going to leave'" but you know what' You can learn so much from reaching out and becoming friends with Army Family Members. Where else can you find such a diverse group of individuals consolidated in an area with the same mission and who are going through the same things' Sometimes you even meet people from your "neck of the woods" who can share your slang and traditions, making you feel like you're a little closer to home.
The main point is to get out there and meet new people. Whether it's at your new job, a fitness class or at a family readiness group meeting, new friends are waiting to be found. Sure, I have great friends back home, but some of the people we've met on our Army journey will be friends for life. When your Soldier is deployed and you think you're having a bad day, remember, someone nearby can relate! Don't think you're all alone.