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Creating a Support Network: How Military Spouses Can Get Connected

Military life is a bit different, isn’t it? For some of us, it’s all that we know. I married my high school sweetheart after college, just weeks after he commissioned.

I don’t know what it’s like to put down roots in a community as an adult, but I’m grateful to have a strong network of military spouses to call upon and to do this military life with. 

“If you need an emergency contact for your kiddo, you can use me,” said a neighbor shortly after we moved into our new home on base. 

Newly married and without kids, I smiled, but had no idea why someone would offer that. Twenty years later, I’m the person telling neighbors and spouses I happen to welcome to the area. I get it. You’re probably shaking your head because you get it, too. And if you don’t — it’s okay, you will. 

Wondering how to build your own network and get connected? 

 

Get online

 

There are tons of Facebook groups created for military spouses. These groups are great for asking for local tips and tricks, but there are also always a ton of people asking about playgroups, bunko, and any other activity you might be interested in. While getting an eye doctor at your new station is crucial, don’t stop there. Take it a step further and meet up — in person — with people from the group! 

For those who may be remote or further from a military population, there are great online platforms to connect virtually with other military spouses! Swapping recipes or getting fitness tips from other milspouses is a great way to feel more connected!

 

Spouses’ clubs

 

I know that those words can stir up a lot of opinions. But, you don’t know if you don’t try! The spouses’ clubs of today are generally vastly different from the ones of yesterday. Many meet in the evenings or weekends to accommodate working spouses, include all spouses (some even extend it beyond spouses including partners and civilian government employees), and have a variety of interest groups to support modern military spouses. 

 

Wanna be startin’ somethin’

 

In the words of Michael Jackson, if there isn’t a way for you to get connected to military spouses, you wanna be startin’ somethin’! 

Yep, that may sound daunting, but it doesn’t need to be! It can be as simple as asking if anyone wants to meet up at the local playground for a playdate or asking out some neighbors to check out the local coffee shop. 

Perhaps you are at a base without a spouses’ club but think there could be interest. Find a few spouses to help and head to your installation private organization office. 

Two fellow Space Force spouses, and dear friends, and I set out to help Guardian spouses connect on monthly Zoom calls as the newest and smallest branch forges a new path. We’ve been so excited to hear about spouses meeting during our calls and then meeting up in person for the first time. 

We need each other

 

You might think that you don’t need help, and you might not. But, there may come a time when you do. Even if that time never comes, the really special part of military life is the relationships. You can also be the one that someone else needs. Connections don’t need to be lifelong friends, but they very well could be. And even if they’re not, your life is richer with those bonds, whether they come for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. 

These spouses know what PCS and TDY mean. They also know that Murphy only comes to visit during PCSes, TDYs, and deployments. They’ll pick your kids up from school, hold your hand when you give birth, help you find your lost dog, bring you dinner (or bourbon) when it’s been a rough week, and help you prep your house when it’s time to pack up, again. 

Put yourself out there and meet some other military spouses. Get connected and walk this interesting, challenging, and rewarding life with fellow spouses. Life is better together.

So yeah, need an emergency contact? I got you.

 

*For more posts from Sheila, visit her M:M Author page.

 

Author

  • Sheila Rupp

    Sheila Rupp is originally from Michigan and is married to her high school sweetheart. She is a copy editor and writer with almost 20 years of experience. Like many military spouses, Sheila’s career has varied greatly over the years while staying within the communications field. Sheila has a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communications, and a minor in Professional Writing from the University of New Mexico. Sheila is a military spouse of more than 18 years. Having spent the first 17 years as an Air Force spouse, she is now a proud Space Force spouse after her spouse transitioned to the newest branch. She serves as a Key Spouse and enjoys volunteering for a local nonprofit arts organization. In her free time, you’ll find Sheila on hiking trails, curled up with a good book, watching her daughter dance, or traveling the globe. Sheila is currently based in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and dog.

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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492

Contact:

hello@missionmilspouse.org

P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904

 

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