Monday, February 8, 2010


As any military family must learn quickly, we never stay in one place too long. If we're lucky,(or in some cases, really unlucky) we may be at a station 4 or 5 years max. Sometimes, we may only be in a place for a few months to a year. Either way, you must adjust quickly to the idea of shallow roots.
With the constant moving around, comes the pros and cons. As military families, we are very blessed.
Some families never leave their hometowns.
We get to experience all different homes with all different cultures throughout the country, sometimes the world.
New faces, new friends, new far-away families.
Each and every place we go brings a whole new wealth of experiences.
We move as a family unit.
Whether its just the two of us, or there are 5 or 6 along for the ride,
we move together, and with that, we grow together.
Something you don't like about your home?
Its okay! You'll start over with a new one in a few years!
There are plenty of ways to maintain a positive outlook about moving around. As long as we stay optimistic, and view it all as an exciting new adventure, the stress won't weigh us down. But we also need to remain realistic, and note the possible issues that arise from being a constant rolling stone.
Our extended families typically remain in one place.
Being away from them, though hard, can be made easier by means of effective communication.
Phone calls, greeting cards, SKYPE, are all wonderful.
Sometimes there is a feeling of living out of a suitcase CONSTANTLY.
Make sure when you get to a new place, do little things to make it your own for awhile.
You don't have to remodel, but hang pictures or plant a garden.
Sadly, it is often that our friendships are temporary.
One person or the other is always leaving eventually.
Do your best to keep in touch.
You never know when you may run in to an old friend.
Packing and unpacking.
Need I say more?
Keep important things, but try not to accumulate too much.
And take transfers for exactly what they are worth.... Clean out!
New places mean new worries.
There isn't anything worse than pulling into your new community and not knowing where you are.
Take an opportunity, family in tow, to explore and learn your new area.
Find the police station, the post office, the library, a local park, the closest grocery store, a church, schools, and ALL important places on post.
Important places on base include:
The hospital, doctor's offices, the Commissary, any AAFES location, the finance office, your sponsor's unit location, CYSS (if you have children), DEERS ID office, among MANY others.
Mailing address changes... EEK!
What a pain... but there are ways to make it easier on yourself.
If you are lucky enough to have your next address before you leave your current one, do yourself a favor and submit a "change of address" to your local post office. This will help ease your worries if you think your sensitive documents may be sent to your old home by mistake.
Also, keep a list of all credit cards, bank accounts, subscriptions, memberships or other bills. This will make your life sooooo much easier when it comes time to start making the phone calls to submit your new address. You won't need to worry about what you may have forgotten.
These are just a few circumstances that arise when you live the life of an Army wife. But despite all of the moving around and shallow roots, there isn't any reason not to participate in your current community. Why should you miss out on being involved? And why should your community miss out on your contributions? I'm not saying go run for Mayor or anything, I mean I guess you could....
become involved in a church,
coach a little-league team,
join a book club,
sign your children up for the local play production,
take a dance class,
go to neighborhood watch meetings
meet some friends, maybe have a play date or a girls night out
plan a benefit, or a charity drive
go to a local municipal meeting
There are a ton of things you can do in your community that don't require a binding commitment. Most military communities EXPECT members to come and go. Becoming involved is a way to give your family a normal experience. Closing yourselves off from others will not only make you all miserable, but what would you be doing to leave an impact?
Our soldiers' job is to help and make a difference. Our job, as families, it to follow that example. As difficult as it may be to up and leave and start over again, God blesses us with a whole new community to make a difference in, and all new lives to touch. Don't pass up the opportunity.
"Lives of great people all remind us that we can make our own lives sublime.
And, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1 comment:

  1. I traveled the first 8 years of my life in a 'family unit' as an Army Brat. I think you're doing great Meg and I love your blog, you're so positive and real about things :) welcome to the Army Family!