By Dawnye Appel
- Join a Family Readiness Group
Despite the bad rap FRGs have gotten in years past, the purpose of these groups is to support spouses and other family members of soldiers. It’s all about fun — bake sales, bowling nights and Christmas parties. They aim to bring families together and keep them informed, and if you feel like it needs work, then get
involved. A good FRG helps the whole unit and makes it great.
Getting involved in the community is a great way to begin new friendships. Do something that is for the good of man, and make comrades at the same time. The USO, food banks and domestic violence shelters are a few organizations that could use your time.
- Blossom into a social (media) butterfly
It’s far past Y2K, so don’t be afraid to make friends online. Use social networking, like Facebook or Pinterest, as a tool. Many spouses begin networking months before a move to get a feel of the new area. Find people with similar interests and gather vital
information to make the transition smooth for the whole family.
- Do what you love
From scrapbooking, photography, stamp collecting, couponing and rock climbing, there’s bound to be a group of fellow enthusiasts dying to welcome you into their group. Talk to people with similar interests and find out where they meet. Just because you move every few years doesn’t mean the things you love change too. Has a new hobby caught your eye, but you aren’t sure if it’s for you? Give it a shot. Best case: You make a few pals. Worst case: You expanded your horizons. Bummer.
- Host a mixer
If you are super extroverted then bring the people to you. Have a party and invite your neighbors, families of your soldier’s coworkers and your own coworkers. Plan a potluck. No one turns down good food, and it lets everyone know you are the type to jump right in as well as someone to turn to when in need.
Military wives chime in on making friends at Fort Campbell:
“Welcome to the biggest family in America! You will find that there will be people who try to bring you down, and you will find people who will pick you up. But remember only you can pick your path and the direction you allow it to send you. Never give up and keep moving forward. Times will be hard, but you will get through it.” — Crystal Mongold Eisenhofer
“My advice would be to never judge anyone or dismiss them before giving them a chance … I’ve met a handful of great women here that I would have never imagined becoming friends with outside of the military world. It’s awesome how it can bring two completely different people together.” — Tamara Kitchens
“Making friends is easy. Keeping friends, that is a whole other story. Just having something in common will not make for a long-term friend. There needs to be a spark, so that when the common things have been over-talked, over-discussed, so on you STILL have things to talk about and relate to. If that connection is strong, sometimes you don’t even have to talk about anything. Just being in each other’s company will be enough. Keeping friends is hard work but well worth it.” — Jennifer Bailey
“In order to find the good ones, you have to be able to put yourself out there. Be willing and open to friendships as they come along. Not all will be great or long lasting, but every now and again you’ll meet a person you just click with. Don’t let the bad apples in the area ruin your chances of finding some of the best friends you could possibly ask for.” — Amy Strickland