July 27, 2011
Military Wife Friendships
Women and friendships are like seashells and sand: They go together. When you get to a new duty station and your befriended you get asked questions like: What unit is soldier with? Who's your FRG leader? What housing did you get? Which school do your kids attend? We can chose to be friends with whomever we want but we know that rank effects some spousal friendships. Well YOU HAVE NO RANK, your soldier does! But you quickly learn the pecking order and figure out which friends house you can attend a bbq and hang out and which friends house you can't be seen "fraternizing" at. It's kinda a sad part of this lifestyle but it's something we can't change. Which makes us seek out friendships we can have. I think friendships formed during a deployments forge that friendship into a lifelong bond. It's something nobody else can understand expect that other military spouse. We learn to find our own “battle buddies.” [A Battle Buddy is a partner assigned to a fellow soldier in the United States Armed Forces. Assigned in pairs, each Battle Buddy is expected to assist his or her partner both in and out of combat.] Our battle buddies help us get through the hardest part of this lifestyle. We spend holidays together, watch each others kids, go on commissary, CMR, PX and shoppette trips, have dinner together, help fix household problems, and mainly listen to each other and give each other support. We get close. Extremely close, like family. You go through things with these friends that you normally don't go through with your "civilian" friends. [A civilian is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces] It's sometimes very hard for your civilian friends to understand what you are going through and sympathize with you. I'm grateful for my civi friends but right now being married to the military I'm blessed to have these military friendships in my life. Enduring all these deployments without them I would locked away in a padded room banging my head against the wall.
I think the hardest part of a military friendship is that when our soldiers return from downrange, things change. They have to. The once friend you pretty much depended on for everything everyday now has her husband back home. And I think things should change. Then you move and things change. How do we deal with this? Thank goodness for places like Facebook. We get to keep in touch, share photos, share troubles and still share about our lives everyday, it keeps our friendship strong. And while this is great, it is NO replacement for what we use to be able to do together.
I'd like to personally thank all my military friends, and tell you I love you and the friendship[s] we have formed.
Remember that song “Make new friends but keep the old, One is silver and the other gold" All of you are GOLD to me :)