by Jennifer Kennedy, Guest Contributor
Making friends in the military can be hard. With our husbands picking up our lives every few years and placing us in places we may never have been – or may not even want to be at, it can be tricky.
I know your pain. I have been an Army wife for 7 years.
Moving is hard. Living on post has allowed for a sense of community but there is still something that complicates my friendships with my neighbors. What’s my deep dark secret?
I am in the Army too.
I have been in the Army longer than I’ve been an Army wife. And I love it. Everyone has “good Army days” and “bad Army days” but as your spouse can attest, the good outweighs the bad and having a career in the military is very fulfilling.
So why is it that when I reveal my job, other Army wives turn on their cold shoulder?
Other women in the military have experienced this as well. Everything is all good, we shop at Target, we wear the latest leggings, we Instagram our Red Cups.
But Monday-Friday, we serve our country while our neighbors are either stay-at-home parents or work at their civilian careers and for some reason, our jobs weird people out.
Confession: I’m an Army Soldier Looking for Friendship
I want to share 3 reasons why you should embrace your military ladyfriend.
I Can Decode Your Husband
Everyone knows the military works in acronyms. They can be tricky. Some even stand for 2 or 3 things! I know many wives who get confused and husbands who spend all day breaking it down for the soldiers so breaking it down for their wives may not be high on their list.
But fear not my friends, I know what these acronyms mean. I live them every day.
If you are ever confused as to why your husband is in the field (again) and what a gunnery is – hit me up!
Why do we need 87 different pairs of gloves? I am more than happy to tell you more than “it’s just what they gave me.”
I promise it is not hard to decode the acronyms and once you do, you’ll be able to understand what nonsense your husband and his battle buddies are talking about. Think of how impressed he will be the next time he throws out a bunch of acronyms about his next training event and you reply back with confidence about what the training exercise entails?
We Are in the Know
Units often know about on-post activities before the general public does. Parades, festivals, sporting events. Those are often “taskings” that service members have to provide support for – aka things your husband gets “volun-told” to do.
Want to know the route for the Memorial Day parade and the best place to set up your seats? I’ve seen the route. Your husband has too but he probably doesn’t care about it as much as we do.
Us moms are always on the hunt for fun weekend activities for the kids to do. We also know when local sport teams have tickets to give away, a head’s up on Thanksgiving and Christmas food and toy vouchers. Basically, if you want to know when the sign-up for free turkey is, I know when it is because I took the notes.
I Am More Than Just a Soldier
Of course, knowing your husband’s job and being able to explain it in easy to understand, non-military words is fun and all but at the end of the day, I am more than just a soldier.
I am a mom just like you. I worry about schools and daycares and preschools. I am just like you, stalking Pinterest for the best teacher’s gift or birthday party spread.
Yes, I wear combat boots.
Yes, I have to do PT tests and sometimes I work weird hours but I’m also a lady wanting some downtime. I need “girl time” just as much as you.
And I want to learn about what you do too. While I love my job, I do not always want to talk about the military. Are you a stay at home mom? How do you do it without losing your mind? Do you have a civilian career? What is it like?
Ladies in the military are not some weird “insider” to be looked at as a threat. We are your ally.
I get upset about going to the field just like you get upset that your husband is going to the field. The difference is, we can complain like girls do together.
We are also both married to a service member.
Your fears are my fears. Every time my husband has to leave town for work or deploy, I am just a big a nervous wreck as you are.
So, next time you see a woman in uniform, reach out to her. If she is anything like me, she is so ready for a conversation with another woman. We do not even have to talk about the military. Tell me about the latest Dollar Spot goodies.
Jennifer Kennedy is an Army veteran, Army wife, and grew up as an Army brat. Her husband, 4 kids, and 4 cats are currently experiencing all Fort Carson and the surrounding area has to offer. When she’s not exploring her duty station, she is blogging over at www.injeniouslife.com where she shares recipes, craft and sewing tutorials, and recaps of her duty station adventures.