NVW2015 and being a military spouse.

I've mentioned a few times here on this blog how I volunteer in my spare time.  I'm the membership chair and webmaster for the Fort Gordon Spouses' and Civilians' Club.  I'm also the creator (along with my cousin) of a Facebook page that organizes gatherings for ladies affiliated with Fort Gordon (that door hanger painting party? An outing for that group!).  I helped with the FRG (Family Readiness Group) for the Brigade Rob was in before he went to Warrant Officer Candidate School (since returning for the rest of his schooling (WOBC), he is now in an entirely different Brigade here on Fort Gordon).

I mention all of this again because it is National Volunteer Week (April 12-18, 2015).

And volunteering makes being a military spouse that much easier.

When you marry someone in the military, you marry into a lifestyle that often takes you away from family and friends.  Takes you out of your comfort bubble to places with monograms and lots and lots of bugs (or drifts and drifts of snow?!).  It takes you somewhere where you may only know your spouse. Being an adult and making friends is hard.  Am I right?

So what's a girl to do?

That was me in 2010.  I had just graduated with my Associate's degree and moved from Kansas to Maryland to live with Rob.  We adopted a dog.  So I had Rob and Piston.  We didn't live on base.  And I found making friends a bit of a challenge.  I was fortunate that Rob had already been there for a year and had started forming friendships with some of the husbands.  But what really helped me make Fort Meade a home away from home was volunteering on base.

I joined the Enlisted Spouses Club and it kept me busy.  I didn't land a job while we lived in Maryland, but I was okay with that as I was able to throw myself into volunteering on base.  I also helped with the FRG that was being set up while we were there... and I was busy.

It made being away from home easier.  It made the days pass a little quicker.  And I MADE FRIENDS.  I knew people.

These days I say yes when a volunteer opportunity comes up.  I like to see my hard work pay off.  I like knowing that I'm doing a little bit of good.  Being Grace's mom and Rob's wife are my primary jobs.. but right behind that?  Volunteering.

I don't get paid, but it is so so worth it.  And I definitely encourage any military spouses trying to find their way in their temporary home away from home - go volunteer.  Believe me, the opportunities are there when it comes to the military community.  Find them.  You will not regret it.

Happy National Volunteer Appreciation week my friends!

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  1. I 100% agree with this! There is no other experiencing like volunteering within this military community. Some of my best memories have come from volunteering. Of course with volunteering comes balance and sometimes you can become burnt out and need time to recharge. I took a step back from volunteering after doing it nonstop for the last 6 years and am enjoying some time away from FRG and other things. :) I think you are amazing!