This is not an interesting post, either. But I made a promise that I'd try to post something every day for the rest of July, so although it is nearly 11 pm and my hands smell like salad dressing and my eyes are burning, here I am with you fine people.

I hope you are happy.
    
Tonight was the Volunteer Appreciation dinner at our brigade commander's house. His wife (along with our XO's wife) is a lovely woman and I'm going to miss her dearly when our commander changes duty stations and they move. That's how the Army is, though. You form the closest type of bonds, then one of you moves away...

There was about 30 of us there, armed with plates of food and bottles of wine. The volunteers make up the unit's Family Readiness Group (FRG), which acts as a support channel and communication chain for all the unit family members. In particular, they are supposed to care for the family members that are left behind during a deployment
(wonder if anyone from Theseus's unit's FRG will contact me... should I hold my breath?).

The brigade commander (who leaves us for another assignment later this week) and his wife thanked us for being such a big part of their lives and for improving the lives of the Soldiers, but I wonder if they fully realize the impact they've had on us? They have been the most involved, most caring, most genuine commander/wife I've had in my 8 years.

It's been a great experience for me, being a part of my unit's FRG (even though I am a unit member, not a spouse of the unit - but they have welcomed me regardless). Theseus and I have never been on active duty, so the whole family culture is completely different. They have their own set of customs and traditions that marry the military customs and traditions. It's been fun to learn all these things I would have otherwise not been exposed to.

It also makes me a little wistful, though, too. These women are all so strong, but they are used to relying on each other. As their Soldier is moved from duty station to duty station, they have to pick up and begin a new life, across the country or across the world, not knowing anyone or where anything is. And through the FRG and similar spouses clubs, they quickly form bonds with the other wives, who help make the transition easier. It is just understood that their children will play together and that, yes, of course they can borrow a serving platter, that they will join the FRG, that they will contribute to the bake sale, that they will host the next wives social, that they will attend promotion/award/retirement ceremonies and sit together. I look at them and admire their strength, but understand that much of it comes from being strong together.

I don't want to be an active duty Army wife, not usually anyway. But nights like tonight make me long for it, just a little.

- Antiope

 


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