Young and in the Military: Getting Started

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young and in the militaryStarting Out:
When I first heard my fiance (now husband) was joining the Air Force, I had no idea what that would mean for me. I had no idea what military life was like, and knew nothing about the military in general. Since, I knew this was going to be my new life, I wanted to find out as much as I could about it. Here are a few things that I did and that I recommend to get started:

1. Join a Support Group
There are so many resources out there, and all you have to do is take advantage of them! Joining a support group will help you make friends with other wives whose husbands are in the military. People will be able to answer any questions you have about the military in general, and about your husband’s branch.When your husband deploys, a support group will have people who are there for you, and who will also offer ideas on care packages and how to keep yourself busy until he comes home. Here are four different support groups online, that are meant to help, encourage, and get you through.

Although these four aren’t the only ones online that you can find, these are four really great sites to get you started. If you are already at your base you may even have a support group that you can go to there, such as a Family Readiness Center or Family Readiness Group (FRG). If you have other friends who happen to be military wives, talk to them. Most likely they will be the ones who have “been there done that” and will be able to help you and answer your questions.

2. Find Out More About Your Base
As soon as I found out what base I was going to be stationed at, I got right online and googled everything I could to find out about it. I found the main website for the base, I looked for a website about housing, and I looked for pictures of the area. I also looked for wives groups online that were specifically related to that base.

When you learn what base you are going to be stationed at, try to find out as much as you can. Google your base name and see what websites it will come up with. Also switch over to pictures and see if you can view pictures of the base or the area. For example when I google my base: Robins AFB here are a few of the websites that come up:

  • The Robins AFB official website.
  • A quick reference phone list (Very helpful when you need to call housing and other places on base).
  • Robins AFB jobs.
  • Robins AFB on Wikipedia (Good way to learn about the base and its history).
  • Robins AFB welcome site and base guide.
  • Robins AFB Museum of Aviation
  • Robins AFB lodging on base and hotels in the surrounding area
  • Robins AFB housing – Huntington village.

And that is only the first page! All those websites can be potentially helpful to someone new and moving to the area. You just never know what you may find!

Another way to find out more about your base. Is to go onto the social networking sites and find wives groups that are associated with the base. Do a search on:

What should you search for? When searching on these sites there are a few things you can enter in:

1. Try searching just your base name.
2. Try searching “wives” at “your base name.”
3. Try searching “spouses” at “your base name.”
4. Try searching for wives in your husband’s specific unit or squadron.

I have searched for numerous bases on these sites, and have yet to find any without any wives groups or groups at all. If you do not come across any on the site of your choice, make one! I found several groups on myspace that were helpful, but because I did not care for Myspace I looked on Facebook. Since there were none from my base, I decided to make one. I did not think anyone would ever join and now a year later I have over 100 people who have joined!

What kind of questions do you ask when you join a spouses or wives group? When you join one of these groups associated with your base, ask whatever questions you want. Some popular ones are:

  • What is the housing like on base?
  • What is the base like?
  • What is the surrounding area like?
  • Is it better to live off base or on?
  • What are the best neighborhoods to buy a house in?
  • What are the schools like in that area? (If you have children).
  • Are there any jobs available in that area?

I’m sure, if you are like me there are tons of other questions you can come up with, but these are just a few to get you started. These groups can be very helpful and are a great way to meet new friends!

To read the rest of the series click here:


Deployment is a Journey

Is your spouse deploying soon? Check out my book on deployment for military spouses and families!

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  1. These are some great tips. I guess since my dad was in the military I always have the idea that I "know all;" though I, of course, don't know all there is to know about the military. I'm glad you are able to find the resources you need to help you out and share what you've found with others.

  2. Kathryn, do you know of anymore forums? I’m just finding your posts, and many of the forums you listed are not kept up now. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Emily,
      So sorry it has take me this long to get back to you! It’s sad that those forums aren’t working anymore. 🙁 But the good news is Facebook is a great place to get support! Here is a support group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/nowomanstandsalone/ There is also wivesoffaith.org and tons more on Facebook. just google it! Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck!

  3. Awesome series! I wish had seen this a couple years ago when I married my husband. I’ve learned to research everything and ask questions when needed. I even joined multiple Facebook groups for our base so I can ask other spouses my questions rather than spending my day texting my husband while he was at work with every question that came to mind (he never appreciated this haha)! This is a really helpful series for new military spouses!

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