Young and in the Military: Making Friends
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I have been planning to write this post for awhile now, and Jocelyn Green’s post What do you do to make friends? reminded me of it! This is a topic I think everyone can learn from whether you are a military wife or not, but especially military wives, because we move around so much.
I started a group on Facebook about a year ago for wives who are stationed at Robins AFB. It has grown a lot over the year and I have gotten to know a lot of wives. One of the things I hear the most on the group, is how the wives who have been stationed here for several months have yet to make any friends or meet any other military wives. This always surprises me, and I hope that these tips can help other wives who feel the same way.
I have found that the key to making friends is that you have to be a friend first. Even if you are the newbie and have no idea what you may be doing, sometimes you have to take the first step! I know some ladies are shy, and let me tell you I used to be one of the shyest girls, but when I went to college I had to get past it and learn to make friends. That has helped me a lot and prepared me for military life. Sometimes I still find it hard to take that first step, but every time I have, I have found it so worth it!
1. Join a Support Group
I think I have mentioned this in every part of the “Young and in the Military” series so far, but it is so important, and a big help! Look online for military wife support groups. A lot of times once you join you will find other ladies like you who are also stationed at the same base as you.
When I arrived at this base newly married, I did not know what to do with myself. I wanted something to do and I knew volunteering would be something that would be helpful and keep me busy. I went to the Family Readiness Center and found out what areas on the base needed volunteers. I ended up volunteering at the Center itself, making pillow cases for children with deployed parents, and doing other odds and ends jobs. I also signed up to coach 3 and 4 year old soccer on base. I had never coached before, but I watched a video and filled out some paperwork and they made me a coach that day! I made some great friends volunteering in both these areas.
3. Join a Bible Study
There are usually several groups of ladies around base who have started a Bible study, whether they started as a group of friends or maybe fo their husband’s unit. Also, check out the chapel on base. There are usually Bible study groups there that you can sign up for such as, PWOC (Protestant Woman of the Chapel. To see if your base has a PWOC group click HERE.
4. Join a Playgroup
If you have any children, look into joining a play group. If you don’t know of any, google play groups in your area, or see if the ladies at your church have one. It gives you and your child the opportunity to make new friends!
5. Join a Wives Group on Facebook
I know I have mentioned this before in other parts of this series, but this is one thing that has been a big help to me. Usually for most bases there will be a group for wives or spouses for your base or maybe your husband’s unit. The ones we have here are called Wives at Robins AFB and RAFB Spouses.
The group gets together every once in a while and goes out to eat or meets for ice cream or something. It’s a great way to meet friends and it is how I met almost every single one of my friends here. You can also post on the group that you are looking for a work-out buddy a walking buddy, or even just a play date with the kids. A friend of mine posted about working out and we met on the base to work out several times a week, and now that we have gotten to know each other we are great friends! Usually there will always be someone else who has the same interests as you, so why not speak up!
To read the rest of this series, click here:
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These are all great tips. I've definitely made some great friends over the past two years, but I'm so excited for the time that I'm not working and can meet more women at church through a Bible Study.
Good tips! I have found the best ways I met people were online groups and playgroups!
P.S. I'm not gonna lie… child birth hurt, I mean think of what your body has to do! But, it obviously isn't that bad or people would only have one baby!! Any imagine back in the day when there were no drugs or anything to help? 🙂 I never forgot the pain, but I would do it 100 times over again just to have my little guy!
Very nice tips 🙂
I have learned that when I put myself out there first, friendships are easier to find 🙂
Great tips!! When we moved here to Germany I went through our Newcomers class, which is a week long (most posts have it, but not many attend in the states, but it's very common and encouraged overseas) and found some great friends there, and PWOC and got very involved in our chapel.
A few blog awards are on my blog for you! Love your blogs…thanks so much for writing!!! 🙂
Hi Kathryn, found your blog thru The Mrs. blog (and I see from the comments that my good friend Christy reads you too!). I love your suggestions here.
The first thing I do BEFORE I move is find a group or two on yahoo…there is always a military spouses group for your location. I get onto Spousebuzz.com and ask if anyone is at that post, too.
And as soon as I get to my new community, I plug in. I find a church…and get involved in whatever way I can. I find a ministry (or two, or more) that I can serve in, and jump in with both feet.
I greet the neighbors too. Often, when you come to a new neighborhood (especially off post/base), you expect the neighbors to greet you…but they don't. And I know many who may harbor resentment. But not me. I walk up and down and chat with neighbors. I hang out at the community pool and take every opportunity to talk with them.
But I have to say that my one biggest source of friendship is always through my church.
This is a great post. But I have had problems finding good friends. We might only be stationed at my husband's current duty station for a year (6 months are completed already). There is no FRG here and most of his friends are single soldiers. We also don't have kids nor do we go to church. I work and go to school full time. It's tough meeting new people with all this going on.
I know this post is a few years old now, but I really relate to it and find it helpful. I’ve been at Fort Stewart for almost a year now and I’m still struggling to make friends. I have a few ladies I know, but I’m still praying for that one woman I can call or text just to chat and hang out with when I’m feeling lonely. I just found out there is a group of women from my church who meet once a week on post for a Bible study and I can’t wait to try it out and hopefully make some deeper friendships! Thanks for the tips!