One of the greatest things I took away from our time in the military was amazing friendships, friendships with people who never would have been on my radar had it not been for the military. Not just because our paths would not have crossed, but because many of my closest friends and I have completely opposite views on very controversial topics. They are people from all over the US, with different views, different ideas, different ways of doing things and I love each and everyone of them, including their kids and spouses as if they were family.
In the military world, your friends are your family away from home. Many people are states away from their family members (while I was lucky home was only a 2 hour drive from me my friends at McGuire Air Force base were indeed my family and not just my friends). You need your friends to survive the hard times and you need them to celebrate the good times. They become a big role in your children’s lives and you become a big role in theirs. But due to how often people move around you have a choice to make, with in the first few minutes of meeting someone you make the choice on if you want them to be a friend of if you don’t. Not because you are being mean, but because time is short when it comes to friends in the Military, you have a few years together and then someone will move. Friendships turn to more of a family relationship quickly and that is just the way it is.
When you have friends in the military they take on a completely different role then friends in civilian life do. In civilian life you can adjust plans and change things and plan with the military not so much. A friend is having a baby and her husband is deployed, you step in. A friend’s child thought a coin looked like a tasty snack and her husband is deployed, you step in and help, a friend is having a baby, you throw them a shower (doesn’t matter if its baby 1,2,3 or 7 you throw them a shower). A friend is moving away to another base, everyone helps where they can, packing watching kids, cleaning the house ect, when someone’s husband deploys you help out, holidays are spent together. Not everyone can go home for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter ect, so you have family holidays together as what you are families. You help each other, even if that means getting up crazy early in the morning to watch a friends kids and you sleep on their couch, because they have to go to work and their husband is still at work.If you are newly married with no idea how to cook, they will step right in and teach you all that they know. Your cooking becomes a mesh of what you ate as a kid and many different other styles of cooking that you have learned from each other.
But the thing is that all those you become close to, who move away are still on your mind all the time. Thank God for Facebook where we can keep up with each other regularly when we are in different time zones (some in different countries), that make phone chats hard.
I have a group of ladies who no matter where they are in the world are on my mind, they are family and always will be even if it means we haven’t talked on the phone in 2+ years! We can pick up the phone (or a facebook im) like not a day has gone by since we last talked. Catching up and being happy for the good each is having and then months will go by until it can happen again, but the next time its the same… like nothing has changed.
But it does make for some tough times, the moves of losing friendships that are right there locally and then having to make new friends that don’t always replace the ones you move away from.
But at the same time, those are the friends who call with a 2 day notice that they will be in the area and you clear your schedule, open up your house and have them stay, or drive 2 hours because they are close by just to have a cup of coffee or lunch with because you don’t know when they next time you will physically see them again will be.
To my ladies and their families, you all know who you are, I wouldn’t imagine my life without you even though all of you are now hours, states and countries away and having you as a part of my family is the best gift the Military ever gave me!
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o “Tough is so much more than physical strength. For some, it’s about being resilient. For others, it means showing compassion. Tell us what “tough” means to you and the Brawny® brand will donate $1 to WWP for every text or photo submission, and for $5 for every video (up to $350,000). You can share your definition and donate using #ToughIs on Facebook, Instagram or visit www.brawny.com/wounded-
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Brawny in partnership with sharing information about the Brawny and Wounded Warriors partnership. All opinions are 100% my own.