Friday, October 30, 2009

Support Systems

Have you found that there is a good support system for military wives? Has it been easy to make new friends?

While I only have experience at one base thus far, I will say that the answer to this is really up to you. This base and I believe most do, have a Family Readiness Center. They set up weekly play dates, classes for new military families, and have a lot of information on how to help you adjust. I have only used the FRC for free childcare when I moved here. They offered 20 free hours of babysitting for each of my children when I moved here so I could unpack, go shopping, do whatever. I was hesitant but met with one of the caregivers (they do it in their homes) and she was super nice and great with the kids. It was a huge help to have a break right away. I have friends that have gone to the weekly play date and met people that way also.

I have not partook in much of the bases' outreach on supporting new military families. I have a church that is located everywhere in the world (Latter Day Saints aka Mormon's) and thus I have a support system as soon if not before I move to a new place. I am blessed that way. So I have a lot friends from my church that live on base, whose kids go to school with my kids etc. BUT I also have made quite a few friends through my child's school, other JAG wives, and in my neighborhood. There is an officer's wives club but I never joined it. I personally don't know many women that have been involved with that so I don't know how that goes. If you live on base, you see a lot of the same people every day and it is easy to make new friends. But if you don't put yourself out there then you may find it more difficult.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Friend,

    Please know how much it meant to me to stumble across your blog! I was desperately searching the internet for any information regarding Jag and your honesty and understanding of how confusing it is to navigate (I’m not from a military family either!) is a bright spot. My husband is a 3L and is in the process of applying to Jag, he actually has his interview on Thursday. So, while there are a lot more steps before we would be in your shoes, and I may be jumping the gun, I was wondering if you could field some of my questions to help us make a decision in the event he is offered a commission. My husband already has an offer from a firm where we are living now, but the JAG life appeals to us too, maybe even more than the stuffy firm-climbing life. We’re young, don’t have kids yet, and I’m not really set in a career. Both of us thrive off change- new people, places, opportunities. But it’s scary!

    Forgive me for there being so many…:
    1. Forgive me if this is too personal, but you mentioned in an earlier post that the pay isn’t anything like a flash law firm salary- but would you mind talking about what it is actually like a bit more? For instance, is it enough to survive on or are things really tight? Did you have to change your standard of living a lot to join up? We try to live simply and below our means. Our situation is that it is just the two of us, but my husband is facing all of his school loans (his dad was a country pastor so my husband payed for his private undergrad and law schools in loans). If you live on base are utilities/rent just taken care of and your salary is all left over?

    2. Also, beyond the medical field, what sort of jobs do you see young spouses working in? I was scared by a post I saw on a different forum that said no one will hire a military spouse because they know you’ll be moving. I have a BA in literature and philosophy but have been working in the Foreign Policy advisory world out of D.C. for the last two years. I’m open to changing fields depending on what base he is placed at, but it’s important for me to work.

    3. Can you walk through the process of what happens after [if] he receives an offer? Are you told where you would be stationed before you accept? If not, how long after? Do you really have two different choices or do they just tell you where you’re going? Do you always have a choice with each transfer?

    4. And finally…We have a three year old Black Lab- can we bring him with us wherever we go? What about if we live on base? What about internationally?

    Thank you so much,