Ever moved to a new duty station, unpacked your household goods, and wondered what in the world you’re going to do next? Felt like you were on a deserted island by yourself? Years ago, when families moved to a new community, a nice lady showed up as the welcome wagon to tell the new neighbors all about their new area and to help connect the family to the surrounding neighborhood. Although welcome wagons hardly exist anymore, you can step up and be the welcome wagon to new neighbors and other active-duty families.
As a military spouses, we have a responsibility to take care of each other. In a world where it’s becoming more and more about me, we need to make it more and more about we. We all need to take care of each other. We can all be there to welcome new families because we want someone to do the same thing for us when the tables turn.
Be the Welcome Wagon
Make it your job to introduce yourself to the new family on the block. Take them a handful of brochures about local hotspots. Provide them with paper maps of the surrounding area. Bring them takeout menus from your favorite restaurants. Do the ultimate of kindness — bring them food.
Be the Instigator
Grab the spouse and drag her along to meet your friends. Ask her over for a cup of coffee. Open your front door to her. Introduce her kids to the other kids in the neighborhood. Offer to be the emergency contact on her children’s paperwork. These little offers and invitations mean so much to a new spouse. Even if she does not take you up on the offer, you are making their transition a little easier.
Be the Example
Be the one who reaches out to others and takes care of the community. By being the one who sets the example of how to welcome others, you will encourage a community of spouses to do the same. Maybe you’ll start a movement at your duty station. Maybe you’ll make the next new spouse have an easier transition to a new life at a new duty station. Maybe you will bring back the idea that since we are all part of the military family, we should all work to take care of each other.
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