One terrible fact of military life is moving. All the time. Since my husband joined almost four years ago, we have lived in three different states and four different apartments. We just renewed a lease for the first time in our marriage. Each of our children were conceived in a different state than they were born in, and neither were born (or conceived) in the same state.
Our first duty station was a training command, most of the people there were like us and living on their own for the first time and eager to meet others. There were several Facebook groups, and meetups all the time. I personally held “Girl’s Day” at my house every Friday for several months. I had close friends, and the majority of my close friends I met there I still keep in touch with today. I look back fondly at my memories there. As a “nuke” wife, you will definitely be starting out in South Carolina. If you live on base, you will definitely meet a lot of people, if you find the Facebook groups, you’ll interact with other wives in the exact same position as you.
The second duty station we had was a lot different. I was closer to family, so instead of trying to meet people and start friendships, I visited family I hadn’t seen in years and kept close with the great friends I had known for a decade or longer. The military friends I had there were already established, they moved when we moved, so we kept in touch.
Now here we are at our third duty section and I’m far away from everything and everyone. We have one set of very close friends that we spend time with just about every day. Our daughters are best friends, and they’re the first people we call whenever we hear about anything fun, or we just want to hang out. Aside from that, I have not met really any new people at all.
Well anyway, back to the point. Meeting friends.
1. Your husband’s friends’ wives. He has friends, they can’t spend a zillion hours a week together and not have found friends. Ask about his friends and invite them over.
2. Facebook. There are at least 83 Navy wife groups at every duty station. We’re in VA, and new ones are seriously popping up about every other day. It’s ridiculous. To find a group in your area search “Navy Wives in (enter your state/duty station here)” or “(your ship name) Navy Wives” or ask your ombudsman if there are any pages.
3. SPEAKING OF OMBUDSMAN, go to your command FRG meetings. They are usually once a month and there are lots of people there. Seasoned wives, new wives, nuke wives, non nuke wives.
4. Find something you’re interested in, and find a club for it. Meetup.com is great for finding groups of people that are awesome and around you. They have groups separated by interests, and there’s hundreds of these things. Last I checked, within 25 miles of me is 445 meetups. It’s insane. You’re sure to find some friends there!
5. Neighbors. I know it’s hard to just go across the street and introduce yourself to WHO KNOWS WHO, but the odds aren’t high that they are a serial mass murderer planning to kill the next person who knocks on their door. Maybe bring over some cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies?
So now, go forth, and find some friends!
How do you find friends in new places?