The Texas days are hitting well into the 90’s. Moving trucks are lining the streets. Crates are being opened and cardboard boxes fill the driveways. Items you just don’t want to move with are being purged. Yes, PCS (permanent change of station) season is upon us.
With the season in full effect, friendships have been at the top of my mind. We have friends that are heading off to new journeys, we have friends heading here to start their new Army adventure, and friends retiring embarking upon their next chapter.
We moved here 14 months ago and have made some amazing friends. Friends who will be a part of our world regardless of the miles are between us.
When we first moved here, I was lucky to meet the families that lived on our street. Those neighbors became our friends — almost immediately. We porch-hop from one house to the other sharing lots of laughs, sound advice, and a good vent here and there.
From there, the circle of friends expands; those friendships come from work, time spent volunteering, and through hobbies.
Friendships deepen and you begin to think of all of these lovely humans in your life as family.
Friendships in the military community are accelerated. You only have so much time together at each duty station, and you are all in the same boat. You deal with the same celebrations and the same grief.
You manage the same difficulties, and you always know your new pals have your back.
There are different kinds of friendships; the fast and the furious. You instantly connect. You have everything in common. You love all the same things. You enjoy spending your time together. Basically, you are kindred spirits.
Or there is the slow and steady friendship. You like each other. You enjoy each other’s company. You have some things in common but it takes a while to break through and get to know each other. But once that happens, you know you have made a friend for life.
One of the first families we met here are heading East. As excited as I am for the next chapter in their Army life, I am bummed I won’t see them on a regular basis. They welcomed us to The Great Place with open arms and kind hearts. As soon as we got here, my husband deployed and they made me feel like I always had a second home. From their monthly get-togethers to Fort Hood Spouses’ Club fundraisers to the rodeo, I was always included. I feel lucky. I feel blessed. I am thankful to have them in my life, and the Army is lucky to have leaders like this family. They make our Army and Army families better and stronger.
As both our Army adventures continue, just in different cities, I know that we will always have them in our corner. And our family will always be in theirs. They impacted my life more than I think they will ever know; they reinforced my Army family values, and they reminded me how important it is to be inclusive.
So, if you are heading off on your next Army adventure or if you are staying put but your BFF is no longe next door or around the corner. Remember to use your all those great military spouse traits, and grab hold of that ability to adapt. Be welcoming. Be kind. Be inclusive. It’s what we know.
The bonds of friendship will continue to grow. Until you see each other again, you have Facebook and Facetime. So, from Fort Hood to Kaiserslautern or anywhere in between, when you are reunited you will pick up right where you left off.
Reena O’Brien is a military spouse and a Herald correspondent. She lives on Fort Hood.