Years ago I damaged our little Honda Civic. My husband and I decided to do the body work on the vehicle ourselves. A member of our Bible study at the time said he could help us, and soon the car was looking like new. We were so thankful to our friend for his help, as he saved us a bunch of money.

A couple weeks later we were surprised to find out that our friend, who was serving in the Navy, had been reprimanded for “fraternizing,” as he was an enlisted sailor and my husband was an officer.

I was absolutely confused, and a bit angry, too. Were we not supposed to spend time with him at our Bible study, or even accept his help with our car just because of his military rank? He and my husband weren’t even in the same branches of the military!

I’ve been very respectful through the years of military spouses with more exposure to military life than me, whether their soldiers were enlisted or officers. I haven’t looked up to them only because of whom they had married, but because they had likely lived through and learned from more experiences. These spouses could be great sources of information and support.

In a way, especially after being married to my soldier for almost 25 years, I look to the military spouses around me like my extended, special military family. I share with battle buddy spouses, and look up to more “seasoned spouses,” much like I might go to a sister, mother or aunt for advice.

I think this is why I’ve loved the Fort Hood Spouses’ Club so much this year, as it’s been opened to all Fort Hood area spouses, and to community members, as well. Each month I look forward to the luncheons, spending time with other military spouses.

There’s a great mix of members in the club this year, young and old, male and female, and even some active-duty service members. Looking back on the luncheons I’ve attended this year, other than my close friends, I actually don’t think I could tell you what the other member’s sponsors do in the Army, or their ranks for that matter.

This year has just been a good time to meet other club members, fellowship, and work together in raising funds for scholarships and community grants.

As military spouses, we understand the need to support one another. We talk about our children and their experiences in school. With the upcoming moving season, we share stories of posts we’ve lived at in the past, and ask for advice about duty stations where we may move in the future. We recruit others to help us with fundraising events such as Sweetheart Bingo this past month, and the upcoming Wild West Night and Golf Scramble.

As stated by Benjamin Disraeli in 1867, “Change is inevitable in a progressive country, change is constant.”

If there’s one thing we military spouses understand, it’s how to adjust to changes in our lives. While I’m a stickler for keeping traditions alive, I’m glad to see some things have changed for military spouses over the last couple of decades.

My circle of military spouse friends is much larger now than I could have ever imagined, and that’s a very, very good thing.

Karin Markert is an Army spouse and Herald correspondent who lives at Fort Hood.

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