I’ve been an Army spouse for several years and have dealt with several aspects of military spouse life.
My husband started off in the National Guard and decided that he wanted to go active duty. I honestly didn’t really understand the differences too much and didn’t fully understand what it meant for our life together moving forward. I didn’t know about spousal support groups until way after the fact.
So today I’m going to share some spousal support groups that may help someone with the information that I didn’t have. People like to say that as a military spouse, you knew what you were getting into when you married your Soldier, but that really isn’t the case. You may nebulously understand, but not truly fully grasp what being a military spouse means as far as deployments, moving, careers and the life that you may lead.
With the internet, the people with the information to help you are literally at your fingertips, but you may not really know where to begin looking.
Facebook is probably where you’ll get the most interaction quickly. There are so many groups just for Fort Bragg alone. The group Ft. Bragg Wives has over 6,000 members. Fort Bragg Wives, another group, has 1,800 members to contact. There are groups for moms, groups for child-free spouses, groups for wives over the age of 30. All of these groups have two things in common — everyone is a military affiliated and they are all based at Fort Bragg.
These people have probably seen it all, or most of it, and can answer questions as to how things work on the spouse side of military life. Of course with social media, a lot of these answers should be taken with a grain of salt, but these groups are a good place to start to learn about how deployments feel, things to do in the area and really anything else you can thing of.
Family Readiness Groups
FRGs are also generally good resources of information. FRGs are command-sponsored organizations comprised of Family members, volunteers and Soldiers who all belong to a unit. The goal of the FRG is to provide a place of support and assistance as well as a communications network between Families and chains of command. Every unit has an FRG. Your Soldier can give you information on how to connect with members of their unit’s FRG.
The Association of Bragg Spouses
ABS is a spouse club for active-duty members and their spouses in the Fort Bragg area. ABS has a history that goes back over 50 years, and their purpose, according to their website, is to “develop and foster a spirit of community, to provide opportunities for social, cultural, and creative pursuits, and to support service and community projects.”
ABS hosts events every month from September to May, as well as themed monthly luncheons. Their next big event, the Yule Mart, is a holiday fundraiser and will be held Oct. 20 to 22. The Paraglide will publish information and articles about the event over the next few weeks.
To join ABS, you can fill out an online application on their website at www.fortbraggabs.org/join and visit their Facebook page for more info at www.facebook.com/FortBraggABS.
Family Advocacy Program
Army Community Service has a program for Soldiers and their Families called the Family Advocacy Program. Through classes and workshops, FAP can help Families understand the unique challenges of the military lifestyle. They have classes dedicated to raising children, stress and anger management and couples communication, to name a few. For more information about FAP, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/fap.
The biggest thing to remember about being a military spouse — you are not alone. There are (roughly) 63,000 active-duty Family members at Fort Bragg. One of us can help you, if you only reach out and ask.