Moving to a new area every few years can be difficult, but it is the norm for most military Families. The Community Series from InDependent and In Gear Career aims to help military spouses acclimate to their new community with several events throughout the year.
In late September, the two nonprofit organizations hosted “Putting Down Roots” at the USO of NC Fort Bragg Center with a simple goal.
“The end result is hopefully that we’ll have happier, healthier military spouses and as a result, military Families and service members,” explained Evie King, community and operations director/community ambassador, InDependent.
The military spouses in attendance said they came to the event to expand their knowledge of the local community.
“I’ve been in Fayetteville a year, so I’m not exactly new but it still feels new to me,” said Shelby Doyle, a Fort Bragg spouse. “It seemed like an opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation and maybe learn from them about how I can make the most of my time in Fayetteville.”
To kick off the night, attendees enjoyed snacks and an icebreaker, where they were tasked with asking others about local, off-post resources, like produce stands, fitness centers or financial assistance.
“We want to talk to military spouses and share the importance of getting to know the local community, ... the resources off the military base and really getting out there and experiencing the duty station outside of Fort Bragg, especially because in Fayetteville and Southern Pines, so much is going on,” King said.
This activity was beneficial, according to Doyle. She said she enjoyed meeting people who are involved in the community outside of Fort Bragg and learning about different organizations she wasn’t aware of before.
This was exactly what King hoped for when she planned the night’s activities.
“The most important thing is I want them to come out of here knowing a business, a restaurant, something outside of Fort Bragg that they did not know before that is interesting to them or is going to help them lead a more fulfilling, happier, healthier life — whether that’s an employment resource, whether it’s a gym, whatever that happens to be,” she said.