At our last base, we weren’t really involved. In fact, we were about as uninvolved as you could be. Part of this was by choice – we were newlyweds when we moved there and for the first few months we really didn’t care that we didn’t have any friends because we just wanted to spend time together. Part of it was by situation – B’s program where we were was so specialized that there were only three of them there (and less than 20 in all the AF) so it’s not like we had a lot of people to interact with regularly. Like I said, at first it was great, but as it went on, I started to get lonely for friends. And we did make friends, but not many.
I’m pretty sure that we’ve already met more people here at the new base than we knew the entire time at the old one. I’ve been to a bingo night and joined the Spouses club, we’ve gone to a “prom” with other CGO’s, my neighbor and I here in lodging have spent several afternoons/evenings together, and we’ve spent weekends out with new friends.
Someone asked last week on facebook if our base was close knit or not. There were a variety of answers from the spouses. They ranged from having only met one other person to those who found it super tight knit. My response was that this base has plenty of opportunities, but it’s all in what you make of it.
Any base will suck if you sit at home and never do anything. If you don’t volunteer, work, get involved, and meet people than the chances of you hating a location are high. I don’t want to feel that way here. I’m applying for jobs right and left. I’ve joined the spouses club, I’m going to game nights and making plans with people I don’t really know. All to be involved. All to make a home here.
B and I have learned, that especially with military families, that you have to be willing to make the first move. If you see someone and say hi and they don’t ask for your number, than make them give you their number. Call and invite them out once and you’ll have a new friend. Especially at our rank, everyone is on their first or second base typically. We’re on our third. So we’ve been around this block. We know how important it is to get to know people early on and as fast as you can. It’s important to build up the Friday night partying friends, the Saturday night dinner friends, and the Sunday afternoon lunch and shopping friends.
Amazingly enough, we already have started the process of building those crowds here. We’re really putting ourselves out there and pulling people together around us. We both want this base to be different. We want this base to be home.
Even if it means putting on silly dress clothes to go to someone’s military housing and have a “prom.” Even if it means giving their kids piggy back rides while waiting for the food to cook on the grill. Even if it means being the one to call and arrange things every Sunday so that no one is spending the afternoon alone. Even if it means asking the other new girl to go to the spouses event where neither of you will know anyone.
It’s how you get involved. And when you only have two years, you have to make every day count.