Are you new to the military lifestyle? Or are you a seasoned spouse who’s been in the game for years on end?
No matter your affiliation — or length of affiliation — to the military, there are things to keep in mind about creating a mindful and memorable experience for the whole family. It’s easy to tell others that you’re leaving soon and it’s not worth getting attached or committing to nearby events, but where’s the fun in that?
Moving will be a large part of your military lifestyle, and avoiding meeting others or getting involved will leave you on the outskirts for years, if not decades, to come. Instead, embrace the opportunity to meet new people and do new things! These are experiences you can’t get back. Take time to bask in the experiences you’re able to attend, make friends as you go, and add to your personal versatility, provided by a military lifestyle.
Besides, you might just have fun along the way!
As a milspouse you should attend events like:
Hail and Farewells or Company Dinners
When coming to a new unit or leave a current one, many military affiliations offer a “hail and farewell” event wherein the new folks can be welcomed and current members sent off properly. Usually casual, it’s a chance to get to know families, chat with other spouses, or just have a social night with your spouse’s work companions.
Sure, they can be seen as stuffy or “mandatory fun,” but events are as fun as you make them. Don’t make fun of what could be a friendly, heartwarming event. In fact, you might just make some friends along the way. Remember to put your smiling face on and introduce yourself to someone new. Put yourself out there (even if it’s just a little) and make some new connections. You’ll feel better, we promise!
Holiday Celebrations and Party Events
Whether it’s almost Christmas, around the corner from Easter, or you’re prepping for Halloween, chances are you’re getting pinged about the next big company event. Mark it in your calendar and go! You don’t have to be the most elaborately prepared person there, but it does far well for you to attend and have a good time.
These parties are family-friendly and a good way for kids to get involved and meet others. Show them how to explore and make your own fun. Besides, seasonal parties usually include free entertainment; finding and attending the same things on your own could be pricey.
Smile at some familiar faces and have a good time celebrating any and all upcoming holidays with your spouse’s co-workers and their families.
I mean, come on. These events are a right of passage. If you haven’t searched for the just-right dress and gotten gussied up for a night of pomp and circumstances at a military ball, have you even milspo’d?!
Military balls are kind of like a grown-up prom, but better. You don’t have to worry about the popular girl being rude. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your date will kiss you at the end of the night. And you get to drink. It’s winning all around if you ask us.
Sure the food can be subpar, but when you’re wearing a fancy getup, that’s not the end of the world, right? Our best advice is to eat a snack before you go and put on your best form of self-confidence. That includes firm handshakes and eye contact, too. Meet and greet coworkers and more, all with a thick layer of, “I’ve got this!”
Remember, you’re there to celebrate your spouse and their unit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look great and have a good time in the process!
Finally, don’t forget those local events. There will be much going on, and depending on where you’re located, you could have access to some seriously cool culture. Don’t skimp out just because it’s different or you’re worried about what to expect. Go on an adventure, see new things, eat new foods, and show your little ones how to have a good time. Even when you’re stationed far from home.
Find these events by talking to locals or find calendar websites that are readily available on Google. You can also use Facebook’s events feature for an ongoing list of local go-to’s, including addresses, times, and a run-down of what to expect.
Don’t sit out and miss the fun! Look to local gems and make fun as you go. Throughout your duty stations, you will have access to many parties, parades, local oddities, and more. Don’t skimp out on this chance to create your own fun and find some of your favorite new hobbies.
What have been some of your favorite military events that were worth attending?