When you were a brand new milspo, how did you find the courage to keep going?
Finding yourself new to the military lifestyle is a big change, no matter where you come from. There’s a big adjustment in location, your spouse’s schedule, and learning to speak in acronyms.
For me, it was an easy transition because I was essentially “at home,” being 30 minutes from my hometown at our first base. Once we made our first PCS, however, the real panic set in. I didn’t know a single person and had never lived more than an hour from my parents before… let alone out of state!
Newly pregnant and with no clue on how to navigate the area, I would venture out into town, checking out hot spots and testing coffee places, trying new dishes, and really, just getting myself out of the house and into the culture. It was a slow gig, learning an entirely new spot, but over time I became more comfortable and got to know my surroundings. I met people, I found spouses I could be friends with; I learned to be more comfortable in my role as a milspo.
Now, years in, I feel a sense of confidence — not in that I know more or feel better equipped, but in that, I know what to do and how to get information. If nothing else, it’s a bit settling to say, “Been there done that! I can do it again!”
There’s no denying that being a new milspo is overwhelming. It’s a lifestyle that many aren’t accustomed to, and it simply takes time to adjust.
Tell us your best tips; how did you cope as a new milspo?