Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Amazing what a little lunch get together can do!

Have you ever been really proud of yourself?  I mean, have you ever done something and not realized the impact of what you've done until someone pointed it out to you?

Today was one of my Huachuca Wives potluck lunches.  Not a big turn out, about 9 ladies, but it was really nice.  And it was the biggest one so far. 

What I loved most is the range of ladies that attend my lunches.  There were 3 AIT Spouses, 1, I believe was a reservist's wife, a Specialist's spouse, an E-6 spouse,  2 E7 spouses in addition to myself, and a Commander's Wife. 

I say this not to call out people's rank, but to get you readers to understand that although we are all at different stages in our military lives, we came together over lunch and be "just the girls".

This felt like an example of "new army".  For those of you that have been in a while like myself, you may know the stigma that senior enlisted and lower enlisted don't "mix".  Well, I'm not one to follow that "rule" as I feel that who I hang with is based on personality, not status.  I am not my husband's rank.  I don't have any bars on my should telling me my worth.  We all put our pants on one legs at a time, ya know?

After the lunch, I talked to the Commander's wife who attended.  She told me how happy she was to be able to make it.  I love her because she is a huge advocate for spouses, for finding ways to reach the spouses and educating them on what resources are available to them.  THAT is something we have in common! She told me that she didn't think I understood the magnitude of what I was doing by having these lunches like this. 

I don't think I really did.  I've looked at it as a chance to get some girls together, get them out of the house, meet new people and talk about what other things we can do together.  I wanted to give information out about the programs available, what kind of things there are to do around the area and give the newer spouses a sense of belonging and let them know I'm here to help if needed.  I know that Fort Huachuca is in the middle of the desert and I was just hoping that I could get spouses to see that it's really not so bad here IF you make the most of it.

She looked at it as a start of something big, a way to get the younger spouses more involved.  A way to let them know that senior enlisted spouses are "approachable" and to get rid of the old thoughts of us being separate.

I see that now.  I see that our group has a lot of potential.  I love what we have here already though, as far as being a comfortable, easy going day out for spouses. 

We also talked about how to get these spouses to get involved in the Ft Huachuca Community Spouses Club.  Now, let me tell you, these clubs on most bases have the reputation for being a group of senior enlisted foo-foo types.  The groups wasn't approachable as it was only for spouses married to the big-wigs on base at one time.  Well, I'll tell you, this is something I would never be a part of!  Well, FHCSC would like to change that and bring in the younger enlisted and newer spouses.  They want to get fresh ideas.  They don't want the group to only be for the old people!  LOL!

So, we talked about how to get the new generation spouses to participate.  I told her that the group is going to have to come to their level.  Technology.  Communicating through FB, Twitter, text messages... this is how everyone communicates and in order to reach out, they have to start there.  Also, I wanted her to be mindful that Soldiers often don't have a lot left over after bills are paid and going to a place to spend $12 on a Spouse's Club lunch is a lot for some people.  I love my potlucks because these girls don't mind bringing a dish if they like, not spending more than they can.

It was a very great conversation.  When we got off the phone I felt as if I can make a little bit of a difference and that even with what I feel is a little lunch, our little group of Huachuca Wives can have had an impact.

1 comment:

Simone said...

Sounds like it really was a success. I like where you are going with this. Everyone needs community to embrace them and make them feel like they belong and you're making a difference. I also think potlucks are the best way to go.