By Marguerite Cleveland
I am sure not many of you remember Pcs’ing before cellphones and Facebook but it was so tough to stay in touch with your military sisters with mail crossing or getting lost between new addresses. I love Facebook, it has given me a way to keep in touch and reconnect with people I know from all over the world. I also find Facebook pages or groups are a great way to learn about your new community and meet new friends. With the busy military lifestyle we live and the different time zones friends and family live in, Facebook provides a great way to keep up with what is going on when phone calls aren’t convenient or expensive plus there are photos and videos. In five minutes each morning, I can quickly post an update on what I am doing and then scroll through my feed and get updated on all my friends and family.
One of the first groups you will want to join when you arrive at your new installation, especially if living on base, is your neighborhood page. If you know someone in the neighborhood you can often get added before you arrive. These are a wealth of helpful information from schools to local sports teams for your children. Military neighbors are the best and this has been my go to group for all kinds of help.
I love to travel and a group of spouses set up a travel page for our area. When you move there is also this sense ‘I need to see as much as I can before moving again.’ This page streamlines the process with a group who is willing to share all the must sees in our area. We even have a few bloggers and writers that provide links to more in-depth descriptions of fun destinations to explore. I love just flipping through the posts to get ideas of things to do on the weekend.
So how do you find Facebook pages and groups that are a good fit for you? Start by using the search function and putting in your installation followed by spouses. A quick search for Fort Stewart Spouses turned up 5 groups as well as the installation’s official Facebook page and the MWR page. Once you join one then Facebook will suggest additional options. Another way is to ask your fellow spouses who live in the area.
A caveat, when using Facebook make sure to monitor your settings to ensure your account is private. When using groups or pages pertaining to the military use private or secret groups that vet their members. Remember OPSEC. Just use good common sense, if you want to meet someone you haven’t met before use caution and meet in a public place. Consider meeting at a location on your installation, then you know they have been vetted to have access to the base.
Facebook is a great resource for military spouses. How have you used Facebook to navigate this crazy life we lead?
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.PeggyWhereShouldIGo.com