I’m new to the military. My husband joined late (he was 26 years old) and we have 2 kids, ages 5 and 2 years old. We just moved to our first duty station, San Diego. My husband is working all the time and I’m home with the kids. How do I meet people and make friends? I thought the military was one big fraternity of support. Please help.
Lonely at Camp Pendleton
Dear Lonely at Camp Pendleton,
It can be difficult to meet people and really feel like you have a circle of friends when you first move somewhere. Sometimes it takes months. I tell myself that it can take up to six months to find a group of friends in a new location. You sometimes need time to get used to your new surroundings and to feel comfortable with your new home.
There are some things that you can do to make new friends at your new duty station. You should check and see if they have any activities for kids. At a lot of places they have different playgroups that you can join. These are great places to make some new friends. Go in with a smile, be friendly and you should be able to meet some new people. You can also take your kids to the park and see if you can meet some people there. Usually you will find other moms at the park that you probably have something in common with.
Make sure to do a search on Facebook for groups out of Camp Pendleton. You can join these groups and find out when they meet up in real life. You might be able to find a group that has to do with one of your hobbies such as fitness or reading.
If you are religious, church is another great way to make some friends. There are also Bible studies you can attend on most military installations.
The key is finding an activity that you or your kids enjoy and finding others who enjoy it too. When you attend these groups, you know going in that you have at least a few things in common with them.
Good luck to you as you search out what is available in your community. Before you know it will you be making friends and will have the circle of support you are looking for.