Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

How You Can Help a Military Spouse & Make a New Friend

I married the man of my dreams nine years ago and he came with a uniform.

That meant I would be moving away from everyone and everything I knew to be with him. There was also a high probability we’d be moving multiple times.

World wide, there are over a million military wives and husbands of the US Armed Forces. Dayton is home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is THE largest base of the US Air Force.  There are approximately 27,000 military members, civilian and government contractor employees that work there. Chances are high that you know OR will meet a military family member if you just leave your house!

Over time, we my husband and I had two beautiful daughters {now, four & one}. Along the way I’ve had to learn to not only ask for help but to accept help from other local moms. Not all families adjust as easily as our family did.

Knowing that there are thousands of military families in the Miami Valley, I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way to help make our military families feel welcomed in our great communities.

4 Things MilitaryLet’s start with the simplest, introduce yourself. It can be a bit daunting to make the first move especially when you are new to area, trying to think about where your couch is going to go in your living room, and trying to find a karate class for your child at the same time. (Nothing like realizing the night before that the movers broke your baby’s crib when you are already 7 months pregnant.) Introduce yourself first.

Check in every now and then. Once you know someone is a military spouse, it helps if you can check in on them every once in a while. During my husband’s deployments, I would often get caught up in the day-to-day of life by myself with a toddler. My mommy friends helped keep me sane by checking in on me. Seeing if I needed help with anything or if I just needed to get out of the house and hang out at someone else’s. {NOTE} Speaking of deployments, you may not even realize that someone’s spouse is deployed since it is not appropriate to post troop movements on social media unless you speak to them directly.

Invite them to your favorite Dayton places. Overall, Dayton moms are great with using social media, like Facebook & Dayton Moms Blog!, to create groups that consistently share where to go and what to do around town. This is a chance to highlight the best parts of living in the Dayton area and helps them feel more at home. Bonus points for meeting them there so they have an adult to chat with too.

Offer to help. This is a pretty broad category but an important one, nonetheless. Military families don’t typically have extended family nearby. If they stay at home, especially with very young children, it can be quite a chore to get to an appointment or to run an errand without little ones in tow. Here are a few things I found extremely helpful:

  • Swapping day time babysitting to go to appointments.
  • Getting invitations to join groups in the community to meet other people.
  • Help with moving items to furnish our home. We didn’t have a truck, so someone offered to help with getting a new mattress home!
  • An anonymous person picked up our bill at a restaurant.
  • One neighbor mowed the front lawn for us a couple of times.
  • Invites to meet for coffee – at their place. Adult conversation, combined with new play-mates in an enclosed, kid-friendly environment is quite relaxing.

Sometimes it just takes someone extending the hand of friendship to make somewhere new start to feel like home. Even when military spouses are excited to be moving somewhere, they may be missing something from their last assignment or home.

Bring us into the fold and let us love your city as much as you do.  We may only be here a few years, but we want to make friends and have the best experience we can while we are here.

I encourage you to share this with your neighbors and friends, so they know how they can help!

Looking to connect with military families?

The Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses and Enlisted Spouses Clubs have opportunities throughout the year to interact with spouses and active duty members such as craft and vendors fairs, fundraisers, volunteering at Fisher House, and the annual Airmen’s Holiday Cookie Drive.

Locally, there are chapters of organizations that on-going and event specific opportunities for volunteers. These include the Miami Valley Chapter of Blue Star Mothers, the USO, Blue Star Families, Operation Homefront Central Great Lakes, and Ohio Operation: Military Kids.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Summer Savings & Fun for Military Families | Dayton Moms Blog - June 22, 2015

    […] said it before, I’ll say it again, one of the things that can make military life enjoyable is getting out […]