On the application for Army Wives of Alaska (which no, I won’t be in) one of the questions was about the sisterhood among Army Wives.  Today is one day I am truly grateful for that bond.

I’ll start by looking at the question of what makes an Army wife different from other women.  #1 Our husbands will be gone.  Period.  Be it TDY, schools, training, or deployment they will travel.  (yes, there are other jobs that involve lots of travel, but from talking to non-military people. husbands leaving for a year, or weeks at a time several times through the year is not normal.)  Somehow life knows when the guys will be gone as well.  We all joke that everything waits to break until the man of the house is gone.  Life happens and we have to deal with it with out our go-to person.  We also become single parents during these times.  Not that I compare my life to that of a single mom, I know that would be like comparing a husband going on a business trip once a year to a deployment.  I know my circumstances are so much easier.  But there are issues that arise, like needing to go to the store yet having a child that really ought not leave the house.  All this to say, we will need help.  No matter how hard you try to be independent, you will need to depend on others at some point.  Trust me, life with come up with the circumstances that will make you cry “uncle” if you don’t allow yourself to lean upon others.  #2 We don’t have the luxury of being surrounded by family or the friends we grew up with.  At times we may get lucky and be stationed near family or where we grew up, and after a while you  will start finding yourself stationed with people you were stationed with before.  But in general, we don’t have a long time to establish relationships.  We need to make friends fast.  But we all need to make friends fast and we do have the bond of similar lifestyles (we all move around, we all deal with life without our husbands, and we all have TriCare and PCS horror stories). So it’s not hard, you just have to put yourself out there.

What does all that mean?  That after a while we’ve all had to rely on someone, and if we aren’t currently in need of someone to lean on, we will be.  We also know that at any given time there is some woman in our community that needs someone to lean on.  So in this community you learn to accept help from others, knowing at times there will be no way to repay them.  Therefore you learn to give help and not expect payment.  This is a community of “paying it forward”.

And today I am truly glad to be a part of that community.  This afternoon, as I changed my daughter for the umpteenth time and noticed we were getting dangerously close to out of diapers (especially at her current rate of needing a change), I knew that all I had to do was ask and someone would be able to go to the store for me.  I posted my need on Facebook with the plan to call a few people once I finished cleaning the floor.  Before the floor was clean a friend had already called me.  She not only brought me diapers but apple juice, wipes, Jello and dinner as well.  And I have gone from having a very overwhelming day to knowing that life isn’t as difficult as it felt only a few hours ago.  After a good dinner that I didn’t have to prepare, I even have time to just enjoy being with my poor, sick children.

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