Finding Community Outside Of The Military

We’ve all heard the saying, “bloom where you’re planted,” right? Well did you know that military families feel disconnected from their communities? I know, I know…hard to believe…or is it? According to the Blue Star Families Military Lifestyle survey results in 2018, 48% of military family respondents indicated that they did not feel a sense of belonging to their local civilian community.

This was shocking to me because I know the importance of community and building a sense of belonging when at a new duty station. How many of us PCS to a new duty station and jump right into community organizations, like the spouse club or PTA of the local school? And if you’re living off post, how crucial is it for a neighbor in your community to make those first connections through a tray of brownies or bottle of wine? Or perhaps it’s reversed and you’re welcoming a new spouse to the neighborhood.

According to the BSF results military spouse respondents felt a greater sense of belonging to their local civilian community the longer they resided there. This is understandable but with PCS’s occurring every 2-3 years, having that kind of time is not always possible.

Do you know what this means? It means that military spouses want to be a part of the community, but don’t always have the luxury of time to build that network or foundation.

Armed Forces Insurance understands establishing and cultivating a strong community. Those military spouses that do get involved with their communities are being recognized through the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year award program. This award recognizes military spouses’ important contributions and unwavering commitment to the military community and our country. The award gives recognition to military spouses from all branches of service. More and more spouses are leading the way to show that there is no one way to bloom where you’re planted.

This year, Marine spouse, Holly Vega, was named 2019 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year®. Read her profile here to see how she embraces her community and encourages other military spouses to do the same.