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How to Make Connections When You Aren't Stationed Near a Military Installation

One of my husband’s last assignments was a “joint job” that wasn’t near a military installation. Although I had already been a military wife for many years, I was challenged with having to make friends without many military folks to connect with. How do you make connections when you aren't stationed near a military installation?

One of the only things that is constant about military life is change!  So, almost 20 years in, I had to learn some new connecting skills.  This is super common for our Coast Guard friends who often don’t have a military installation and just a small building their spouses report to for duty.

So, you are going to have to find things to get involved with to make friends.  You may wonder, how in the world am I supposed to meet people?  Here are my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Get involved in a church and don’t just go to service and then leave, get involved in a small group.  Or, join a mid-week Bible study.  Be willing to reach out to others there and initiate friendship. One of my closest friends I met while signing kids into the childcare system on my first Sunday at a new church.  I asked her for her phone number and called her the next day and invited her to meet up.

  2. Gather with others with your same hobby. There are meetups for all sorts of activities.  Google in and go try it.  You can also try finding social media sites for others with the same interest.  Or, even join social media pages from your local area and see what activities are offered.  I noticed that my area just had a posting about ladies who like to ski - what a great idea!

  3. Try to meet parents of kids who are in the same age group as your kids at school or sports. Or if you have babies or toddlers, strike up a conversation with someone at the park.  Oh, you don’t go to the park - go to the park, you might meet a friend. You will have to take the initiative to invite someone to grab a coffee or to come over to your house to visit.

  4. Join a book group. Your local library probably offers a book group. There are also social media groups for this also - I see them all the time on my town’s social posts.  Some churches offer a book group also.

  5. Get to know your neighbors.  I know people are busy, but people are also thriving for real connections.  Bake some cookies (or buy them) and take them over to the neighbors, introduce yourself.  Be neighborly and tell your neighbor you just want to get to know them.  Exchange numbers. Consider inviting the family over for a meal or coffee/drink.

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