Last Sunday, I strapped on my trusty pair of Keens and exchanged indoor boredom for outdoor beauty by climbing a small mountain peak (very small, let’s be honest) behind my home that edges my growing community. My daughter and I paused as we summited the top and peered out over thousands of homes, well-kept biking trails, snowcapped mountains, and great lakes encompassed in our valley.
I love where I live. My community enriches my life.
I also need my other community. You know the one. I need other military spouses. I need YOU.
You see, I’m the spouse of a Utah Army National Guardsman. The members in my husband’s unit span a distance of over 350 miles, from one corner of the state to the other. We have spent years traveling 3 ½ hours for his once-a-month drill weekend. And although we currently live within ten miles from the closest military base, the base does not provide housing, and less than 1% of the 30k+ members of our community are military members.
And I love it. Being a the part of the National Guard and its perks is one of the best decisions that our little family has ever made. It’s family friendly, FULL of resources and events, and powerful in it’s own right.
I’ve heard it said that National Guard families live on the edge of their communities, that they’re not fully integrated into either their physical community or their military community. That they can’t be. They aren’t surrounded by those who can support them, by those who understand them. They’ve got their feet dangling on separate sides of the same fence, unable to get the support they need from either side.