Have you ever had a bit of an identity crisis?
So many military spouses today are describing the grief and frustration they are feeling around building an identity separate from their active duty military member’s decision to serve. Even more so, spouses of service members who are preparing to transition out of military service are wondering how they will be impacted. Who will they be if they aren’t a military spouse?
Jennifer Pasquale, the founder of Pride and Grit, is a storyteller who has decided to step into the gap in order to help spouses of service members reclaim their identities and accomplish their own goals.
“The stresses of military life can have a profound and cumulative impact on military spouses and their mental health. Pride and Grit exists to provide the space for honest and authentic conversations about transition, produce resources for personal development, and to create a community for seasoned military spouses to feel seen, supported, and served,” Jen said.
Pride and Grit is a social enterprise and multi-pillared online resource focused on serving seasoned spouses from all branches. The vision of this amazing organization is to equip an entire generation of seasoned spouses to step into the next season of life from a place of strength.
“The work of preparing to transition out of military service can begin long before the end of service. I have found that in the years leading up to the anticipated end of military service, military spouses have desired to start the process of seeking out who they are and who they want to become. When the search begins, Pride and Grit is here,” she said.
In 2021, Pasquale held the first online Evolve Retreat. This event created the space and opportunities for military spouses to build and maintain a tightly knit community with other military community members in similar seasons.
“One of the first things military community members lose is a direct connection to community. Through our Evolve Retreats, we serve spouses by getting them connected to one another and by walking alongside them as they move through transition,” Jen said.
The Evolve Retreat is dedicated to the identity and personal development journey of seasoned military spouses. The program is helping seasoned military spouses find the community, resources, and the developmental opportunities they need to thrive in their next season of life.
As military spouses exit military life and the active-duty members’ service time comes to an end, topics like “transition” and “identity” are the centerpieces of the conversation.
What does it look like when two people are actively adjusting to the shift caused by living on the other side of service? How are families doing under the weight of changing jobs or roles within the family unit?
These conversations, and many more, are happening at Pride and Grit.
Transition doesn’t have to be a scary word and seasoned military spouses should be looking at the future on the horizon. There is never a perfect time to start discussing the process of preparing, but it is certainly never too early.
Imagine having two people undergoing difficult and hard transitions at the same time. When military spouses begin to explore the possibilities of personal development and seek out who they want to be on the other side of service, the result is comforting. By starting a little earlier, military spouses can create the space to find themselves on firm ground before they leave.
If you are a spouse looking for a place to process all the things surrounding transitioning out of military service, check out the Evolve Retreat and Pride & Grit website at prideandgrit.com.
Want to get involved? As Pride and Grit grows, Jen is looking for partnership opportunities and fundraising possibilities to expand programing and content supporting military community members. Visit their website, follow them on social, and be part of the story.