I don't live on post/base. I live in the civilian community. My neighbors are a mix of civilian and military, young and old. Sometimes it's interesting to sit and reflect on the dynamics!
Last night we had a get together with several families because one of our old neighbors came back for a visit. She was well loved and we hadn't seen her for a long time. During the meyhem of the pizza party with 20 some kids, I had a chance to talk to some of the male spouses - all of whom work during the day. The military male spouses immediately started talking to me about military stuff - deployments in their offices, DoD stuff, new congressional legislation effecting military families, new commanders..... The non-military spouses talked about sports.I'm fluent in both topics, so I was good. But I think the military guys just wanted to be around military people - which is odd since they just left their offices. But it wasn't just me - Papa Bear had the same effect on them. When he was around the military guys (even though they aren't even in the same field) they started talking military stuff.Same sort of thing happened this summer when I went home to be with the in-laws for Migs' surgery. My husband's cousin had just gotten out after 6 years and 4 deployments. We ended up cloistered over a table talking military stuff and went completely uninterupted by the family around us. Like an island unto ourselves, ensconced in a conversation the others felt they were not vested in enough to join......So, what gives? Is it something like 'marking our territory', marking ourselves as part of a group/subset? That bond of service - we seek our own!?!?!?!?!? Not that we didn't interact with everyone, but we always seemed to engage each other in a conversation that, by it's very nature, would exclude our civilian neighbors in a way that sports or local events wouldn't. Very interesting! Does this happen in your neighborhood/family gatherings?