It seems with military life, we're always "settling." I don't mean settling in the "settling for less" way. I mean settling in the sense that military life is ever-changing. Military families are always moving and settling in a new house and a new community. Settling into new friendships and relationships. Our spouses are often gone for lenghty periods of time so we settle into a routine when they leave. And when they return, we settle into another routine.
Settling. We do a lot of that.
At our very first SpouseBUZZ LIVE event in Killeen, Texas, we featured a panel which focused on the emotional part of military life; combat deployments, reintegration, etc. There wasn't a dry eye in the house and we had to cut off the line of spouses waiting to take the microphone because we simply ran out of time. The next few events followed much the same course. Spouses yearned to talk about the tough stuff.
After each event, we send surveys to attendees and ask their opinions about the program to see how we can improve it. Over the past year or so, I've seen a trend develop, both with the surveys and in person at the events. Spouses aren't nearly as focused on the emotional aspect of military life. They want to laugh. They want to bond, but they don't ask many questions or offer many stories about the harder side of military life. This is interesting to me.
The military community had to pivot almost overnight after September 11. Combat deployments became the rule and not the exception. We've been at it almost nine years. The fear, worry and sleepless nights will never go away while we're at war, but based on what I've witnessed, I'm wondering if the collective community has "settled" into a new normal?