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New faces in new places: Creating community this holiday season


As military spouses, our experiences are closely related, and in my time here at Fort Liberty, I’ve found that bonding over these shared experiences is the best way to overcome the challenges. It’s easy to feel isolated moving away from family, friends and everything you knew to be with your service member who likely is not home much, but the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. 

This community is incredibly kind, welcoming and inclusive. The key: the more people you know, the better. 

As a spouse, working mother, and student, I constantly think about what I could do better. Since becoming a military spouse, it’s even more difficult to ignore the ways I feel I’m falling short. Most days it feels like the to-do list gets longer instead of shorter; I turn around to find an unpacked box I have yet to empty, and I realize it’s already a new month.

I’m not sure if it’s just me or if time moves faster here. 

Transitioning into this life is tough, but surrounding myself with spouses has made the transition doable. I’m frequently reminded that I am not the only one dealing with what feels like the weight of the world on my shoulders. In the moments I feel overwhelmed by doubt, fear and stress, I know I have people to turn to, and they often have ways to help relieve some of the pressure. 

Instead of focusing on what I can’t change, the feeling of defeat or all the things that make this life seem impossible, I focus on what I have now that I didn’t before. 

The military community has the ability to wrap its arms around you and to provide support in every way you need it. You just can’t be afraid to ask for help. Trust me: I know it’s hard, but help is easy to find and readily available. 

With the passing of one holiday and another approaching, keep in mind: If you can’t make it back home for Christmas, you can still enjoy the holidays in your new home and surrounding yourself with others is the best way to make it really feel like home. There were so many open doors for Thanksgiving. Post after post, in almost every military spouse Facebook group I’m in, I have offered a seat, a hot plate and good times for anyone who didn’t have a place to go. If you didn’t have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, you still can. 

Fort Liberty Family and MWR just had their Annual Tree Lighting, and it was a fantastic event. I wouldn’t have known about the event had I not had a conversation with a spouse at a job fair held at the Iron Mike Conference Center, another great event. There are so many holiday events coming up, and if you don’t have someone to go with, don’t avoid the event. Attend it with a new friend, or find a family to join if you don’t want to go alone. Relationships in the military community go a long way and are different from the relationships we had in the civilian world. 

You never know what new people will bring to your life if you let them, and creating the habit of welcoming new people in your life will only make it easier as you continue this journey in new places.

Jaylin Kremer and her husband are natives of Pittsburgh. She is studying psychology and plans to go to law school and works as an advocate for mental health and victims of sexual violence. Jaylin is a member of the Fort Liberty school board and first vice president of the Fort Liberty Spouses Club. She believes that small acts of kindness go a long way.

Editor's note: As part of CityView's commitment to filling gaps by providing reporting and information for the Fort Liberty community, our HomeFront initiative has two columnists who will write regularly about issues military families face. If there's a topic you'd like for our columnists to address, let us know at talk@cityviewnc.com.

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Fort Liberty, military, community, spouse, event, holiday, Homefront