Gone are the days of white-gloved afternoon teas open only to the wives of active duty military officers. Long gone are the days of women-only membership to what were once known as military wives club riddled with cattiness, stuffiness and over-bearing tradition. In fact, as the face of the military community has evolved, spouses’ clubs have also experienced a transformation over the last 15 years. Even the focus of the clubs have changed. Have you checked out your local spouses’ club yet?
I still haven’t convinced you? Let me continue…
Five Reasons to Join the Spouses’ Club
- There is room for everyone. No seriously, everyone is welcome. Officer, enlisted, active duty, reserve, retired, civilian, community member, married, single, divorced, engaged, etc. The majority of clubs are community spouses’ clubs, which means they are open to all. Those that aren’t are very specific and are moving their way towards this. Really, the spouses’ community is knocking down barriers left and right.
- There is something for everyone. Book club, hiking club, monthly luncheons, and tourist trips make up some of the options for members of a spouses’ club. There are formal events, fundraisers, board positions for those who really want to jump in with both feet, and everything in between. I loved being part of the spouses’ club in Germany because they regularly explored the nearby area. I never felt like I was alone and I learned so much from the other spouses about the military and life in general.
- Get involved by volunteering. These clubs are run by volunteers. There are positions that fit all lifestyles and interests. Typically there are leadership roles, a webmaster, a treasurer, someone who runs the scholarship committee, and so much more. Here in Arizona, we also partner with other organizations.
- Be part of the fundraising effort. My favorite part about spouses’ clubs is that they are passionate about the community. Most of them are 501 (c) 3 non-profits and spend a good deal of time fundraising. The fundraisers vary from golf scrambles to holiday bazaars; from casino nights to a historic tour of homes event. Each year, the money raised goes back into the community in the form of college scholarships and charitable giving to local organizations. I mean, what is better than hanging out with a bunch of like-minded people, having fun, raising money, and then giving away?
- Make a change. This is my favorite part. By participating in a spouses’ club you have one of the largest audiences of military spouses in your area surrounding you. Which means – you have support. Support when you need something and support when you want to change something. Those stuffy, exclusive clubs didn’t disappear on their own. Someone had an idea, brought it to the club, and fought for it. You can do the same thing.
There are so many more reasons to check out your local spouses’ club. Or, if you don’t have one, look into starting one. It’s one of the things on my PCS list, to find out what the club is up to and when I can join. I’ve made some of my best friends through the clubs I’ve been a part of and I love how quickly you become invested in your community after joining. Don’t believe me? Try it anyway. And bring a friend.
By: Rebecca Alwine has been a military spouse for almost 10 years, traveling the world with her husband, three kids, and dog. Throughout the years she's discovered she enjoys running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. When she's not writing, she is spending time at her sewing machine or with her nose in a book. Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging about parenting and many more. She's a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine and a regular contributor at ESME, and the Homefront United Network. Visit her website to see more at www.whatrebeccathinks.com or follow her on Twitter @armywife1229.
Photo courtesy of author, Rebecca Alwine