NMFA’s most recent “More Than a Spouse” event at Fort Meade, Maryland attracted spouses from across the services. Over the weekend, Army, Air Force, and Navy spouses all met to share professional challenges and achievements, as well as to network. At the end of the two hours, attendees who had arrived as strangers were exchanging laughs, hugs, and business cards.
As a short, informal meet and greet over coffee and snacks took place, attendees had time to look over an information table featuring materials on NMFA’s mission and programs. Then, each spouse took a turn introducing themselves to the group, sharing the passion and experience that make them more than simply just a military spouse (if indeed there is anything simple about being a military spouse).
The size of the group was perfect for networking, with spouses being able to mingle comfortably and really discuss shared challenges and insights.
“It was so much more than I was expecting,” said military spouse Katie Christly. “I have been to other spouse events, but they are usually one or two speakers, and the spouses just listen. I felt today was totally different.” Christly described “More Than a Spouse” as a truly interactive event. “It wasn’t someone just talking at me,” she explained, “But talking to me. I was also thankful to be able to share my story.”
Christly also felt “More Than a Spouse” was a communal experience with her fellow Fort Meade spouses: “I discovered today that our stories may be different, but our struggles are the same. It’s really nice knowing that I am not alone, that there are resources out there that can help me, and that there are people willing to listen.”
A truly empowering event, Fort Meade’s “More Than a Spouse” saw attendees going back into their community recharged and connected. NMFA’s “More Than a Spouse” events are perfect for any military spouse, whether working, hoping to work, or taking time off to pursue volunteer and personal interests. All you need to be to participate is more than a spouse!
We’ll see you at our next event!
Posted by Maggie Phillips, military spouse and NMFA Volunteer