Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spouse Clubs

I've been asked by a few people about joining Spouse Clubs on different installations. I really thought long and hard before deciding to write this because my opinion isn't very respected on this matter in most cases. I've always been honest so I'll continue with that trend.

I have been a part of great Spouses' Clubs on different installations and I've been part of not so great Spouse Clubs.

Some installations have all ranks and those can be a great thing or not. Some installations have Officer or Enlisted Spouse Clubs and I've always quite enjoyed those ones. When Kevin and I were dual Military there were Spouse Clubs who didn't define me as a Spouse and therefore I was not allowed to be a part of their clubs...I'd like to say we've come a long way since then but it was only 2 1/2 years ago when I found out a friend of mine who is an Active Duty officer married to another Active Duty officer was declined membership in her Spouse club at her duty station because she was Military herself. It's really a shame.

Quite a few years ago while we were stationed at Fort Knox, I was a part of the Enlisted Spouses Club and I loved being a part of that organization. My favorite part was the NCO wives who has been there forever...who had husbands who had served in Vietnam and even a few who has served in Korea and World War II. I loved these women, I learned so much from them and they had such pride in their Enlisted men. I felt so proud to serve with them and really respected their guidance and their love. I had such a wonderful experience that when we got orders to move to our next duty station, I was looking forward to being a part of the ESC there...sadly their program sucked. I contacted them every way they had available..sending a message via their website, emailing the contact, calling the contact and even sending a letter to the address on their site. I never got contacted. About two years into our time there I ran into their Club President and when I mentioned that I had never heard back from them, she said.."oh that's too bad" and walked away. I wanted to give her the finger, seriously. I figured it was their loss and moved on.

When we moved here, I found out the Spouse club was an all ranks and I thought that would be fun. What I found out was it wasn't the club for me. There are many people who enjoy the club but it wasn't a good fit for me and this is why. They say it's an all ranks club but they don't go out and really recruit the junior enlisted. When I asked at a meeting if we could figure out a way to get our junior enlisted spouses involved and help them have a good Spouse Club experience, I was met with a negative attitude. In my opinion, they state they want an all ranks club but that's not what their actions say to me. Don't get me wrong, there are a few junior enlisted spouses in the club and they hold key positions but the majority of the members are officer's wife or senior enlisted. I was disappointed and felt that I couldn't be a part of that type of organization. There were other things I didn't agree with and when questioned, I was ignored or felt lied to. I truly am happy for those who have fun in the club here but I did not and will probably not give it another chance while we are here. If we happen to move again before retirement I may try at another installation but I'll just see what is going on in my life.

My recommendation for everyone would be to try it for yourselves, everyone has to have their own experience. I don't regret my experiences, I just know what's right for me and what isn't.

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