I've actually had a few awesome moments throughout the last few weeks in regards to one of the organizations I volunteer with. I have written about Army Family Team Building before and I could go on and on about how much I love it but I won't.
Like anything else in life, there are ups and downs and there are times when we find ourselves in a rut. I have been feeling that way for a few months and even considered taking a step back entirely for a while. We haven't had a lot of students and it was beginning to feel almost like more effort than it was worth. I was frustrated about feeling that way too.
Over the past few weeks I've had the chance to do briefings, teach seminars and conduct classes that have rejuvenated me and reminded me why I love what I do.
I don't get paid, people often ask me why I devote so much time to something that I receive so little in return from. This is where I disagree. I cannot describe the feelings I get when I feel that I have made a difference in someone's life. Maybe it was just something I said, a feeling I justified or just being willing to listen.
A couple weeks ago I got to facilitate another Drill Sergeant Spouse Seminar and while we had the smallest group to date, it was a wonderful experience! We had two spouses new to the trail (what they call Drill Sergeant Duty) and it was nice to end the day with them telling myself and the other facilitator that they felt so much better about what the next couple years will bring them. It made me happy.
Last week myself and another instructor got to do a briefing at our local recruiting station to Future Soldiers and their Family Members. We had sooooooooo much fun. I could relate to them because I dealt with recruiters in my own journey into the Army. It was fun joking with them about everything from their hair (and how they would miss it soon enough) to doing push-ups and just sharing information in general. It was great talking to the young man who's spouse did not speak any English and being able to let him know that there were resources available to her so she wouldn't have to feel lost and alone. He told me that he felt so much better knowing that that his wife would be okay when he went off to training.
Today we had a Level I class (also known as Army 101) where we discuss the very basics of Army life. We had a brand new spouse...she's only been married two weeks. She was so refreshing and fun! The other spouses in the group were so awesome as well. They took her under their wings right way and shared information and were so supportive in her journey of being empowered. They were all there to learn as well, but there was something about watching this young girl learn and grow right before our eyes in such a short time. The other Spouses had 6 months to 18 years experience on her. We laughed and had serious moments and just enjoyed each others company. I left today on a natural high...it was so rewarding to be around these women.
That young spouse told us that a week ago she was sitting in a hotel room, crying and hating Army life. Today she left our building excited about talking to her husband in the new Army lingo she learned and having new found battle buddies!
That my friends, is why I do what I do, for moments like that.