I have heard from many many Army wives who want to get involved in volunteer work here at Ft. Bragg, but just don’t know where to start. I was one of those wives back before my son was born. My first year here I seemed to hit brick wall after brick wall every time I tried to get involved. Mostly, I just searched online for nursing homes that might need help, or Meals on Wheels… but it felt like wading through mud. Nobody seemed to answer the phone when I called, or respond to my emails.
It seems that as soon as I found out I was pregnant, volunteer opportunities flooded in. There was a need for PWOC volunteers, church nursery workers, church singers, Good News Bible Club volunteers, Meals on Wheels finally called me back, and I got a couple of job offers out of the blue. What!? Now that I was sick in my first trimester, EVERYBODY needed me!
Once my second trimester hit, I did do a little volunteering and just getting my foot in the door opened my eyes to how the volunteer circle works here. The best way to get started is with Army One Source. If you go to the link below, there will be a “volunteer tools” button in the upper right hand corner of the page. Click the button and it will take you to a map where you will select your state. After doing this, you will have the option to choose your community, “Ft. Bragg.” Now a series of drop down tables will give you all the possible volunteer opportunities on post. You can volunteer for: Boy scouts, ACS, red cross, thrift shops, the hospital, museums, girl scouts, chapel, and much much more.
For more info visit: http://www.myarmyonesource.com
Church hunting can be a lot of work! As important as it is to find a spiritual family when you move to a new home, the undertaking is sometimes awkward. Perhaps it is my own vanity, but there have been times when I have felt the eyes of a congregation land on me and say, “Ah, a new person. I haven’t seen her around before… she must be a heathen.” My husband will shake his head and sigh at me for even admitting that, but surely sometimes at least it is true.
Luckily, built into most Army posts are chapels who understand that people are always coming and going in the military, friends must be made fast, and building a support for one another is vitally important. Ft. Bragg is fortunate to have many chapels, with both Catholic and Protestant services, to accommodate its large population.
To find a chapel near you, check out: http://www.bragg.army.mil/directorates/chaplain/chapels/Pages/Default.aspx
Let’s face it, Army life is tough. Military members and their families face a unique set of challenges and high stress situations come with the territory. Frequent moves, separation with deployment, and a constantly shifting social life are all expected stressors, but compact those with personal changes such as pregnancy, separation/divorce, and injury and your chances for illness and depression skyrocket. Sadly, many people don’t know where to turn when they are feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of life.
The Watters Center was a tremendous resource for me in coping with depression after I experienced two miscarriages back to back. A free counseling ministry on post, the pastoral team at the Watters Center offers therapy for military families from a theological perspective. I have often been surprised by how few people are aware of this ministry and I strongly advocate its cause to strengthen the Army on the home front.
If you are interested in receiving counseling from the Watters Center, you can contact them for an appointment at: (910) 396-6564
One of the most vital necessities to thriving as a military wife is a solid group of friends. When I was a new Army wife I had heard horror stories about wives clubs and the petty bickering/back stabbing that went on there. Needless to say I was very cautious in my search for support. Because of my timidity, it was a good year before I was aware of the vast array of good, wholesome women’s groups on Ft. Bragg. Of these groups, the most vastly accessible is PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel), an organization sponsored by chaplains to offer Bible studies and spiritual growth to the women of Ft. Bragg. I have met some of the most truly beautiful women there and I admire and aspire to their sincerity in loving God and loving those around them.
PWOC offers a spring and a fall semester, sometimes with a mini summer semester in between. At the beginning of each semester there is a big kickoff where you can meet all of the teachers and review the classes that are available. There are currently three chapels that offer classes: All American, Pope, and Linden Oaks. All American Chapel also has night Bible studies to accommodate women who work. If you are interested in more information, visit FortBraggPWOC on Facebook.