This post is going to be something near to my heart and a little emotional. Please be patient.
My husband is a Soldier. He just completed almost 3 years in battalion command. As the commander's wife, I was very involved with the Families of our battalion. I served as the FRG (Family Readiness Group) advisor for all the volunteer leaders at the company level. I met with the company level commanders when they needed guidance with their volunteers and needed help with Army regulations regarding family programs. I absolutely LOVED what I did helping Army families.
When our Soldiers deployed, I got more involved. I met with our Rear Detachment Commander at least once per week. We shared stories on families struggling and helped figure out ways to help without enabling. When we lost a Soldier two weeks into the deployment, I met with the other Family members. I cried with them, I sat in that Soldier's memorial ceremony and watched his widow and children grieve. That is a time I will never forget.
I met with volunteer leaders to raise money for parties, redeployment celebrations and to get barracks rooms ready for single Soldiers to come home. I sold endless amounts of t-shirts, baked goods, and blankets. I beat the bushes for money so our Soldiers could have a fabulous welcome home luau. I planned that luau almost by myself. I worked tirelessly to empower Amy Families to thrive during their deployment. I'm not complaining. I LOVED IT!
My husband is home now. He has stepped out of command. I no longer serve as the advisor for a battalion of volunteers and family members. I handed all of that over to the next person.
I am struggling to find my place now. I had power to help people as the commander's wife. Not so much anymore. It's hard to leave the top. I knew my husband would struggle with this, but I had no idea how it would affect me.
I may never again have the opportunity to work side by side with Soldier's families the way I did the last three years. Sure, my wonderful Soldier will probably go on to command a brigade or a district with the Corps of Engineers. He's that good (no brag here!) It won't be the same. It's a different level.
I have decided to pay it forward. I want to mentor other future leaders. I will continue to volunteer and be involved in this wonderful military community. I am just a volunteer at heart. I will always be looking for opportunities. I'm ready for the next thing. It sucks being stuck here, with these people, while someone else does my work. I'm ready to move on.
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