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Spouse Connexion

New column for military spouses

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Let me introduce myself. I'm Sonia, and I'm a military spouse, like many of you. We have been stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) for almost nine years! Yes, you read that right. And in that time, we have come to know the military and surrounding civilian community like the back of our hands.

In 2016, I decided to branch out and create an online magazine, Spouse Connexion, connecting and inspiriting military spouses to learn, grow and connect with each other. As a journalist, I am so excited to bring the conversation of what we military spouses are faced with post-wide.

Here we will dialogue about what opportunities we have in the area and what challenges we are still facing. I, for one, love to make sure we fill the gap between the military and civilian communities, making everyone feel included. Isn't that what this military life is all about, after all?

No topic is off limits here. Upset about the struggles of reliable and affordable child care? I hear you. Have a success story to share? Let me know! Living this military life together is what is going to make or break all of our experiences at any duty station ... and I, for one, am all about building relationships across branches and ranks.

So I'm introducing this first column for military spouses, and I'd like to dive head first into some startling findings from the latest Blue Star Families Military Lifestyle report for 2019, published just last month. They found that 52 percent of respondents find friends most helpful during separation, yet 39 percent had no one in their local community to talk to, and furthermore, 35 percent said they had no one to ask for a favor! Think about that for a minute.

With the convenience of social media, we are under this perceived reality that we all have a "community" in which to live and thrive, yet our military spouse isolation still exists and is very real and evident here. I don't know how many times I have called upon a friend or neighbor for a favor. I've needed last minute care for my littles as I attend a job interview, asked a neighbor for fever reducer when the kids were sick ... even asked for a single egg. You name it, I've done it. Without a community to rely on, I don't know where any of us would be.

So I wonder, how many of you feel isolated? Who out there feels as though you can't reach out to a single friend for a favor? I know us military spouses feel like we can do it all and that it's hard to ask for help. I fall victim to this, too, but everyone needs that friend ... the friend who will be there regardless of circumstance, the friend who has your back and loves your kids as you do.

If you don't have that friend, we are going to work on creating that enriching community for you in which you can find that friend.

Together we are not only going to explore this beautiful area of JBLM, we are going to explore what it means to be a thriving military spouse here. From one military spouse to another, I hope to bring you at least that.

In the meantime, welcome if you're new. I'd love to meet you around the base! With so much to do here, I urge you to get involved.

Here are the events you should pencil in your calendar:

Military Spouse Professional Network, 6-8 p.m., March 12, First Command Office, DuPont

Lewis Community Spouse Club Night Circus Charity Event, 6-10 p.m., March 13, Clover Park Technical College

JBLM Shamrock 5k, March 21

IF: Military JBLM Global Ministry Conference, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 28, Church of Living Water, Lacey

Head to to continue the conversation and feel free to submit your thoughts, questions and topics of interest to me at Be sure to like Spouse Connexion on Facebook for events around town.

Until next month, Sonia with Spouse Connexion.

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