In the Army we have what are called FRGs. They stand for “Family Readiness Group” and are usually made up of the spouses from the same Company that your soldier is apart of. Sometimes they have FRGs at the unit level.
When you first move to a new place, you should be contacted by the FRG but this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the soldier has to look into it or ask around for information. Other times a spouse might sign up and then not receive any information on it. This can be frustrating if the spouse really wants to get involved.
FRGs do get a bad rap. Some spouses are warned against joining them. There can be issues with disorganization and too much gossip. Some spouses might feel like it is just a big clique and there is no way to break in. Others might not get a lot out of it. Some feel there is just too much drama when it comes to FRGs. While all this is true, sometimes the FRG can be a great place for spouses to connect. It can be a great way to make friends, especially during a deployment. It is comforting to know these other spouses will be going through what you are and that your soldiers are all together overseas.
I have had a mix of good and bad experiences with FRGs. I have met some amazing people through them. I have had some great times and have been able to get through deployments because of them. I have also been frustrated and annoyed with disorganization and a feeling that I don’t belong.
It is hard to know what to expect when you are trying to decide about an FRG. My advice would be to try it at least once. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back. If it gets too stressful, it is okay to stop going.
I have found FRGs most helpful during deployments. This is when people tend to band together and support each other a little more. You will also find that more spouses are likely to be involved. FRGs will plan monthly meetings and get-togethers. Trips to the park and dinners out together. I remember when I first moved to Germany. The first FRG event I went to was a dinner about a month before our soldiers were suppose to deploy. This was a great time for me to meet some of the women I would go through the deployment with. Not everyone has this experience but I am thankful for the times with the FRGs has been a good experience for me.
Are you connected with your FRG? Have you had good or bad experiences with it?
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