Military life might change your zip code or your future experiences, but it will not change the friendships you have had and the experiences you have been through together, good and bad. While we are so thankful for all our friendships and each of the differences that make them unique, there is something to be said about making military friendships, specifically. The people you meet upon joining a military community are some of the fastest and strongest bonds you will ever create.
Faster Formed Bonds
Being stationed in a new place with new people is a big transition, and with it comes the challenge of making friends. No matter how friendly and welcoming any community is, if you are completely new to town, it usually takes time to feel comfortable with people you meet.
One thing different about making military friends vs. civilian friends is the rate at which those bonds are formed. True friendship can be made so fast among military friends, members, and family that it can feel as if they have known their relatively new friends for a lifetime. This comes from immediately having a common ground from which to build upon and the ability to adapt quickly after being used to moving constantly.
Relatability for the Military Way of Life
Another significant aspect unique to military friendship is the fact that you can relate to such a huge part of each other’s lives. While there is no doubt your civilian friends can and most likely do sympathize with many of the different things you deal with in military life, it is hard for anyone to fully understand something they have never experienced. Military friends serve as a great, and even necessary, support system, because it is comforting to know that someone “gets” the way you are feeling. Military life can involve a lot of ups and downs and concerns that civilians don’t have to worry about, so finding friends who can understand your lifestyle in the military community is definitely something to cherish.
Built-In Familial Support System
The last and probably most evident reason why our military friendships mean so much to us is that they are there for us when our partners are away. If your spouse isn’t there, it can be difficult to take up the entirety of the responsibilities you are used to sharing. Military friends understand this more than anyone, because they have been through it themselves at one time or another, so they will step in when you need a little extra help. They know that a little can go a long way, so be thankful for your military friends, and tell them how lucky you are to have them!