By Lizann Lightfoot
When I first became a military girlfriend, Facebook did not exist. (Yes, I’m old.) I remember scouring the internet when my boyfriend was in boot camp, trying to find other military girlfriends who could answer questions. I wanted reassurance that long distance military relationships were possible. I hoped to find others who knew what it was like to wait days for a phone call or who had successfully survived deployments. At that time, there weren’t any websites for military significant others. Facebook changed all that.
Now, Facebook is a lifeline for military spouses. It lets us stay in touch with family back home or military friends who are scattered around the world. Facebook pages and groups allow military spouses to connect with other spouses on their base. You can find your tribe that will support you during deployments, even if it is people you have never met in person.
Whether you are new to military life, a seasoned spouse seeking more battle buddies, an entrepreneur looking for fellow working milspouses, or simply someone who loves fun military memes, here are the Facebook accounts you need to follow right now.
The Facebook pages for your duty station : Most bases or posts have official pages to inform you about events happening on the base and emergency situations like floods or fires. There are also unofficial pages for families stationed there. These are great places to ask questions about the local area, find a restaurant recommendation, learn about free giveaways, and look for clubs for different interests.
The Facebook page for your spouse’s unit: Depending on the size and nature of your spouse’s unit, they may have an official page that posts photos of the unit and information about unit events. During deployment, you can stalk the page and play “Where’s Waldo” while you search for your spouse in every photo.
The Facebook group for spouses in the unit: Unofficial groups can be a great way to connect with other spouses in the unit. These pages are generally hosted by spouses who volunteer to coordinate family activities. Sometimes these groups can wind up filled with drama and arguments. But most of the time, they are a source of comfort and a good way to get a quick answer to a question. Just remember that even in a “private” group you should never discuss the unit’s training dates, location, or travel plans.
If you live on base, the page for your neighborhood : Many base neighborhoods have active groups. Sometimes they are even specific to your street. This is a great way to “meet” your neighbors, find a running buddy, or make friends with another mom of two toddlers. It’s also the place where people vent about dog poop, parking spots, and trash cans. So. . . sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes not.
The local yard sale pages : Since someone is always moving, most bases have a page for buying and selling used stuff. Posting items individually and letting the buyers come to you can be easier than hosting a giant garage sale. We get most of our baby gear from these pages, as well as some furniture, outdoor toys, and kids clothes. When we PCS, I usually make a few hundred dollars selling furniture and children’s toys on the local yard sale pages.
Here are specific military spouse Facebook accounts to follow:
1. Military Spouse : The page for Military Spouse Magazine contains useful articles with resources and tips for navigating military life. It is one of the largest online communities for military spouses.
2. PCS Grades : If you have orders or are researching future duty stations, this page is a great resource. They have reviews of many military bases and can help you find base housing, a Realtor, or a base school.
3. Mad Skills : Military spouses looking for a virtual job should join this page. Mad Skills connects companies offering remote work with military spouses who want to work from home. And check out the app too.
4. Army Wife 101 : The page for the popular military spouse blog offers a little bit of everything–helpful articles, funny memes, discussion questions, and occasional games.
5. SpouseBuzz : A news website for military spouses. Some articles are serious, explaining how political decisions may affect military spouses. Ask Ms. Vicki is an advice column. And some articles point out the humorous side of modern military life.
6. NexGen Milspouse : This is the page for modern military spouses. Their articles are funny, progressive, and provide a voice for every unique personality in the military spouse community.
7. Macho Spouse : Yes, there is an official Facebook page for male military spouses. Their video series and podcasts provide helpful tips and encouragement.
8. Humans on the Homefront : This page shares a different person’s story with every post. Similar to “Humans of New York,” they demonstrate that every military service member and spouse has a unique journey and every person is worth celebrating.
9. Milso Support : Military significant others are welcome on this page. It offers support and encouragement for those new to military life or going through a deployment.
10. The Military Wife and Mom : Lauren is a military spouse blogger and author who shares some insight to military life, along with many helpful articles about parenting and raising toddlers.
11. Semi Delicate Balance : A humorous FB page for any military spouse with a sense of humor. She is famous for her sarcastic top 10 lists.
12. Singing Through the Rain : This military spouse blogger is a mom of two special needs children. The page shares military encouragement, recipes, Christian articles, and advice for navigating the challenges of special needs.
13. Ramblings of a Marine Wife : The page of a military spouse and mom of two focuses on topics like PTSD, saving money, and advice for military life.
14. Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life : Julie is a military spouse blogger famous for her honest and humorous memes about military life. The page has articles with helpful advice for military spouses. (She is also an Associate Editor for Military One Click.)
15. The Seasoned Spouse : This page offers advice and encouragement for young military spouses, from someone who has been there and totally gets that. (Disclosure: this is my page!)
Lizann Lightfoot is an associate editor at Military One Click and a Marine Corps spouse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.