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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. The people you meet upon joining a military community are some of the fastest and strongest bonds you will ever create.
Form Bonds Faster
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, it usually takes time to feel comfortable with people you meet if you are entirely new to town.
One thing different about making military friends versus civilian friends is how those bonds are formed. Mil spouses, mil kids, and service members can create real friendships so fast that it might feel like you've known their relatively new friends for a lifetime. This comes from immediately having a common ground. Being always on the move means military families have a lot of practice making new friends.
Relatability for the Military Way of Life
Another significant aspect unique to military friendship is that you can relate to such a massive 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 understand something they have never experienced fully. Military friends serve as a great and even necessary support system because it is comforting to know that someone “gets” the way you feel. Military life can involve many 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 something to cherish.
Built-In Family-Style Support Systems
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 challenging 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!