JBLM -- Sometimes nothing is sweeter than a bitter cup, over sweet conversation. Once a month, the USO hosts Coffee Connection for military spouses; a place where they can pour over life in the military. The goal is to help them grow their personal networks with people who understand the grind.
“It’s important because it’s really making friends when you have to move around all the time with our military changing duty stations every couple years. You are coming to new duty station all the time and as a spouse if you are not working you don’t really have an opportunity to meet that many people. So coming to something like coffee connections which is very casual is a great way to just make friends,” says Christine Vu, Camp Lewis Center Manager.
They’ve been stationed all around the world. But it’s this station, the coffee station, where they find the most comfort. It’s a special blend of military spouses, some new to the scene, some who’ve seen it all and even those who’ve recently retired from the military themselves.
“This is my first time coming to one of these coffee’s and I find it extremely valuable because there’s a lot of people going through what I am going through right now,” says Shanda L. De Anda, military spouse and retired Air Force.
Constant change can stir up feelings of uncertainty.
“That is a function of military life you know we move so often that you automatically know that other people are in the same boat,” says Kirsten Brunson, military spouse and retired Army.
“When you’re going through transition you’re kind of saying goodbye to something you’ve known for a lifetime or a couple years. No matter how long it’s been that transition can be a little bit nerve-wracking. You’re not really sure what the next step is,” says De Anda.
Meeting once a month reminds each of them they are not alone. Their cup is always full. And the conversation is never flat.
‘Just talking and making connections and maybe new friends,” says Brunson.
To learn more about the USO and Coffee Connections, or how you can get involved, just go to https://northwest.uso.org/