She's also our "newest" member (well, new being a relative term. She's been part of us for a minute now.)
That doesn't change the fact that she's brought the same level of love, care, devotion, and dedication that Her War, Her Voice has become known for.
Here is her story:
All of my adult life has been spent being married to a soldier. In this marriage, I learned about the difference between volunteer and “voluntold,” a colloquial military term describing someone telling you that you will “volunteer” for something. There are many voluntold positions my soldier and I endured; there are even more volunteer positions. Military life really is about selfless service.
I used to volunteer for the Family Readiness Group, fondly called the FRG. I would tirelessly point spouses into the right direction for help and assistance. We would band together during deployments and be the best support available. While I found a lot of support, as a volunteer, I had to always remain positive in regards to the military and always support their agenda whether or not I really agreed with it. One day, a friend added me to an online group called Her War Her Voice. As I peeked around at the posts, I saw how uplifting everyone was. I ventured out to make my first post. I was welcomed with love and support. I could say whatever I wanted, whether it was positive or negative and I was heard. Seen. Loved. It seemed too good to be true. I stayed in the online forum for several months.
My friend, and now fellow colleague, Heather, begged me to attend an in-person meeting. They were on the third Tuesday and everyone knows that is when you shave your calluses. I couldn’t possibly go. She asked another month. I don’t have childcare. Next month. It is spaghetti night--can’t go. The next month--no childcare. She announced that she already secured a babysitter and that she had supper prepared for the kids. I would have no other option. I begrudgingly put on clean clothes and went to my first in-person meeting.
Shock and awe is my only response to the experience. It was truly the same confidentiality, integrity, and love that I felt in the online group. Despite hating the card game because the rules changed which was actually a symbol of how military rules change at each installation, I realized Her War rules of engagement didn’t change. It was the same in person. It was the same at Fort Jackson or Fort Riley. It was the same online. As the months progressed, I continued to attend in-person meetings. I fell in love with all of Her War. The values, rules (or lack thereof), love, the whole thing—the idea that I had a voice and I could share it.
Finally I became a volunteer, then a team member. I don’t regret a second of it. There is a lot of work behind the scenes. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into Her War. While a lot of factors change, the core values and ideas remain constant. Her War is a home and a voice for me.