Why You Should Go to at Least One FRG Meeting
What first comes to mind when you hear the word, “FRG meeting?” Does it make you cringe? Does hearing that give you warm memories of former duty stations? Do you wonder even how to find your FRG?
The FRG gets a bad rap, it really does. And not exactly without reason. Not all FRGs are good, and some of them are filled with drama. That being said, I always think it is a good idea to go to at least one FRG meeting at your new duty station, especially if your spouse is going to be deployed.
FRG stands for Family Readiness Group. You can normally find them within the Company and Battalion levels. While FRG is mainly an ARMY term, they might be called something else if you are in another branch. Key Spouse Program, Family Readiness Program, the Ombudsman Program or the Work-Life Program accomplishes the same type of thing in other branches. They all offer support for the families of those who serve.
So why should you go to at least one FRG Meeting? Here are some reasons:
To meet people
As military spouses, we are always looking for ways to make friends, especially if we are new to our duty station. The FRG can be a place to do so. These other spouses are married to someone that does the same type of thing your own spouse does.
These people are worth befriending or at least trying to befriend. They are in a very similar road that you are, and that is worth exploring. Even if you don’t find your best friend in the group, getting to know others that will be on the same deployment timeline that you will be is a good thing.
To understand what your spouse does
Knowing exactly what your spouse does can be a bit confusing, especially when they are deployed. Going to your FRG can help you understand more about their job and allow you to meet other more seasoned spouses than understand what being married to someone with that job is like. Sometimes you can feel a bit lost, even within the military world but finding other spouses who are in the know can be very helpful.
For connection when your service member is deployed
My best experiences with FRGs have been when my husband was deployed. From monthly Monday coffee dates to BBQs with the kids, to get-togethers, to making homecoming signs. These wives or other spouses are in this with you, no matter how long the deployment will be.
If your husband is going to deploy in the near future, having a good FRG connection is a smart idea. Towards the end of a deployment, an FRG meeting is going to be the place to go to get the best information. Information about when to send the last care package, how homecoming is going to go, and how to get through those last weeks apart. If nothing else, having other spouses to get through those last few weeks of a deployment with is a good idea.
To stay busy
You have all heard the advice that you need to stay busy during your deployment. The FRG is one way to do so. Many FRGs have regular events as well as the regular FRG meeting.
If your FRG doesn’t have anything going on, you could be the one to start something. FRGs can also spin off to create other groups such as book clubs, running clubs, and even regular playdates. While you don’t need an FRG to stay busy during a deployment, they can be one of the places you turn to when you are looking for ways to fill up your calendar.
To make your FRG a better place
Writing off your FRG is way too easy, committing to make the FRG better is a lot harder to do. Not all of us have the time or energy to help do this but if you do, consider stepping up and volunteering in your FRG. Not only will this be good for you but it will be good for all the spouses in the FRG. A good FRG takes people who want it to be so.
You don’t have to be the FRG leader, there are other roles that need to be filled. Talk to the people in your FRG to find out what they need help with. The more help the FRG has, the stronger the group can become.
Because one bad FRG experience shouldn’t turn you off forever
Maybe you had a horrible experience with your FRG at your previous duty station, but that doesn’t mean this FRG will be the same. You could end up with an amazing group and wouldn’t even know it if you don’t at least go to one meeting. You never know what the FRG is going to be like until you visit the FRG and find out for yourself.
Don’t let one bad experience turn you off forever. There might be drama, but you don’t have to be apart of that nonsense. Work together to keep the drama away from your FRG so everyone can have a better experience.
While an FRG might not be for everyone, they are worth checking out. Try to go into your first FRG meeting with an open mind; you might be surprised at what you find. A good FRG will help you and your family have a better experience during a deployment and at your duty station in general.
Do you go to your FRG meetings? Why or why not?