Finding your tribe to help light the way

  • Published
  • By Stacy Roman, Wing Staff Agency Spouse
  • 501st Combat Support Wing

A friend of mine recently posted about the slight panicked feeling she had when it dawned on her she didn’t really know what to do if her kids came down with the COVID-19 virus while her husband was deployed. Not even two minutes after she posted came the flood of replies from her tribe. Friends and neighbors volunteering to pitch in and help whenever with whatever.


With the state of chaos our world is in, it’s easy to find ourselves withdrawing from society and from one another. The physical and social distancing makes it almost alluring. For an introvert like myself (and the rest of my immediate family), we’ve been practicing this since before it became the cool and necessary thing to do. But what happens when we need help? When you run out of flour? When your anxiety climbs to exponential levels? When you’ve withdrawn inside yourself you have a hard time crawling back out? That’s where your tribe comes in.


As a military spouse, your tribe can be anything. Family members, friends, fellow military spouses, key spouses, neighbors, the chaplains or even a psychologist or therapist. They’re the people who have your back, no matter what. Your tribe members will help you exercise the evil spiders from your house; convince you to change your pajamas once a day, and help you spot the pinhole of light at the end of what can seem like a seemingly endless tunnel of darkness. Even if they don’t have the answer or solution, they can often help you find it or (virtually) join you for a vent session.


Maybe you’re a recent transplant to the area and you haven’t met a lot of people yet. Or you prefer the comfort of Netflix and your couch and haven’t found your local fit yet. That’s absolutely okay. However now, more than ever, don’t be afraid to reach out to your key spouses if you need help. The Airmen and Family Readiness Center also offers a lot of resources to assist you and point you in the right direction. Or, just hop on Zoom or FaceTime with your long-distance tribe.


I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have a tribe. I have my people. And my people are scattered to the winds. I have them in different states, countries and continents. Some of my people have known me since I was the gangly new kid in middle school, others I’ve known maybe a year or so. Different parts of my life, different people. But they’re still my people and I know I can count of them for just about anything, and I will do the same for them.