Fort Moore Spouses Club on diversity, positives and challenges in the military spousal community

FORT MOORE, Georgia (WRBL) – Spouses in the local military want people to know that being a military man’s significant other isn’t the same as it used to be. On National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, military spouses from Fort Moore highlighted the ups and downs of being Army wives today.

“We’re not all housewives who sit at home at all,” said Tutt McCracken, 41, current president of the Fort Moore Spouses Club.

McCracken has been married to the military for 18 years and met her husband through ROTC and the Pershing Rifles fraternity at Indiana University.

At this time, McCracken was trying to follow in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, both of whom served in the Army. She had to leave the program after her sophomore year due to a history of sports asthma.

“Some people think there’s such a thing as this monolith of military spouses,” said Jeni Putnam, 45, social media chair of the Fort Moore Spouses Club. “That’s what they think.” [if] They might think otherwise that they wouldn’t fit into the military community, and I don’t think that’s true.”

Putnam emphasized that military spouses come from many different backgrounds, challenges and occupations, making the community a diverse community. The Chair met her husband in high school and they have been married since he commissioned the agency 24 years ago.

Today, Putnam works on the Spouses Club’s Deploy a Dress project, volunteers with Boy Scouts of America Troop #27, is a cookie mom for Boy Scout Troop #50263, and serves with the Protestant Women’s Chapel.

Some members of the Spouses Club are ex-army soldiers themselves. Christi Stapay, 36, served in the Army for four and a half years, having joined the service right out of college. During this time she met her husband, to whom she has been married for 13 years.

The Fort Moore Spouses Club is open to spouses of all genders, although it currently only has one male member. According to Stapay, this is largely because Fort Moore is primarily a combat weapons facility and women have only been allowed to serve in combat weapons units for a decade.

The women agreed that being a military wive brings both challenges and benefits.

“I love the pomp and circumstance,” said McCracken, who unveiled a new shield yesterday, May 11, during the Fort Moore appointment ceremony as a result of being honored with the Association of the United States Army (AUSA ). the year together with her husband and two children. Putnam’s family took second place.

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Putnam said being far from home can be difficult, but all the women said they love it when friends and family make the effort to visit. They also said technology can help maintain friendships and jobs, but it’s not perfect.

“I’ve spoken to spouses of military personnel who have retrained in remote-friendly jobs not because they want to, but because they can’t find work in their chosen profession,” said Putnam, who has been doing remote work for over 20 years.

Social media, texting, and gaming are also helping the women and their children maintain relationships through military action. McCracken said she created business cards for her child with names and contact information and an Xbox gamer tag that they could give to friends to keep in touch.

Frequent moves are also sometimes an advantage. Stapay referred to her daughter’s early education in Kuwait.

“As a three-year-old, she learned about diversity and what it’s like to be a minority, which is a rare opportunity for a white person in America,” she said, adding that the experience made her daughter more understanding and empathetic.

Giving back to the community is most important to Spouses Club. The club’s thrift store and events raise money for initiatives such as supporting the Battle Buddy Resource Center in Fort Moore. That year, they awarded $82,000 in grants and scholarships.

The Fort Moore Spouses Club also operates a location for Operation Deploy Your Dress, which offsets the cost of formal events for military wives and daughters by providing them with dresses, shoes and accessories for proms and school dances.

Emphasizing that the club is open to everyone, McCracken said, “The Spouses Club isn’t a thing of the past where you … have to believe in a certain thing, wear white gloves and have all that stuff.” It’s not the old army. “

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