There are a certain number of events that are quite common in the military community.
Probably the most common is the FRG Meeting. It is also the most dreaded.
FRG (Family Readiness Group): These are the wives/spouses of the soldiers in the unit. Often lead by the Company Commander or First Sgt’s wife. The meetings are usually about an hour in length. They may or may not put out a training calendar, so you know when your soldier will be home, in the field or gone away on training, as well as the days off or DONSA’s. These groups usually have children everywhere, not listening and running around. Sometimes there are potluck meals provided. There is planning of any unit events or holiday parties, in which each family signs up to bring a dish. There may be special information, as in pre-deployment, given out by the commander at these meetings. They also plan events, like Baking Cookies for the single soldiers for holidays.
Hails and Farewells: Only some of the unit’s do these with any regularity. These are parties, usually at a bar or restaurant, to welcome or say goodbye to a soldier who is moving. I have NEVER seen it done to welcome an incoming family. These are usually fun. Probably because there is drinking.
Military Balls: Some people enjoy them, others hate them. Think of a prom, but more protocol. Although I have seen people wear everything imaginable to these, the dress is formal. I have worn both short formal and long formal. Yes, some people get their hair done, but no, most people don’t wear flowers. There are usually photographers there to pose you in a Prom-like pose for a fee, and there is a reception held an hour beforehand. There is often a Memorial for Fallen Soldiers given, and many toasts (remain standing other than the toast “To the Ladies”. There is often a “Grogbowl” Ceremony, which you have to see to believe, and then a Chaplain’s prayer and Keynote Speaker Address. Somewhere in here, you actually are served your dinner. The formal part of the ball usually lasts about 3-4 hours, and then everyone can dance and cut loose. There are assigned seats.
Word of Warning:
I am all for RELIGIOUS freedom, however, at military functions YOU WILL BE present when they play the National Anthem. When you see the American Flag, FACE IT and keep facing it until you don’t see it anymore. When they start playing the National Anthem, your soldier will salute. YOU WILL PUT YOUR RIGHT HAND OVER YOUR HEART and keep it there until the soldiers are done saluting the flag. Don’t embarrass your husband by not doing this, or your kindergarten teacher who already taught you.
In other news, I was nominated on Babble's Top 50 Mom Blogs List. So can you please take two minutes and click here: http://www.babble.com/babble-50/mommy-bloggers/nominate-a-blogger/index.aspx then scroll down to "Glamorous Life" and click on the "like" button.
Thanks a bunch!