I went to my first official Family Readiness Group (FRG) meeting last week. Every unit in the Army, Reserves and National Guard has it's own FRG. I didn't know this (because why would I know anything about the Army?) but apparently FRGs have really bad reputations for just being gossip circles basically. I realized this the first time my FRG leader contacted me to welcome me to Fort Bragg, and told me our FRG isn't like other FRGs because her husband is enlisted (not an officer) and somehow that was supposed to make a huge difference. It was a weird phone call to say the least.
Anyway, I got an email inviting me to the FRG meeting with a note that this meeting was going to be extremely important. I felt bad that I've been out of town for every single other regular meeting since I moved to Fort Bragg and since this one was going to be extremely important, I probably should go. The meeting was conveniently located at my neighborhood center too so I really had no excuses to not go.
I was surprised that there were only about 9 wives there. And 2 of them were my FRG and co-FRG leaders. There were a handful of other kids there which made it really hard to hear anything being said. Now, usually my kids are the maniacs in most situations but I was really trying to be a good mommy and I brought them quite toys, drinks, and even snacks to bribe them with. So it was pretty frustrating to have other kids acting crazy, and the moms just yelling at them even louder to be quiet (how does that even make sense anyway?).
The Delta Company 1st Sergeant was there to speak with us as he was home on R&R. I was catching little snippets of info here and there but the crazy kid next to me was banging his toys on the table and shrieking. 1st Sgt did say somewhere in there that the 2/508 (Gunnar's unit) will be deploying to Afghanistan again in September of 2011. I swear I almost fell off my chair right then and there. There were some rumors swirling around that they might be leaving 16 or 18 months after they get back. It's called "dwell time" - the time in between deployments. I know I got pretty close to crying when I heard that and 1st Sgt Barber came over and talked to me for a while. He had tons of really great things to say about Gunnar. And he said he'll likely be promoted to NCO (non-commissioned officer) within the next 3-4 months. I can't even begin to say how proud of Gunnar I am but the thought of only having him home for 1 year out of his 3 year enlistment makes my stomach hurt!
I didn't talk to too many people at the meeting. I introduced myself to the FRG leaders and did the polite nod and "hi" to the other ladies there. I really couldn't see myself hanging out with any of them though. I really completely feel like I just don't fit in all that well down here. But I'm ok with that. I hope the kids are okay with having very limited contact with other kids around here. I'm glad they have each other and that we do a lot of things with just the 3 of us. I don't want them to be socially awkward when they do eventually go to school, and I'm hoping these months of alone-ness don't do that to them.
I really doubt that I'll be going to another FRG meeting any time soon. There were actually zero "extremely important" information bits at the meeting. I fell for that line this time but I won't in the future.