When Friends Become Family


Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest … it’s about who came and never left your side.” – Unknown

This thought on friendship is something I have learned to be true since marrying into the military. Some may claim that their lifetime childhood friends are their best friends. While this may be true, I’ve found that the friends I’ve made during my time as a military spouse tend to have a different sort of dynamic and meaning. We experience things together that people on the outside looking in may not truly understand.

During a deployment, who better to console us than a fellow spouse who is going through the same thing? Military families are experts at adapting. We move from place to place, often leaving friends and family behind. We face long hours and month-long trainings or even longer deployments. The best way to stay sane and roll with the punches is to find a family away from home. 

You know the people I’m talking about …

The friends who spend the holidays together. 

These are the friends who come together to make a Thanksgiving meal that would rival Mama’s; who spend Christmas Day with one another so it feels a little less lonely.

The friends who help you move to your new house.

These are the friends who give up a whole weekend or their day off, no questions asked; who will help you and expect nothing in return.

The friends who will lend family support.

These are the friends who watch your kids, so you can finally get that date night, allow you to put them down as your emergency contact, and make you dinner on a 24 hour duty night.

The friends who “get it” [the Military life].

These are the friends who listen to complaints without hesitation and who usually have some of their own; the ones who will be a shoulder to cry on when you’re struggling with a deployment and miss your spouse; the friends who remind you that you’re not alone.

THESE are the friends who come and never leave your side. The friends who become family.

Do you have friends in your life that you count as family? How do you rely on one another?