Family Readiness Groups are a resource made available to any spouse or immediate family member of a soldier. The question is, do they work?
At a recent gathering with a few friends, many of whom happen to be Army wives, the topic of FRGs came up and was met with mixed reactions. One woman said she felt that her FRG felt more like an obligation or a responsibility than a source of support. She was overworked, under appreciated and not receiving the help she found in friends outside of her FRG.
Another woman said she stopped bothering with FRG participation because there was too much drama. People making big deals out of little things and not taking the big things seriously enough was enough to make her quit the meetings.
I, myself, have struggled with whether to dive into the FRG scene or just hang back with my good, experienced friends. Part of my dilemma comes from my husband’s moving around from company to company. Because he kept being moved, it was very difficult for me to hook up with an FRG for more than a week before being shuttled off to another. The hassle of it made me give up until things had settled down.
Now that things are settled, I wonder what to do. With a lot on my plate at the moment, an FRG sounds like just another filled slot on my day planner, if I even kept a day planner, which I don’t. If I did become involved, I wouldn’t want to bite off more than I can chew. If the purpose of these groups is to support the military family, not to burden, then that would be my hope of the group. I say, why not give it a go?
And if the responsibility outweighs the support or the drama outweighs the wisdom gained, at least I can say I’ve tried.