i went to my first pwoc meeting today. pwoc is protestant women of the chapel- it's a national Bible study at military installations. i wasn't really sure what i expected, but it ended up being good.
it didn't start out so hot... i called the installation chaplain's office for directions for the specific chapel it was at. i got lost (long story) and arrived to the chapel 20 minutes late... only to see a sign on the door that today's meeting got moved to another chapel- one i am familiar with and is much closer to my house. i got there 30 minutes late... but apparently all i missed were songtime and announcements.
there were probably 35 women there, of all ages. everyone was incredibly friendly... actually, people were more friendly here than at any of the churches we've visited. the very nature of a military installation-based group is that there is CONSTANT turnover- every two to three years, everyone moves. so, unlike a church that has had people who have been there for the past 40+ years, anyone who has been there longer than about 6 months is an "oldtimer"- new people are the spice of life.
of these women, the overwhelming majority of them said good-bye to their husbands (most of them for the 3rd or 4th time since 9/11) just a couple weeks ago. the 3rd infantry division (located at ft. stewart) is in the process of deploying... unlike last year, I am the one who has a husband at home while everyone else is alone. it made me very thankful that we're together, yet at the same time, the feeling that one day very soon I will again be the one dealing with stateside life alone loomed in the back of my mind.
it is great to have a group like this, though, in those times. a group that laughs at the same "you know you're a military spouse if..." jokes, that cries just as much (if not more...) than you, a group that asks not what your husband does, but if he's in the country or not (because really, that's all that matters).
have a good day, and keep the troops in your prayers...