Courses build confidence in military spouses

Courses build confidence in military spouses

Posted on November 07, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Our Legacy of Valor campaign isn't just for veterans who served 30 years ago -- our goal is to raise awareness and honor veterans from all walks of life, especially active duty military and their families.

Amy Lowe, a Sarasota native, young mom and Navy wife shared a very real look at the challenges military spouses face. This week Amy shares a glimpse into the lives of military spouses when their loved one is deployed.


Big Navy takes care of the spouses of the deployed.

The Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, offers a class called “COMPASS” for new spouses and families to the military -- as well as those who are not new but would like a refresher and some encouragement.

COMPASS is a program that teaches basics about the Navy and Navy life, acronyms (which can be very confusing!), deployment survival skills, locally relevant contact information, safety for military families, and provides a safe networking arena for families of Navy personnel to socialize or just find a helping hand. This mentoring program is run on a volunteer basis by trained military spouses who have been through it all.

As a “Navy 101” class, this was the best thing to happen to me when I was left in Norfolk for Tom’s first deployment. I didn’t know an "underway" from an "individual augmentation", let alone where to find help during either.

By the time I was finished with the course, I had made friends and contacts, I knew the commissary hours by heart, and I could decode acronyms like “COMNAVSURFLANT” (Commander Naval Surface Forces Atlantic!) without flinching.

Tom couldn’t believe the difference in my confidence when he came home after six months at sea. I was finally able to understand the jargon when he talked about work, and to be an active participant in choosing his orders and career moves as well. Knowledge and support has a profound way of disarming fear, and COMPASS offers both. The program is free and offers free childcare as well.

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