Three years ago, I sat in a classroom a lot like this one not expecting to learn anything but hoping, at the very least, to connect with other spouses. After nine years of marriage, five deployments, one unaccompanied tour, and an OCONUS move, I could not imagine there was much left for me to learn but I was wrong. So very wrong.
For the first time, I understood WHY my Sailor deploys. I had always been supportive of my husband’s job but for the first time, I felt a new understanding; a renewed sense of pride. I was able to see just how important the Navy and our Sailors are on a global scale. It was an enlightening experience. I also learned about the CONUS move; something I had never done before but was expected to do in the next month. The Mentor who taught the moving section was incredible. She answered all of my questions and shared tips that helped make PCSing easier for her family. I was overwhelmed with how willing everyone was, participants and Mentors alike, to share their experiences if it meant saving someone else from difficulties.
Most importantly, I discovered that I wanted to help other spouses, too. Even though I detest public speaking, I volunteered to become a Mentor at the next duty station. As I sit here now, waiting for the other Mentors and participants to arrive, I am so thankful for everything I have learned in the last 3 years and the amazing spouses who have left “fingerprints on my soul,” as a good friend likes to say. COMPASS is more than learning about the Navy, it’s about community… our community.
To find and register for a COMPASS class near you, visit www.gocompass.org.