This will be my third summer living on post at Fort Bragg. As a fairly fresh army wife (just 3 years in, no deployments yet, still at our first duty station) and without growing up in a military family, I had no clue what on-post life would be like until I got here. I also didn’t know how different the housing experience was going to be during the summer versus the winter.
In the winter, we had neighbors who moved into the other unit of our duplex. Even though I could hear them through the walls, I literally did not see either one of them until halfway through Spring. As for the rest of my neighbors, I don’t think I saw much of anyone unless the temperature was above 50 degrees. Below that, I was headed straight inside to curl up on the couch and bury my body in blankets, and so were a lot of my neighbors who share my thin Southern blood.
In the summer, be prepared to see your neighbors ALL THE TIME and get to know them! There is a reason they call these “communities.”
I will say that if you live on a contained block where you share your backyard space with other houses, you will see more of your neighbors than if you do not share a backyard space.
If you are more of a social butterfly (or hoping to be, like I was), shared backyards are great for forcing you and your neighbors together into a common space. From 2 pm until dark there will most likely be someone outdoors to talk with, grill with, play with, etc. You will have random stop-and-chats more than you won’t if you venture outdoors. Some of the best times I’ve had on-post have been impromptu get-togethers with our neighbors just chilling on someone’s patio or at our shared playground.
If you are not excited by the idea of heading into your backyard and seeing other people, maybe aim for a house on the fringe when you move in, if you have a choice. Otherwise, there is not much privacy outdoors. If you have children, this may not be your experience, but if you are childless, you may have to be more proactive in connecting with your neighbors.
Get a group together and walk the neighborhood! Check your community center to see who is working out! Visit the pool and make new friends! Your housing community is the easiest place to meet new people and make those military connections! Your experience is what you make of it, but you have plenty of opportunities when living on-post to be as connected as you want to be.
Your experience is what you make of it, but you have plenty of opportunities when living on-post to be as connected as you want to be.
Bio: An avid writer, reader and teacher, Caitlyn loves getting her hands into all things creative. Previous passions of Caitlyn’s include: independent film.
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