Meredith and Christina gave us the ‘you’re my person’ line and we all need that person. The duo used this line many times during many different scenarios, from “You are my person, you will always be my person.” — Grey’s Anatomy to “Shut up, I’m your person.” — Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy – so who is your person?
Battle Buddy is a term that is defined as ‘Another service member assigned to mutually help another under the battle buddy system, and by extension any comrade‘ (https://www.yourdictionary.com/battle-buddy). This term has been extended over the years to include friendships between spouses and school students across the world – we all need a battle buddy. Whilst the term Battle Buddy has derived from the actually battle field, the definition behind it is important….to mutually help another.
As I have gotten older I have come to know that people enter into our lives for all different reasons – to get you through something, for a short time, as a lesson, or for a long time. The same is for battle buddies – some are there to get you through something (deployment, illness, grief), some are there for a short time, to help you learn something about yourself or a situation, or to help you learn a different way and some are there for a long time but finding ‘your person’ is tough.
For me as a naturally shy person or a Defender personalty, putting myself out there to meet new people is extremely hard. I like my comfort zone, people that I know, routines that I am familiar with, grocery store aisles that I know where to find our favourite items and most importantly were my people are.
Having a Battle Buddy or Buddies is something that is treasured and something that needs to be nourished. At times, the battle buddy relationship will be one sided and this will swing from side to side as you go through different stages and situations.
For me, I have the Battle Buddy that has been by my side since we were in primary school – the one who we have shared every thought, every up and down with, the one who I conquered high school with, the one who twisted my arm (literally) to go to the pub one Sunday afternoon (forever grateful and so is my husband), the one who stood beside me as I married and who has been there every single time.
The Battle Buddy I have know for 20+ years, the first one who I was introduced to in Canberra, the one who replied ‘not only a receptionist’ when I told her that I was only a receptionist, the one who we joined for pizza on Friday nights, the walks, the voice of reason, the strong and beautiful, the one with the kids that mine see as more of family than friends, the one that no matter how many months or years pass between us all being together, is just like yesterday.
I have the Battle Buddy who I haven’t known as long but the one who I survived another deployment with- the one who I could call at 0200 in the morning when I had a sick boy who needed the ER, the one who watched the kids so I could grab some shopping by myself, the one who I had dinner with more nights than not, the one who I nearly drank all the tea in Townsville with everyday, the one who I cried and laughed with, the one who I would want by me during another deployment.
I have the Battle Buddies that we have been neighbours with, the ones that tequila shots were as fun and horrible at 40 as they were at 18, the ones that could watch the kids whilst you ducked out, the ones that helped with the sport run or the school run, the ones that feed and watched the dogs when on holiday, the ones that you had shared dinners with (4kg of taco mince), the ones that you sit up with until 0400 drinking wine with, the ones that have been the familiar happy face on a new posting, the ones you go camping with, the ones you make retirement plans with, the ones that have been battle buddies for short amounts of time and the ones that will forever be.
Many schools across the world have introduced the Battle Buddy system in their schools. This program is there to ensure each student that is new to the school has a friend, the person who can help them find their way, the person who can introduce them to new friends and to ensure there is one familiar face each morning. For many children, finding their person is also difficult. For Defence Kids and those from families that relocate often, we ask them (without actually asking) to leave and set roots down somewhere new and unfamiliar. The Battle Buddy system is a welcome inclusion to all schools, particularly primary school. The inclusion of buddy chairs is also a great initiative in schools, not just for new students but for all students who may be feeling a little lost or lonely, take a seat and ‘buddies’ with occur to talk and include during play times – we all need that sometimes.
The simple meaning behind a Battle Buddy – to mutually help another. For me and this adventure, I plan on stepping out of that comfort zone and making the most of making Battle Buddies to share the journey with in Kansas. I’ve going the on post book club (I’ don’t know anybody else who will attend) and on Friday, I am signing up for the Fort Leavenworth Spouses Club – wish me luck!!