What was the last military spouse event you attended? There are so many military spouse-centered events each year, and it’s tough to decide which ones to attend. And some months, traveling away from family, home, and your spouse is easier. Others (like when your spouse is deployed or unable to take leave) are nearly impossible.
Last year, I had a list of events I wanted to attend. But my spouse was unable to take leave, his day started with PT at 0400, and I have kids. We had just moved, and my support system was nonexistent. As I slowly resigned myself to only one trip, that my dad was flying in to help with, I came across the NMSN Road Show.
I whisper-shouted with joy at 0515 that morning when I realized that this event met all of my criteria:
- I could drive there; it was only about 90 minutes away.
- It was outside of business hours, being held on a Friday evening and Saturday was terrific.
- I could even bring my family and have them play on the beach while I attended.
I was sold and immediately bought my ticket and reserved my room. I was thrilled just to attend an event that fit into the craziness of my life. And then I arrived. From the moment the event began, I was hooked. I learned so much. These were the people I wanted to surround myself with. You should want to join this group; these are your people. Here’s why I think so:
The Style & Energy
First of all, the way this organization is run is super attractive to me. “The Summit is for any career-minded military spouse looking to further their professional goals as well as any military spouse looking to start or build on their business.” ANY career-minded military spouse. At any stage of their career, business, or plan. Anyone. Did I mention anyone?
The best thing I heard was from Founder Sue Hoppin was, “I guarantee no one here will ask you what your spouse does.” She was right. It was so refreshing to be instantly valued on my own. Everyone was there to learn, to improve their businesses, and to meet more people.
You know military spouses are good at networking, but our conversations tend to start out, with where we are stationed or what our spouses do instead of what we do. I loved being able to introduce myself as a professional, without any ties to the military or a specific unit. No one cared what my spouse was doing, what branch he is in, or what rank he is. No one cared. Not one bit.
In fact, I learned more about the military spouses as professionals than anywhere else. They are lawyers, accountants, human resource professionals, real estate agents, photographers, and business owners. They are working twice as hard as everyone else and dealing with the obstacles thrown in their faces. I want to know them.
I realize that food may not be high on your list of qualifications for a good event, but it’s high on my list, and it’s high on NMSN’s. You will eat well at this summit, and it is fun. From the cocktail hour networking reception that was complete with Air Force blue frosted cake to good coffee and breakfast to a wonderful lunch on the patio, we never lacked for food.
With people flying in from all over the country (and overseas locations!) and top-quality speakers, there is absolutely nothing missing from the Capital Summit. You simply must attend. Mark your calendars now for October 12th and 13th. See you there!
Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. She’s also a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to MOAA, AUSA, PCSgrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com. Follow @Rebecca_Alwine on social media!