MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- When people marry and decide to take each other as husband and wife, they unite as one. Marriage has its challenges, especially in the Marine Corps.
It often takes time to adapt to the Marine Corps lifestyle, but the Family Readiness Program and family readiness officers can help new spouses make the transition into the Marine Corps. Patricia Walker, a volunteer with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, has made that transition and now helps others in their time of need. She admits that it’s not always easy.
“I like to plan out everything and since becoming a Marine wife I have had to be more flexible,” said Walker. “However, the hardest obstacle has been having to stay strong for the entire family when feeling like you are falling apart because your heart is half a world away. I just remind myself that I knew I was marrying a Marine and all that goes with it.”
Walker has been recognized as part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general’s, Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, Committed and Engaged Spouses initiative, which recognizes Marine spouses who go above and beyond to support others. Walker has enveloped being a part of the “Marine team” because she supports her Marine and others who selflessly serve the nation.
Walker also volunteers in her husband’s squadron by helping out new moms by donating items and cooking meals for the families once a child is born.
“I love seeing the faces of the Marines when the volunteers show up to give random treats,” said Walker.
In addition to volunteering, Walker also extends her home to Marines who deal with the difficulty of being so far missing their families.
“I just hope that Marines feel like they have a place to go, and will pass that along to fellow Marines in the future,” said Walker.
She stresses to others to realize that they are committed and engaged even without the volunteering. She encourages spouses to do what their busy life allows and to reach out to the family readiness officer for assistance and volunteer opportunities.
“I encourage other spouses to go to at least one event and see how it makes you feel,” said Walker. “There are spouses with all different kinds of situations, but we share the common bond of loving our Marines which can bring us together.”