News: Spouse overcomes growing pains, helps others do the same
Story by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- When two people marry, they change their lifestyles to complement one another. It may be challenging to get used to a new way of living, but when a marriage occurs in the Marine Corps.
Luckily, now the Family Readiness Program and family readiness officers with each unit can help new spouses join the Marine Corps family seamlessly. Stacey Manor, a volunteer with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 371, didn’t have that opportunity when she married Master Sgt. Thomas Manor.
“My husband was a gunnery sergeant when we got married,” said Stacey Manor. “I got a crash course in Marine Corps life. At that time, there wasn’t a FRO program to help me navigate the waters. By volunteering, I would like to be that person who a new spouse could come to if they needed any help or advice.”
Stacey Manor also volunteers regularly as a family readiness assistant along with her day job as a court clerk with the Yuma County Justice Court.
“In my nearly nine months as an assistant, I have helped with pre- and post- deployment briefs, helped put together ‘Rack Packs’ to put in the barracks rooms of returning single Marines, assisted with the unit Christmas party, and now we are gearing up and getting organized for the many events we have coming up in the next six months,” she said.
As she looks out for spouses and Marines, Stacey Manor spreads joy throughout the unit by inviting new spouses to events and planning events that Marines can enjoy.
“The easiest way to get involved is to just show up at events,” she said. “You don’t have to be an ‘official’ assistant to help out with events. I have had a lot of spouses who don’t work outside the home tell me how bored they are and want to do something. I tell them to keep an eye out for events and anytime a volunteer opportunity comes up, just let the FRO know you want to help.”
She tries to encourage others to do their best whether they can volunteer for many hours or just a few.
Some spouses think that because they don’t have as much time available to volunteer as other spouses, that their services won’t be wanted. Manor explained that it is not about the quantity, but the quality of work and every little bit helps.
Manor volunteers to help make life a little easier for people around her. She hopes that through volunteering and working, she can inspire others to do the same.
“If you feel that you have a lot to offer your unit, but don’t have time to contribute, that’s ok,” she said. “The FRO is always happy to have whatever help she can get. If a spouse reads about someone who is in their similar situation, maybe they will think ‘if she can do it, so can I.’”