Gemma, overseas posting & member of Paderborn MWC

Gemma moved overseas two years ago when her husband was posted to Germany. She was nervous about leaving friends and family behind – that’s where the choir came in:

“Living in Germany, as I’m sure with any posting abroad, has been a mixed bag of wonderful highs and sometimes lonely lows. I moved here from my small hometown where pretty much all of my family and friends live, most of whom I’ve been friends with for over twenty years.

It was thus with an excited but nervous heart I left. I was thrilled to finally be living with my soldier, ecstatic to be married, and looking forward to starting a new life outside of my goldfish bowl of a hometown. However, I was worried that I’d never make close friends in the same way.

Now, after two years of living here, I can safely say that it’s wonderful for families, the summers are fantastic and I did meet other women I love hanging out with – one of these ways was thanks to the Paderborn Military Wives Choir.

I decided to join the choir because life as a military wife can be lonely. As great as they are, sometimes it can be frustrating only meeting women who are parents of your kid’s friends!

My favourite thing about my first rehearsal was how amazingly kind everybody was. Groups of women of any kind can be scary but the choir ladies were incredibly forgiving of my not so perfect voice and very encouraging. I instantly felt like I was welcomed into a community. The ladies were full of stories of how they’d supported each other when husbands were away, having baby showers and dinner dates together. It was inspiring and something I wanted to be part of – women supporting other women with understanding and without judgement.

I’d definitely recommend joining the choir to anyone, regardless of your husband’s rank or your ability to sing, whether you’ve got kids or not. The choir allows you to be just you, not just a wife or just a mum, and that can be a rare thing as a military wife and mother.

For those few hours in the rehearsal room you can leave your baggage at the door and just sing with other lovely, like-minded women.”

If Gemma’s story has inspired you to join, find your local choir here and get in touch with them, or contact info@militarywiveschoirs.org 

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