Joint Base Lewis-McChord nerds and geeks unite!

By Kristin Kendle on July 28, 2014

Sure, there are spouses groups for Joint Base Lewis-McChord husbands and wives looking to integrate into the local community, make friends or learn more about how to navigate within the military world. There are resources galore, and yet sometimes spouses may want to connect and get together over a different topic than military resources. Spouses may simply want to get together and talk about shared interests - especially if those shared interests are something that maybe not everyone out there relates to.

For this exact reason, Monica Rice blazed a new trail and recently formed her own group - the JBLM Geeky/Nerdy Spouses, a Facebook group open to spouses of both genders so long as they identify as geeky and/or nerdy. After spending some time with the general spouse groups, she thought others out there might want to connect on all things geeky like she did.

"I'm still pretty new to the military lifestyle and haven't made many friends with spouses," says Rice. "Also, because of my passion in computers and programming, I don't have many lady friends with those same interests. I knew I couldn't have been the only woman with what I think are pretty niche hobbies, so I wanted to reach out while simultaneously forming a small network wherein all members could talk about their favorite passions without feeling like an oddity."

So which interests are welcomed in the group? So far, there are no real boundaries to the geekiness. The group welcomes those interested in video games, Magic the Gathering, comic books of all stripes, Pokeman, Star Wars, zombies and - of course - computers and programming. If the interest is considered a "niche" that doesn't fit well within the confines of the more general spouse groups, Geeky/Nerdy Spouses welcomes you.

"That we do have so many different interests is one of the best characteristics about the group," she adds. "I think it'd be great to take turns exploring an interest that's especially important to a member or members. This would be a great way to bond and pick up new hobbies."

So far, the people who have joined the group have come to the table with a wide array of interests, including Dr. Who and tabletop gaming. Rice hopes to see current members reach out to others they know and for word of the group to spread, but also hopes the group will stay relatively small so that members can get to know each other and connect.

As with any self-respecting nerdy/geeky interest, the group has a great online presence that will only gather steam as the group gets going, but also already has one in-person meet-up planned at Dorky's Arcade Friday, Aug. 1. The group is still brand new and there isn't a structure to how meetings will go, what will be talked about or upcoming activities beyond Dorky's yet. Rice hopes meetings will be informal and fun, and wants to keep focus on everyone feeling welcomed and included - including non-JBLM people who see the group and feel like it would be a great fit for them.

"I suggested meeting up at Dorky's in Tacoma for our first group meeting and then monthly or bi-monthly hangouts with some kind of group activity - a Star Trek marathon, retro console game competition, or similar activity," says Rice. "I encouraged members to come up with ideas. We've also discussed the possibility of going as a group to conventions in Seattle, such as GeekGirlCon and PAX."

The group is not for general questions about the base or military culture. If you're looking for help on learning about anything from Madigan to NTCs, there are general spouse groups out there better suited to those questions.

Nerds and geeks only!

To join the group to learn more, visit the JBLM Geeky/Nerdy Spouses Facebook