We interns at Region Legal Service Office Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia were quite excited to share what we had picked out for our ‘word for the week.’ Little did we know we had both picked the same word: Family. The word has been slowly brewing in our minds for quite some time now. In our first week on the job, our office held a command function. We were both instantly impressed at how collectively everyone intermingled. There were no couples by themselves, no one sitting alone, just pure communal relations. We couldn’t help but feel comfortable amongst our colleagues.
As the weeks went by, RLSO EURAFSWA lost a few of its employees through PCS. At each farewell event, it became increasingly apparent that the people leaving were not just coworkers, but family. Here it does not matter whether you are an officer, legalman, or civilian, no one here takes anyone for granted. The sense of community is overwhelming and being a newbie in such an environment, one cannot help but want to become part of the family. Everyone looks after one another, keeps one another in line, but most of all, everyone appreciates each individual for what they do and who they are.
This past week Capt. Chris French hosted over 50 people at his home for a farewell BBQ for two officers who are PCSing. Family, friends, and office personnel from both the RLSO, and Naval Legal Service Office came together to bid farewell to a commander in the RLSO and the commanding officer of the NLSO. While the government and defense fight fervently in court, they come together at the end of the day as part of the EURAFSWA family. You would think as being interns, we would be a bit nervous about who to mingle with. Absolutely not. There were no awkward moments where you don’t know who to sit by or who to strike up a conversation with. Everything just fit. It felt like a home. More recently the NLSO EURAFSWA had a change of command ceremony. The room was filled with tears, laughs, and plenty of hugs. A complete stranger could have walked in and instantly felt how dearly this commander would be missed. The guests ranged from captains, landlords, interns, and the long list of staff members that contribute to making the EURAFSWA family.
As our final weeks are approaching, we cannot help but think how we will miss having this feeling once we return to the states, but we both hope we will soon get the opportunity to return. So to our office, thank you for making us feel right at home. When the time comes, we will miss your early morning coffee banter, your quirky contributions to our weekly volleyball matches, and how without even knowing us that well, you made us feel like part of your family. Thank you.