These women are elbowing, shoving and tripping each other — and they’re the best of friends.
Heather Cockroft, 23, is one of 50 military spouses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord who don skates, pads, hot pants and helmets to kick the crap out of each other as part of a local roller derby league.
A match between her team, the G.I. Janes, and the Bettie Brigade recently drew a crowd of 350 people, and they’re not the only ones.
alternative to the FRGs sport — a way to come together and sweat out the stress of their husbands’ deployments — is cropping up from Okinawa to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
UPDATE: Sarah Howard aka Gloria Sass, founder of the Bettie Brigade, wrote in to thank us. She writes, “I think it is worth mentioning that a large percentage of our skaters are soldiers. Yes, our league includeds spouses – but, it is not a military spouses club or an ‘alternative to the FRG’s.’ We boast many dedicated soldiers, both enlisted and officers – Air Force and Army… Some married, some not.”
UPDATE: The Kokeshi Roller Dolls are headed to their first “Spring Roll” exhibition on Saturday, May 14, at Comprehensive Park Arena. Check out the web site for more details.
From Military Roller Derby Wives on Facebook comes this heartfelt post:
We have a crazy lifestyle…our husbands deploy, sometimes our FRGs blow, we don’t always have the support of our families and sometimes we just move to a new base and can’t find anyone to connect with. For me derby was my way of connecting… now don’t get me wrong I wasn’t completely without friends but there is never a time when you can’t use more friends…. friends who have your back, who will cry/celebrate/curse with you and then afterwards knock you down on the track. I am so fortunate that one of my closest friends here at fort sill came up with our league. I have 50+ sisters now… my daughter has who knows how many lil brothers/sisters and my husband can go off to war (if need be, i personally prefer if he stayed home!!!) and not worry about me needing support/help. I love everything about derby and this page is for all of us to connect and be there for each other…it might be a simple sport to some people but to us its our derby family <3