There is no such thing as too much prep work when you are embarking on a PCS. I’m learning the hard way that I have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best to make this the easiest transition possible; not only for me and my husband but also our epileptic dog and all of our possessions. My husband was approved to retrain into another career field more than 6 months ago. Those 6 months leading up to the impending P-Day (PCS Day) have flown by in such a whirl wind. Between planning our 5 days of travel and in between visiting my in-laws and trying to find hotels that allow dogs; to being told we don’t qualify for on base housing at our next base because we’re only there for 6 months and trying to find a dog friendly home; to planning to travel with our precious 3 year old dog that was recently diagnosed with epilepsy in a car for 24 hours. It’s been such a rush and learning experience. One I am thankful to have.
I’ve moved plenty of times, on my own of course. I moved my husband from his off base dorms to our apartment and moved us from our apartment to our first home we purchased 3 days after being married. I’ve dealt with the basics of moving, but letting go of most of my control in this move has been the hardest learning curve. Knowing someone else will be packing our things and that I had to quit my career that I love with every ounce of my being to give my life completely to the Air Force and it’s wishes has been more than an adjustment.
I’ve had a pretty easy life as a military wife. Sure we had 3 back to back deployments within 2 years and have been on opposite work shifts our entire marriage and dating life. But this entire time I’ve been living in my home state, been close to college friends, and have some of my family within an hour drive. I know this area like the back of my hand. The good places to eat, the cheap places to buy things, and the best free summer activities around. But all of that is about to change.
We’re moving to the middle of nothing and I will have to learn how to make friends outside the comfort of my home, learn a new area with foreign cable companies and restaurants. A new culture, a new beginning, our first big move. I couldn’t be more excited and terrified all at the same time. I married a military man to see the world and our journey is just beginning.
I’ve learned the art of planning ahead, way ahead. We’ve booked all our hotels and Temporary Lodging Facility for our journey and arrival. We’ve made buddies with a Realtor who has given us the good, bad, and ugly of neighborhoods and apartment complexes in the area, we’ve condensed our stuff and organized more than I thought was possible in our 1,800 sq ft home. I’ve learned to just tell people what I need instead of beating around the bush to be nice all the time. And I have learned that following up 5, 10, and even 15 times, pays off. We received my husband’s orders with 46 days to PCS day and if I hadn’t continued to bug him to check on them every day, we more than likely would still be waiting. There can never be too many “double checks” or “follow up” with someone who stated they would call you the next day and didn’t. I don’t assume anyone will do anything, I just respond and act on what needs to be done. While I can’t control when orders are released or how TMO treats our stuff. I can take action to control the little things in making this move as painless as possible. My experience has definitely not been a negative one, but more of a “welcome to the life” introduction as I discuss with other military wives. You can never ask enough questions or take enough advice from other spouses. I’ve been keeping a notebook of all the amazing tips and suggestions from one week to moving date to day 30 at our new base.
There is so much information out there, you just have to be willing to read, understand, research, and ask. I don’t feel alone in this move in the least. I feel quite empowered to tackle this adventure and if things don’t go the way we planned, then we will adjust. After all, being a military wife is all about resiliency.