They're sending us WHERE?

make sure you empty your trashcan.
The movers have been known to
pack it full of garbage and ship it that way.
Home is where the army sends you. That's the saying anyway.  There's a reason for that.  While I have known many military families who have somehow managed to spend their entire career in one or two places, there are more families who are like mine. We move every three years, like clockwork.  I'm not even going to pretend that I've been cheerful about every move. As a matter of fact at least the last two I burst into tears when B got orders. The one before that I raged, but that had more to do with the surprise reenlistment than anything else. (Long story short, as far as I knew he was getting out. Then he came home one day and said "Surprise! I reenlisted. We're moving to Germany!".  Yeah.  I don't like surprises.)  I'm not talking a few tears that glisten and make me look kinda pretty and pitiful at the same time. No, we're talking full on wailing until I was practically snotting on myself. You see, I also hate change. Funny considering this life I live, but it's true. I have a process. It goes a little something like this.

"Honey I have orders."  Cue the tears and the theatrics (I recommend you skip this part if you can)
 48 hours later I suck it up and start researching
Then I start getting excited. Yay! Look at all this neat stuff we're going to do!
Then I start joining spouse groups on the interwebz and making connections.
Then I start thinking about the move in abstract terms if it's far enough out. If it's not, skip this step and progress directly to:
PANIC! ZOMG! I have to leave my friends! Driving makes me a mess! We're going to be homeless! The army is going to break all our stuff! I don't know how to drive in snow/handle humidity/afraid of tornado's! (choose applicable answer)
And finally:
Time to suck it up, stop being a baby and get stuff done.

That's the stage I'm in now because...duh duh duh.....we're moving. Another Oconus move although as my neighbor says, this isn't so much OCONUS as it is Non-Contiguous. We're heading to Alaska. Which means in my epic PCS meltdown this time we included things such as "Why do all the housing pictures have moose on the lawn?" and "Our wardrobes are useless. Nothing meant for Louisiana will work in interior Alaska".  Everyone else tries to comfort me with "I've heard it's so pretty there!" and all I can respond with is "Yeah. Looks great on Ice Road Truckers!"  God bless my husband for the drama I engage in. And I'm self aware enough and honest enough to admit I am a fracking drama queen of epic proportions during these moves. last time I had an excuse. Last time they gave us a surprise PCS from beautiful Heidelberg Germany to Fort Polk Louisiana with a handful of children, a cat and a fresh from deployment (so fresh he still reeked of Afghanistan and tried to drive in the middle of the road) with a whopping six weeks notice.  This time throw in that hubby will be in ALC for the six weeks prior to our move. No seriously, he goes, comes back and we roll out a few days later so...yeah.

So for those of you who are engaging in PCS hell this coming season, here's the Homefront Honey's basic PCS checklist. This is not all inclusive, but it gives you a general idea of where to start. :)
Basic Pcs checklist
if you follow the link, it will take you to scribd where you can download or print this.

My best tips are to check out AHRN and the gaining posts housing. Most are privatized now so their application policies vary.  Some will allow you to apply in advance with the date you move to the active list being the date your spouse signs out at the current post.  I have a friend who somehow managed to have a house waiting on him when he got to Arizona. If you plan to live on post definitely check out Moving House for the Military Spouse on facebook.  They have user submitted photos of housing for almost every military base in the world. In my personal experience, once the housing situation is remedied, at least 75% of your stress is gone.

So tell me dear friends, what are your best PCS tips?



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just your ordinary run of the mill mom of six, military wife and fitness freak. :)
contents © The Homefront Homemaker 2009. .