Our first PCS experience I would say we handled it pretty well. We did learn a lot. Moving in general can get crazy but moving across the Pacific 5000 miles away is beyond crazy stressful. Keep in mind this was our first rodeo so we didn’t know what to expect.
The checklist of everything we needed to do seemed endless. But I want to talk about ALL the behind the scene stuff that people forget to share.
First off I didn’t know the military would put out bids for companies who will do our packing and moving. Once we were given a company that will be helping us we still needed to arrange dates and times. Then the stress started when the company either postponed dates/times on when this move was suppose to start. Their excuse the company was either short on staff or the weather was bad for them to work. After going back and forth with the moving company we finally set a date and stuck to it because we needed to be in Georgia at a specific time frame. When they arrived they spread throughout the house because they wanted to get things done as soon as possible (so did we). We were told by the moving company that we have an inventory list to make and check off of everything they were packing up. What we didn’t realize was that we needed to be extra specific, we are still learning that lesson (keep reading you’ll see what I mean). As soon as we had everything packed we needed to get our vehicle shipped (our motorcycle was shipped with our household goods). We were hoping to hold on to our vehicle till the last couple of days but we realized that our vehicle will be shipped on a vessel to California and put on a truck (car carrier) to be driven to Georgia. (I wasn’t expecting it to take that long but it all made sense after I thought about it, and like I said we were new to this and didn’t know what to expect).
Once our checklist was complete, reality set in and we were no longer going to be living in our beautiful state.
As soon as I boarded the plane with my little family my heart felt heavy because I couldn’t bare to think about being faraway. Being so close with my family put a big toll on my heart and soul. I knew that I was leaving behind fun BBQ’s, beach days, camping, celebrations, and just family time that we do religiously every week. Whether its just going over a family members house or just lunch in town we always needed to be together. I knew I was going to miss every single family member and friends with all of me. But having the support of our family was incredible and we had lots of it.
When we arrived in Fort Benning, GA we were greeted by our sponsor at the airport and checked into to our hotel on base. The hotel had a trolley that could take us places on base if needed which was free and convenient. We still needed to do paperwork for the house that we were moving into and after a few days we moved into our home in Patton Village. Our home was beautiful, big and so empty. Since we didn’t receive our household goods yet our sponsor took us to the Army Community Service Center where we picked up sleeping mats, dishes, pots/pans and cleaning equipment. We also didn’t know that the house did not come with a washer and a dryer, so we purchased it at the PX on base. If being in an empty house don’t stress you out it got a bit more stressful when we then had a set back on our vehicle because it was damaged in the move. We were fortunate enough to have great people lend us their vehicle even if it was a short amount of time. We waited about a week for our household goods to come in. But when it did we instantly felt more comfortable and more at home. When our household goods came in we were disappointed that some of our items were either broken or missing.
I recommend to everyone that will experience PCS for the first time: Make sure everything in your household that will be packed and transported by the movers are on the inventory list in detailed description too. The packers/movers might seem in a rush but trust me it’ll pay off in the end when something is missing or damaged and you need proof to make a claim. [For example we noticed that our gopro camera and equipment that was in our entertainment center was missing (the packaging was left in there). our entertainment center drawers were taped closed by the movers instead of removing our items that were in it which we did not know about until we were unpacking in Georgia. So because it wasn’t written on the inventory sheet we were not able to get reimbursed for it.]
We tracked our location of our vehicle because that was the last thing we were waiting for, we were excited because it was almost near the end of us waiting around. Then, we got a call about our back window to our vehicle was shattered due to something that hit it while on the car carrier. Us getting our vehicle was pushed back because we needed to pick up our vehicle an hour away after it was finished being repaired. Once again, thankfully we had a friend that was heading that way to visit family so we jumped in with him. When we did retrieve it, it was such a great relief. Finally we felt that we could settle down and start looking into fun activities to do around our area
TIPS-take your time with your inventory checklist, don’t feel rushed, make the best of it, try not to sweat the small stuff, don’t worry if things don’t go the way you think it should, if you’re religious like me just pray or vent to your husband about everything (that’s what their there for right?!?)
Did you experience a PCS? How was your first PCS experience? or Did you move before? Near or far? Share with me your journey! I want to know how you coped with the stress, setbacks and how it was all worth it in the end. Me ke aloha -SIMPLY SHANA