One of my favorite things about the military life is getting to move. Reason #309 from “1001 Things To Love About Military Life” is the Permanent Change of Station (PCS). You can get your copy here. I agree, it is a great part of military life. I’ve lived in 8 states in 4 of the 5 United States regions and in 3 overseas locations. Each duty station has had its own set of adventures and even the opportunity to see friends from previous duty stations.
Whenever it’s time for the PCS I like to explore the new duty station. I like to do this before we get there. How do I do that? Virtually, of course. I want to know about the housing neighborhoods and floor plans, the Commissary, the schools, the nearby towns, day trips…you get the picture. I get busy on the computer. Google is my friend and we get in some serious research. The places I visit are the installation home page and the installation Facebook page. After I’ve checked out the post online I check out the surrounding area by searching for the online visitor webpage for the city. I want to know what there is to do, to see and find out anything that is historical about the city. I also look for kid friendly museums, libraries with enticing story programs, parks and other recreational possibilities. After I’ve done my own research I have my son sit with me and I show him the cool things I found that would interest him. We talk about what we want to do first. I want to pump him up about the move and create positive anticipation. Hey, it’s an adventure after all!
Other sources for information I like to go to are friends who have been at that installation. I also like to go check out ArmyWifeNetwork.com where I can find links to the installations, spouse clubs and Post With The Most articles (the information is provided by those who have been there!). If I still haven’t found all the information I’m looking for I know I can post a question on the Army wife Network Facebook page.
When I finish my virtual exploration I head to Army Community Service (ACS) and meet with the relocation expert. I get everything I can from them. If I have any questions, I ask them. I want to be prepared. Once, I couldn’t get anyone to answer at the CDC or the Chapel pre-school program (maybe because I was calling Korea and I hadn’t figured out the time difference yet) and the relocation expert at ACS tried and got through to one of them for me. That lady was really helpful.
One other thing I do is get into Volunteer Management Installation Services (VMIS), at MyArmyOneSource.com. I change my location and I search the new duty stations volunteer opportunities. I submit my application for Army Family Team Building (AFTB) and Army Family Action Plan (AFAP). Those two ACS programs I always want to be involved in. There is nothing like volunteering in a new community. It is a great way to get connected and to start meeting people.
By the time I’ve finished exploring I get super antsy for the PCS. I can’t wait to start the next adventure. So what do I do? I get out the PCS Central notebook. That my friends, is a whole other story! You can read about it at http://www.armywifenetwork.com/?p=5086