Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PCS Season - Itching and Coping

Well, we all know what time of year it is. It's PCS time! Units are shorthanded, families are traveling, and folks are already anxious about the next year's shopping list. I had to chuckle today though, as I read a friend's post on a discussion board. She knows I love her, so the teasing, is all in fun.

They just PCSd to their new unit within the past couple of months. They are settled in at home. Yet, she and her beloved Coastie are already thinking about and planning for their next duty station. I know many of you will scratch your heads and give a quizzical look, but can you blame them? It is expected that they will be at the current (new) unit for two years. Technically, that's not that long. After all, wouldn't they start picking out prospective locations for the member's dreamsheet in the fall of 2009. Yikes! That's next fall. Wow, so, when you think about it, two years is barely a moment in time in the grand scheme of things. (Holy smokes, that's when we have to start planning for too. Cue panic mode.)

So, a family arrives at a new unit and sets up house. The member reports to work and trains vigorously and works toward qualification only to be thinking in the back of his or her mind about where they will be next. I imagine many of you have been here. Haven't we all at one point? It's the excitement about not knowing what this life will bring us next. To know that we have options and that the scenery can change is thrilling. Alright, maybe not for everybody. Some people like to stay in the same darn place forever. I'm not naming any names or admitting that I know folks like that. ;)

I've heard people liken this life to that of a gypsy or even a tourist. I love that. Personally, I enjoy the moving about the country and getting to new places. I will admit, it can be daunting and downright horrifying for some. My first duty station ever, sans husband and children, was a real eye-opener for me about the differences in demographics in our country. Let's just say, I learned really quickly how to adapt. My fight or flight mechanism kicked into high gear. I about flipped and I can recall wanting nothing more than to be back home, out of the military, out of the hellish place I was in. Of course, I didn't have an option. My orders put me in that place I was in, so I had to suck it up and get use to it. In the end, I actually ended up missing the place I originally hated. Isn't that always how it goes?

As much as one can loathe a place they land in, and it can be tough to deal sometimes, we may have no other choice. We can paint on a smile and make it sound all lovely and sweet with "bloom where you're planted" and "make the most of out of bad situation", but it won't happen overnight. The truth is we may not really like the place we are in. We may never grow to love it or even like it. We may always be itching for the next new place. Still, orders place us in places that are good and bad. My advice, have a good cry or pitch a little fit and get on with it. There's nothing that can be done to change it. Trust me (or don't--who the heck am I to give advice), you'll grow from the experience. There's always something good about a duty station you don't like. Perhaps it's the coffee shop on the corner or that one wife who feels the same way you do, you just have to look for it or her. It's out there, just open your eyes.

Anyway, I'm babbling (I do that a lot, I know). In the spirit of PCS, I did find some interesting sites that MIGHT help folks this season or next. Don't know the quality of all of them, I'm familiar with a few, but I thought I'd throw them out there. If you have a review of any of these companies, be sure to share it with us and we'll post it on our homepage links for PCS purposes, crediting you of course.

Military Avenue
PCS America
PCS Portico
RELOTARY - Military Housing Solutions (On and Off Base)

Happy transfer season folks. If you've got a fascinating PCS blog you want to share with us or draw our attention to, let us know. We'd love to feature someone's exciting or grueling PCS story this season.



Amber said...

It's a good thing I know ya love me. LOL!

It's true that blooming where you're planted takes some work. In fact, I can feel a little blog starting from there...

Good luck to those PCS'ing and those all ready eagerly awaiting shopping lists! :)

Just a Girl in a Port said...


FTR, I wasn't telling YOU to suck it up. I know you are doing just fine and just excited about where to go next.

Tell, S, he needs to share you. I miss ya'.

The FlyingFish said...

I am one of those people who LOATHE transfer season. It's not that I don't like new places, I just hate change. Like, seriously have an aversion to change. Funny I picked this job!!!