Many military families this spring find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, or better said COVID-19 and orders to PCS. Tara Hale and her family are one such story. Currently stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS, Tara, her husband Jacob, and their family got orders to move to Washington for a report no later than date of June 30th.
Green light. Red Light. Green Light.
In late March, stop-movement orders came down, leaving almost 30,000 troops in limbo between deployments, PCS dates, and orders – the Hale family being one of them. For many families during PCS, there are hotels to reserve, flights to book, appointments, and movers to schedule. Being told to hurry up and wait is par for the course, but with stop-orders, it creates a domino effect of stress if they suddenly lift two weeks before your departure date, which is what happened to the Hale’s. Command told them three weeks before June 1st to not plan anything financially for the move. A week later, they got the green light, which lasted for two days before being told to pause again until a week later getting the final go-ahead. This created a back and forth of will-they-won’t they in an attempt to complete the out-processing checklist.
Three kids, a dog, a hamster and hope
Base housing in Washington has a long wait, so the Hale’s placed a deposit and signed a lease on a rental home so they can have a place to live when they arrive. Putting the deposit down helped solidify the choice they were making, embedding hope into the future—an anchor of certainty among the storm of PCS. They are preparing to embark on a 41-hour road trip with their kids, one of whom recently broke her arm, and a dog who was just diagnosed with diabetes.
Pause, breathe and move forward.
Tara shares her perspective, ‘As a spouse, I can’t do much of anything, but things like picking up an extra month of prescription just in case. I can remind myself that even though it’s crazy, our military life has a way of working out one way or another.’ May we all embrace the military spouse tenacity we need to keep each other, our families, and ourselves afloat during this time, and remember we’re all in this together.