I made no secret about how much I hate this duty station. (“I Apologize, It’s Okay to Hate Your Duty Station”) As a Florida native who then resided with my husband for two different assignments to North Carolina, I had lived 30 minutes from a coastline my entire life until my husband was stationed at Fort Huachuca over 3 years ago. A non-deployable billet, I was just so happy to have him home for 3 years that I didn’t mind the move to a new climate in Arizona, far from the beach.
This summer, we will have been here for almost 4 years when the movers come to pack us up for our sixth and final military move. This June we are packing up for another military move. And, we are leaving the state of Arizona for much greener pastures; sweet tea, the beach, humidity, fresh seafood, and guys who sell boiled peanuts on the side of the road off the back of a pick-up truck.
But just like every single move we have made with the military, it is bittersweet. Sure, I had a really tough time physically adjusting to the climate here. In fact, I never really have… but no duty station is 100% horrible. Every single place you are stationed does have redeeming qualities, even if you sometimes have to look really hard to find them.
So as we start the preparation for our final move this summer, I have been reflecting on the 5 things I will miss about this duty station I hate.
5) Daylight Savings Time
By far, the best thing Arizona has going for it. No daylight savings time. I love that we don’t have to fall backward, spring forward, etc. While the rest of the country is reeling from children who don’t adjust well to the time change or feeling exhausted for two weeks while your body adjusts, the folks in AZ just laugh, and then laugh again when their friends in other states try to remember, once again, what time it is in that crazy state that doesn’t mess with the clocks!
4) The Bright Big Beautiful Sky
One of the first things I noticed as beautiful in Arizona upon moving here is how BIG the sky appears. There are just not lots of tall trees in the desert, which means that you can see for miles. Sunsets are gorgeous here, especially against the backdrop of the many mountains we have in this part of the state.
3) The Base
Oh, pardon me. The Post. Still, after almost 4 years, I am having a hard time speaking Army. I joke that it is a base, as long as Marines are stationed here. But we have been really happy with this installation. It’s not the largest one as far as facilities, but it has everything we need and most places are within walking distance of our base housing. The schools have served our older daughter very well, and we have no real complaints with the facilities provided. We find it easy to navigate and they have adequate programs and offerings for families here.
2) The Zoo
At every duty station we end up with one or two places that we frequent and really will miss when we leave. The Reid Park Zoo in Tucson has been that location for me. Small enough to visit all of the animals in a couple of hours, but big enough to have great facilities for their animals, we love to visit. We only wish it were a little closer than 80 miles away. But it’s worth the trip. We will miss our time there.
1) The People
We have been blessed to make wonderful, lifelong friends at every duty station…and Fort Huachuca has been no exception. I was warned that we might not feel welcome as a USMC family, and I am so grateful I decided not to listen to that advice. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite. Our new Army family has been very good to us during our time here. When we pull away from this post on our final day, leaving behind the friends we have made will be the hardest part. It is never easy, is it?
The last four years have presented some serious challenges for me personally as we continued to navigate this crazy, wonderful world that is military life. But at the end of the day, our time at Fort Huachuca has been a positive experience. Our family was together, we met some great people, and have made wonderful memories. As we get ready to leave these are the things I will miss.
But boy, am I ready to see that beat-up pick-up with the boiled peanuts for sale. Florida, here we come!
Give Military Spouse A Like