We love hearing your PCS stories on our post here. Here are some of the best…or the worst, depending on how you look at it! But one thing you can know for sure, you’re not alone.
See this and more inside the April issue of Military Spouse Magazine!
“It would have to be having twin 17-year-olds driving their own cars on the highway for the first time. Picture it: Four cars…hubby in the lead in the first car…our daughter following him…our son following her…and myself bringing up the rear with our 11-year-old…all the way from Fort Sheridan, Ill., to Fort Bragg, N.C. The walkie talkies were a lifesaver…the 11-year-old switched cars at every pit stop lol and did karaoke on the walkie talkie to keep everyone alert. It turned out to be a great trip. We had cell phones but did not want them to be distracted or have to worry about signals going out. When it was time for an exit, my hubby was calling out exits and turns and lane changes. It really was a great trip thanks to the walkie talkies.”Pam W.
“Husband came home from a deployment and announced, ‘I’m going to retire.’ Luckily, he was hired immediately – but on the opposite coast! I stayed behind to sell the house and then climbed into our Grand Caravan with two of the three kids (one stayed behind for a band thing), a dog, a cat and a gecko. We made it six hours into the 42-hour drive when the snow hit. Day three our car topper blew open and our belongings were scattered all over the freeway. It was 17° and we were playing Frogger on the freeway. The US was blanketed in storms so it took us seven days to get from South Carolina to Washington state! The kid that stayed behind? Had a nice little plane ride…”Jeri D.
“KS to CO looked like a short trip – our windshield wipers broke and special parts had to be ordered so we thought we would just head to CO and hope for no rain – and then ended up in a torrential downpour. Hubby hooked up 550 cord to the wipers and we had to roll down the windows and each pull one side and then the other to get them to work. In the meantime, here comes a tornado out of nowhere and we can see it touching down in front of us and the kids are in the back crying hysterically and saying, “We’re all gonna die!” Now we laugh about that time we didn’t die.”Polly B.
“Crossing TransMountain out of El Paso in a rented minivan with nowhere to pull over…the cat escaped his carrier and began to explore. He walked along the dashboard in front of me, enjoying the view. He walked to the passenger door and began to walk along the door panel, stepping on the window button which shot down. He started to fly out the window but my son grabbed him just in time.”Anna C.
“In 1999 we were stationed at Fort Carson and I went into labor while cleaning behind the stove to clear housing. Ended up having to delay three days due to a C-section delivery. Had to finish clearing housing on the first day out of the hospital. Moved cross-country to Fort Lewis with a week-old baby, a dog, and a cat!”Nicole M.
“One month after getting married I was 19 and my husband was 20, we packed a U-Haul and moved from WV to CA, Marine Corp Air Station El Toro. Took us four days to travel. Back then there was no cell phone navigation so I learned to read a map real quick. Good memories!”️Tonya B.
“We used the Disney transatlantic cruise to get from our overseas assignment back to America. It was the most relaxing PCS! Childcare, food, maid service – yes please. ?Julie S.
Driving cross country from St Mary’s, GA to Los Angeles, CA in the span of 3 days without my Husband, with my Jeep loaded up to full capacity, and with my cat Max. Max was just as thrilled about it as I was, lol. ?Heather J.
Stayed behind to sell house. Then, with 3 kids ages 18, 17 and 3 and a cat, set out on a 5 day move. Worried about my 18 year olds 1973 nova making it (original plans to ship fell thru). Day 1, brake light in my 2004 honda went out, walmart lot fix. Day 2, flat tire on rental trailer…2 hour stop waiting on uhaul to repair and a speeding stop in CA because trailers cant travel as fast as cars and I was keeping up with my son. Day 3, headlight on same Honda went out, another walmart lot fix. Day 4, decided to take it all the way in to new home and had to call to get into house as hubby wasnt expecting us till day 5. Also learned on trip that 3 year old could read when he kept mentioning signs for things we never had in WA.Dasmonda A.
We almost had a moose run across in front of our car on the interstate (as we were towing a trailer, along with kiddo and dog in car) in Wyoming. Same trip we had construction worker cross in front of our car on the highway in Nebraska. We also ended up in a motel next to a bar in California. Good times! ??Lovedy C.
We were driving with two large German shepherds and a yellow lab in the back of a minivan through traffic in Phoenix Arizona. 8 lanes of traffic with no where to exit. As we came to a crawl our male shepherd started whining and tried to exit through a window that was down a few inches. His stomach was upset and he shot diarrhea across the back of the van. We drove For 45 minutes choking and gagging before we could pull over. We threw out the rugs, dog beds and tried to wipe out the van as best we could but the smell lingered state after state after state.Deni R.
We got the keys to our house and 3 hours later I was in the hospital and having an emergency csection ? my husband and my two year old ditched me in the hospital to keep moving (because we were already gonna be over our lease at the other house by the time I was discharged ?)Brittany G.
My husband decided to do a dity move from Michigan to Georgia. It was him, me our 12 yr old daughter and 2 cats in the cab of the truck while towing our car. The cats hated being in or out of their carriers. My daughter and I had to hold a carrier each on our laps the whole trip. On the 2nd day in TN after a rest stop and allowing the cats a break we got back on I75. All of a sudden my lap was warm and the cat in my carrier was flinging her pee out all over me and the window and door. She was mad that she was now wet. I and the truck smelled like cat pee, yea! The next exit was 10 miles away with few resources. We got off and found a station where I convinced the young attendant that I needed to use his hose. I hosed out the carrier and hosed off the cat. We wiped out the truck as best as we could. We dried everything off and put her back in her carrier. We got back on the road. Once we got to our base in GA and our house I went straight to the shower and gave the cat a bath. That was her introduction to GA. After that everytime the cat saw a big yellow moving truck she would hiss and spit.Tineka H.
When we left Ft Wainwright, Alaska in November.Angie P.
We drove! Pulling a trailer! With a 6 month old!
The Al-Can highway wasn’t all paved then, 1992. We went through lots of trailer tires.
There was lots of snow.
Many of the gas stations were closed for the winter. So we had a few large, metal gas cans with us.
Then we had trouble with our vehicle. We spent thanksgiving in a hotel in Minneapolis having hamburgers and French fries.
We finally made it to my grandparents house in Ohio. Then made our family visits, spending Christmas in Memphis.
Then made it to Ft Sill.
That was the longest trip ever!
My husband and I did a DITY move from MI to MS, with a visit to family in GA on the way. Late into the night when there were few cars on the road, we noticed the metal rail from the side of the road was in the middle of the road. My husband drove around it. We noticed a sedan in a ditch on the right side of the highway. We pulled over, a ways up. There was a man trapped inside. I called 911, my husband ran to the mans car to help him get out. The dispatcher told me someone would be on the way. My husband was getting the man out when firefighters and police came. By then the flames started up. I was freaked but my NAVY husband just jumped into action. The man was saved. We eventually got back on the road with a crazy story to tell the GA family. On the news, they praised the fighter fighters with no mention of the brave NAVY man who was the actual first responder. My man is literally a hero. ?Contessa E.
Pretty uneventful PCS from St. Louis, MO to Cape May, NJ (Coast Guard) minus traffic and losing track of hubs in Philly The first night in our place in Wildwood, NJ we stepped outside around 2230, not realizing the door automatically locked. IDs, keys, phones inside. Met our neighbors that night. They were very kind and let us use their phone to call the police. An officer came and had to climb up to our second story window and pop the screen (thank goodness I had left a window open.) Our landlord lived outside of Philly. We waited to call him until the AM to let him know the curtain rod came out of the wall with the cop landing on our floor ?. Also discovered per the sweet neighbors we scared the crap out of that the neighborhood wasn’t the safest and they thought we were drug dealers ?♀️ Ooops!Nicole S.
Hawaii to Chicago in the dead of winter. Husband went on ahead to NTSGL and secured the quarters. I flew with nine pieces of luggage, 3 cats, i car seat, a 2yr old, 8, and 12 and I was pregnant with number 4. The Chicago area had been slammed with a blizzard. By the time we made it it was -2 degrees with piles of snow. My 2 year old announced that she was burr and wanted to go home. We didn’t see the lawn until April with the snow melt and realized that the big hill of snow was because there was a rolled up carpet on the lawn. ?Wendy L.
It would have to be having twin, 17 year olds driving their own cars, on the highway for the first time. Picture it….4 cars…. hubby in the lead in the first car…our daughter following him….our son following her and myself bringing up the rear with our 11 year old….all the way from Fort Sheridan, Illinois to Fort Bragg. Nc. The walkie talkies were a life saver….the 11 year switched cars at every pit stop lol and did kareoke on the walkie talkie to keep everyone alert. It turned out to be a great trip. We had cell phones but did not want them to be distracted or have to worry about signals going out. When it was time for an exit, my hubby was calling out exits and turns and lane changes. It really was a great trip thanks to the walkie talkies.Pam W.
Our last PCS…brakes went out in one of our vehicles in Idaho, skin cancer diagnosis in Utah, then in New Mexico I dropped our car key down the elevator shaft. Thankfully we had a spare in our other car. We were almost stuck! The hotel mailed it to us several month later once a tech came to work on the elevator. Our daughter then broke her arm the first weekend at our new location. Just wanted to cry!Stephanie O.
KS to CO looked like a short trip – our windshield wipers broke and special parts had to be ordered so we thought we would just head to CO and hope for no rain – and then ended up in a torrential downpour. Hubby hooked up 550 cord to the wipers and we had to each pull one side and then the other to get them to work. In the mean time, here comes a tornado out of nowhere and we can see it touching down in front of us and the kids are in the back crying hysterically and saying, “We’re all gonna die!” Now we laugh about that time we didn’t die. ?Polly B.
Not a road trip but a PCS flight to our new home. My 4 year old wet his pants in the bag check and THEN had another accident before we boarded. I had no clothes for him and was facing a 12 hour flight without my husband. Bought him adult shorts in the gift shop with a drawstring and threw maxi pads in them.Kelly K.
PCS from DC to Guam. Drove to NC dropped dogs off with my parents, drive to KC to drop husbands truck off at in-laws, and flew back to NC to visit family and friends. Set scene: my mom is in the thick of chemo (throwing up and everything), I’m extremely pregnant (like needed doctors note to fly internationally pregnant), drive 2 hours to airport with a sick mom and two Jack Russells in tow. Arrive at United a cargo only to be told they dog’s flights are incorrect and they can’t fly ? have to make last second decision to leave dogs with my parents and we fly to Guam! On the second flight of our 32 hours of travel, my husband spills orange juice all over US! Finally arrive in Guam, dogs arrive month or so later, as did baby!Melissa C.
Husband came home from a deployment and announced “I’m going to retire”. Luckily he was hired immediately- but on the opposite coast! I stayed behind to sell the house and then climbed into our Grand Caravan with two of the three kids (one stayed behind for a band thing), a dog, a cat and a gecko. We made it 6 hours in to the 42-hour drive when the snow hit. Day three our car topper blew open and our belongings were scattered all over the freeway. It was 17° (but I don’t even know what the windchill took it down to) and we were playing Frogger on the freeway ? The US was blanketed in storms so it took us 7 days to get from SC to Washington state! The kid that stayed behind? Had a nice little plane ride.Jeri D.
I was 41 1/2 weeks pregnant for my son and our movers were arriving the next day. My husband had to report to next duty assignment in less than a week. We waited as long as possible and I finally went to my doctor in tears and begged him to induce me. He did and my son was born at midnight. We were discharged 48 hours later at midnight, and as soon as I got home, I started painting walls and cleaning through the night so we could clear quarters. The next morning my eight year old daughter sat on a cardboard box holding my newborn son as movers made their final trip to pack it all into the crate. Then we hopped in the minivan and were on our way from Georgia to Rhode Island. My son slept in a drawer at the hotel that I padded in blankets and he had his first bath in a hotel sink.Bethany W.
Another story…my husband & I were clearing housing for a PCS & somehow my husband left his key chain on the back of the uHaul trailer the night before clearing. We didn’t realize it until later, of course. We’re out looking for his keys & can’t find them anywhere. The next morning the housing lady comes to inspect the house & we’re all good. Except we don’t have the house key to give to her and we’re also missing the uHaul key and my husband’s truck key!! Yea, we had to call Pop-a-Lock to come out and make a duplicate uHaul key so we could even leave! We had a spare truck key, thankfully. We ended up paying $10 for the house key. We never did find those keys! We think someone came along & took them, although we don’t know why…they couldn’t use the keys for anything after we left.Jennifer G.
4 kids, 1 dog and 2 cars from west coast to east coast. Once we thought we had actually lost the dog at a rest stop, turned out he just fell asleep and slid down below blankets in the back seat. A couple states later, the oldest was taking a turn at driving. 3 kids in one car, 2 adults and child in the lead car, when a storm rolls up on us. Big storm, like all cars pull to the side of the highway big. Huge hail is coming down and I’m waiting for a tornado to pop out any any minute. We are all on the phone yelling at each other because the hail was so loud, and then it severely cracked the windshield of the car the teenagers were in. Everyone was pretty freaked out, but as the storm finally left us, the boys all braved the now smaller hail to get out and pee on the side of the road. I definitely got a picture of that. Then we spend 6 weeks in TLF waiting for a house. Good trip.Stephanie S.
We drove from Fairbanks, AK to Washington state in 2002. Left AK April 15, blizzard, -20 when they packed our HHG. We had a 2 door manual neon. That thing was PACKED! My husband had to push start it at a gas station in Delta Junction. Our first night was at a nasty motel right over the boarder in Northern Territory, Canada. There wasnt any restaurant, only gas station food. The room reeked of cigarette smoke, the water stunk like sulfar and you didnt want to sleep in the beds. The Alaskan Highway is a dirt road. We learned quickly that the little signs of triangles meant a bump, but it didnt give an indication how BIG the bump was. Going through BC was gorgeous!!Dee L.
Husband, wife and 3 kids PCSing from Ft Benning to Ft Campbell. Suppose to clear housing and leave on Dec 23rd. Housing tries to reschedule that morning. No thanks. Finally clear and get on road with Hubby in truck pulling trailer with 2 kids and me in Miata with 1. Hit Nashville along with snow everywhere. As we went north more snow on the road, then ice, then lots of ice. Call Ft Campbell Hotel and they say stop. Don’t try. You wont make it here. Luckily we had made a reservation for Motel 6 in Clarksville. We pull in, people everywhere, I go in and the lobby is packed with people looking for a place. We spent the next 2 weeks there as the ice melted and we got a hous to rent. Through Christmas with Chinese food and New Years. Kids still talk about it 15 years later.Pamela B.