Adventures in PCSing Across the Country: Part 3

“LT O’Driscoll, we aren’t going to be able to deliver your HHG for two weeks.”

Yes, you heard that right. Two weeks! We left Florida May 30 and we arrived in Washington June 8 with an RDD date of June 13. (Check out Part 1, detailing our PCS planning phase.) Our HHG was packed May 24 and loaded May 26, and it actually arrived in the state of Washington June 10, by rail, but the company that was contracted to do our move, The Denali Group, did not have a crew to deliver and unload. So, our HHG sat in a shipping container for two weeks (which happened to have some of the hottest days on record here) until June 25. Great!

So there we were, lawn chairs set up in the living room, our coffee and espresso machine, some dishes and towels and our clothes. “Urban Camping” as we call it. We were instructed to file a claim once we receive our HHG and was sent the forms to do so. We also informed our coordinator at The Denali Group that we WILL be purchasing a mattress! We couldn’t take another two weeks of being on the floor. A couple days we could manage but two weeks?! Nope. Our coordinator said, “Well, you gotta do what you gotta do.” So, we went and purchased a mattress and some of the other items we could put on our claim form to get us by until our delivery comes. Adapt and overcome right?

Everything had gone so smoothly up until this point. Packing went great, the drive went great, closing on our house went great! Delivery date? Not so great. And from what I have heard, and read, this seems to be the norm when it comes to what we call “PCS season.”

I have heard of crates not making it to a final destination and if they do, the damages are very severe. Claims were in the six-digit range due to poor packing, crating of motorcycles, placing a sofa on top of a box that CLEARLY says “FRAGILE GLASS” on it. These are the types of things you hear through the grapevine. Nope. It happens all the time.

I stumbled upon the Facebook page Lost During My PCS….HELP! and I posted some questions and I got my answers. Everyone on the page is very helpful in getting HHG’s delivered to the right family and to let others know of their PCS experience with the company that was contracted for their move. PCS Grades is another good website for rating and researching everything from moving companies to realtors to neighborhoods. Another good resource is the article 50 Tips You NEED Before Your Next PCS Move. I highly recommend you check them out!

Finally the day arrived for our HHG delivery! We were more than ready! The time came, and went. No truck. Seriously?!

We waited about 30 minutes before we started making calls. Oh, and our delivery day was on a Sunday. Everyone is closed on Sundays. No one was answering phones, emails, nothing! After about an hour or so we hear a truck pull up. It was our delivery! Just at that moment our move coordinator called us to tell us that they would be there momentarily due to a crew scheduling issue. I told him that they are here and they started unloading.

That day just also happened to be the hottest day in the area with temperatures upwards of 95 degrees. The crew worked hard and fast and I am happy to report that we had NO DAMAGE! We signed our paperwork and got to work unpacking. We made it!! Shortly thereafter we filed our claim and within two weeks, we received a check for what we purchased, including the mattress, and that they will not be reclaiming any of the items we purchased.

This PCS was our biggest and longest to date. And we enjoyed it! We planned everything out, made the proper arrangements beforehand, and we took our time. (Read all about it in Part 2!) We were in no rush and we wanted to take that time to relax a bit, see new things and experience new places and meet new people. Oh, and eat some great food along the way! Besides waiting two weeks for our HHG delivery and not receiving DLA before we left (we’re still waiting for DLA), I would say that this move was great.

I can’t wait to see where the Navy needs my wife in the next three years so we can do it all again!

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