Its PCS season and that puts a shiver down the spine of any milspouse who has had a less than stellar move. Or a spouse who has heard the horror stories of a move. Or, really, anyone. Packing up your life and heading across the state, country, or world is intimidating. We have all had those “what was I thinking marrying into the military?” moments. Or even those, “why do we have to move AGAIN?!” moments. But eventually, the horror fades and we move into a stage of acceptance, and then laughter.
Here are some of those PCS stories, shared by military spouses who can finally laugh about their horrible experience:
“When we arrived at Fort Leavenworth for CGSC, the household goods were unloaded. With no furniture, or anything with a plug. Everything was stolen, resulting in a $70,000 claim! And then, as we arrived in Germany, our crates were open and water came pouring out. The crate was left outside at the Frankfurt Airport for 30 days … in the rain!”
~Andrea Miller, Army Spouse for 23 years
“We PCSed from Germany to Hawaii and my wife was 27 weeks pregnant. We spent seven weeks in a hotel room before moving into our house. The household goods were delivered on July 1st, and my wife went into labor on July 5th.”
~James Yantis, 8 years of service in the US Army
“One of my first moves was from Germany to Italy, and it came right about the time of year I needed to go for my annual exam. I decided to put it off until our move was complete. Imagine my surprise when, the following week, I met my new downstairs neighbor …. who was the (male) nurse during my exam!”
~Veteran army spouse
“When we were moving from Colorado to Belgium, my daughter was seven and had an uncanny resemblance to Dora the Explorer. As we were seated and prepped to take off on the long flight, there was a little boy in front of us. He was about four,and as we know, kids can be rambunctious on a flight. He was kicking the seat and stood up and saw my daughter behind him. He started to scream and shout, “Dora, Dora, Dora, Mom, Dora!” and he was jumping up and down and pointing. The stewardess was serving drinks and, of couse, the soda spilled all over my daughter. My daughter was in tears, and I was so upset for her. Now, we can’t help and think about our very own Dora whenever Dora is on at the dentist’s office.”
~Monica Puckett, Air Force Spouse for 20 years
“I have a great one! A friend of mine was PCSing from Germany with two babies when her husband fell on the ice and broke his foot … two days before their flight. He stayed in the hospital while she went on her own out of Frankfurt on one of the worst travel days of the year. A few days before Christmas!”
~My friend shared this on my page, but the “friend” was me! I’m able to laugh about this experience now, but in the moment, it was horrible. Thankfully she was also on that flight with me and my amazing friends got me through it.
“We were moving to Germany and we (wisely?) sent my husband ahead to secure housing. I did not want to stay in a hotel for weeks on end with my two year old. We arrived a week after my husband moved into our three bedroom apartment. We lived there for about three weeks when black mold was found. We were quickly moved back into the hotel (remember the place I was avoiding) and were told we’d be there for an undetermined amount of time. Three weeks later we were moved into a new apartment on a different section of post. At the time we were beyond annoyed, frustrated, and sleep deprived from sharing a room with our toddler. Now, looking back on it, its is just another part of our military adventure.”
~Samantha Whitcomb, Army spouse for 6 years
And the one that takes the cake…
“When my husband headed off for OCS we were stationed in Hawaii and they kept promising him he’d be stationed back in Hawaii when he was done. I went to Massachusetts for a wedding and completely tore my ACL. When I was there, we found out we had to leave Hawaii and were going to Fort Lewis … in two weeks! I took one of the most painful flights ever and while we were preparing for the move, we decided the kids and I would stay in Florida with my parents instead of moving to a new duty station alone. The movers came and went and everything was fine until the night before our flight. Our hotel caught on fire! We were on the 9th floor and I was on crutches. Getting down those stairs was a sight to be seen, I’m sure. Needless to say, it was a long night in a new hotel (without the pacifier as I forgot to grab it). We almost missed the plane the next morning as I hobbled through the airport to catch the plane. I bought a new stroller/carseat combo and it wasn’t working. I was crying hysterically on the plane before the flight attendant and I got it to work. I flew from Hawaii to LAX with 20 bags. As we went from one terminal to another in LAX with my 6 year old pulling bags, my 11 year old pushing the baby in the stroller and me in a wheelchair we finally made it. But …. we survived, and all a little bit stronger than when we left. I have since PCS’d by myself and will always contribute this experience with making me a seasoned traveler!”
~Noella Rivers, Army spouse for 13 years
How We’ve Learned to Laugh
Since we’ve all had some rough times moving and dealing with things the military has thrown at us. The key to getting up and moving on is learning to a laught at oursleves and our situations. I hope that you can look beyond whatever bad moving stories you have and laugh along with us.
What horrible PCS stories do you have to share? Are you able to laugh at them yet?
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