Most military families are familiar with moving, but some PCS situations are more stressful than others. Movers stealing, flight delays, and insurance evading claims are just a few of the PCS horror stories gathered below.
1: What are the odds of Florida snow?
“We were in Florida about to make our big fight to Italy. We were part of the snowstorm that shut down Florida, and because the bridge froze, half the flight crew were stranded on an island. Once the weather cleared up, we had to fight to extend his report date, change flights, and get new health certificates for the animals, one who is an old rescued, blind/deaf Jack Russell who wanted to eat our cat so we could not put them next to each other. We got everything squared away, but that’s how we started our three years in Italy…”Brooke, Air Force Reserves
2: $500 is close to $8,000, right?
“I had a head mover come in and mark everything in our house as damaged. There was over $8,000 worth of damage to our household goods. They tried offering us $500. After a week of going back and forth and speaking to the area manager, the head mover got fired, and we got a $7,000 settlement.”Samantha, Army spouse
3: New baby, pandemic, Texas heat? Sign me up!
“No one’s fault, but we moved nine days after I had a c-section in the middle of the pandemic. Since we had a newborn and two other kids, I was anxious. The movers canceled our original truck last minute and then gave us a smaller one, so we had to arrange and pack additional PODS ourselves in San Antonio heat.”Erin, Army spouse
4: Your money? This is my money.
“We had a mover take a checkbook we didn’t realize was in the bottom of a desk and write $4000 worth of checks. They also tried to pack everything in one day by literally throwing things in the trailer and were there until 10 pm.”Dusti
5: You don’t actually need your things, right?
“We were stuck in Tennessee for a week because a tire flew off our van on the highway. While waiting for the tow truck, the cat locked my husband out of the vehicle. We had to pay to “store” our trailer we were towing because USAA would not cover the trailer being towed with the vehicle. UHaul said it was not their problem since it was a vehicle problem. Additionally, when we did get to VA, the moving company had misplaced two crates.”Heidi, spouse of retired Army servicemember
6: Hurry up and wait.
“I had my most challenging PCS from Shaw AFB, SC to Andersen AFB, Guam. We received our orders with three months’ notice. We had to rush medical clearances, schedule our TMO shipments, and sell our house. Four days before closing on our home, one week from moving and five minutes after the movers arrived, my son broke both bones in his right arm. My husband and I had separate flights to get to Guam from Seattle because of limited space for pets. Once we were checked in, after having a vet emergency the night before where my dog ate raisins, I thought I could relax. An hour later, at 3:30 am, the attendants told us our flight was delayed, and they booked a hotel nearby for us. They said to be back the next day at 1600 and changed their COVID policy the same evening, so we had to arrive with negative tests in hand the next day. Guam is beautiful and made all of the hassle worth it.”Melissa, Air Force spouse
PCS season can be thick with tension, especially when hearing PCS horror stories. With a bit of grace and elbow grease, we military spouses can make our way through just about anything to a new home, ready to start again.