If you're a first time reader or if you don't know me at all, my husband and I are PCSing to Hawaii. For all you non military folk out there, PCS is a permanent change of station. Basically when you hear a soldier say "Oh, I'm stationed here." The process of getting to that station is a PCS. There are hundreds upon hundreds of duty stations for US soldiers all over the world. My husband and I were lucky enough to get Hawaii. You call it lucky, I'll call it headache. Dont get me wrong, I am excited, but the process of actually getting there is a lot more stressful than I had imagined. As I'm sitting here yet AGAIN, in an empty (for the most post) home, I'm going to take you through all the steps we've gone through to make this move possible.
Step 1: Get Orders.
My Husband found out we got Hawaii in January of this year. We were ECSTATIC. We started googling Hawaii, buying movies made in Hawaii, looking at fun things to do, etc. Daydreaming basically. The only thing I knew right away about things to get done was that if you have a pet, it has to be quarantined for 120 days. Thats like four months! Anyway, at this time we didn't have "orders" we just knew thats where we were going, we had no idea when. So we wanted to take care of Bella first.
Step 2: Take care of your pet.
Hawaii is a rabies free state/region whatever, so your animal has to be up to date on their vaccines. They also have a quarantine law. Your animal must be quarantined for 120 days. I called the vet right away. We scheduled an appointment for Bella to be seen. She needed her rabies shot, a micro-chip, and an overall exam. We had to wait I want to say 90 days (I may be wrong) to take her back. When we took her back again, they took some of her blood (FAVN test) and sent it to a lab in Kansas. The day the lab got her blood her quarantine started. Animals can do a quarantine here on the "main land" they just shouldn't really be around other animals. If you arrive in Hawaii before the quarantine is up, your pet has to stay at the Quarantine station (a kennel) for the remainder time. Also, before you leave you must get a copy of your dogs health certificate from a vet and a hundred copies of her rabies vaccine just to be sure.
Step 3: Levy briefing and other crap the soldier has to do.
I'm honestly not sure what a levy briefing is because I didn't go. Its mainly for the soldier but the spouse may go if they wish. Its basically a meeting where they talk to you and other soldiers that are PCSing overseas. They talk about what you have to do before the move, how you schedule the movers, etc.
Step 4: Your medical shiz.
Make sure that you have an up to date "annual exam" and you get a check up. I don't like going on post to the doctor because it makes me feel weird so I went to planned parenthood and got raped by a woman. Not really, but it sure didn't tickle. After you get that, make sure you schedule an appointment for EFMP. (Exceptional Family Member Program). EFMP is usually just for people who have medical conditions that need treatment so I really don't know why I had to do it. Also, the spouse gets put on the husbands orders. If you are NOT on his orders, you have to fly separately and you have to pay for your own plane ticket.
*******NOTICE!! If you live off post, be sure to give copies of orders to your landlord and give them 30 days notice!!*******
Step 5: Scheduling the movers.
I honestly don't know how we did this either because Jeff took care of it. We didnt get our movers until today. (Two days before we leave).
Step 6: Shipping your vehicle.
We had to drive all the way to Charleston, SC to drop off our car. From Fayetteville, that is like three hours. Talk about long drive. Make sure you know people that can go with you so you don't have to rent a car like us and pay $500 for three days. For this you need 4 copies of orders and some other junk. Side note: after you get orders, make sure you print off literally about 30 copies, just to be safe.
Step 7: Let it go.
About a week before the movers come, start going through your stuff. Start throwing away stuff you don't need. Remember that you can always buy more. Yesterday we were going through stuff and Jeff wanted to keep a box of q-tips. Don't be afraid to just let it go.
Thats all the steps I can think of at the moment, I'm sure I am forgetting something. It doesn't seem like a lot but it's a lot more stressful than what I wrote. When clearing post and trying to schedule things, you have to work around the army. We did everything last minute and I was ready to go on a rampage. Jeff and I were/are at each others throats. We just have to keep thinking that in two days we will be in paradise for three years. I'm really excited and things seem to be finally falling into place. The only thing I'm nervous about right now is getting the dog on the plane. I'm praying and praying that everything works out. So cross your fingers for me.
Words of wisdom:
When you feel like taking your wrath out on your husband, take it out on idiot drivers on your way back from shipping your vehicle.