The military lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Families are uprooted many times, friends are made but then lost, and careers have to change. But it can also be exciting and I personally wouldn’t change it for the world.
Because moves are the norm, the transition can be tough on the entire family. But when children are involved it makes changing duty stations a little more challenging.
Here are some tips that can make it a little easier and less stressful.
1. Residence-Finding a home can be a bit tricky for anyone, but the military family has a harder time in certain situations. However it can be easier if you have a plan. Getting a good idea of what is available on the housing market is better than going at it blind. Requesting information from real estate web sites or even doing your own research will make it easier to find a home that the family can be happy in.
2. Research-Research can be time consuming during a move, but it proves to be very beneficial. If available it’s a good idea to contact someone that knows the city that can give you good information on the places to look for a residence and places to stay away from.
3. Safety-With so much crime in our society it can be scary trying to find a place that will not only meet the needs of the family, but also ensure their safety. There are wonderful websites that provide information regarding the area. Sites such as Family Watchdog and National Alert Registry give accurate information of possible offenders in the areas of schools, day care centers, and employment. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
4. Schools-A residence will need to be established before a school can be chosen for school-aged children. However, researching the schools available will also help determine where a family would like to live. If you would like to live in a smaller suburb doing a search for the local schools will help in making a decision.
5. Day Care-For families with younger children day care centers may be needed. You also can find a center or home day care provider that is relatively close to home or the place of employment.
6. Employment-For the military spouse its difficult because their careers are put on hold. Looking in the on-line classifieds will help the spouse see what’s out there and they can apply for a job even before they arrive to the new city.
7. Information Packages-The military offers sponsor packages to the member that is active duty. They can request this package prior to their departure and it is so helpful because it contains housing information, area information, and activities that the family can participate in. In addition, it also includes information on the new duty station.
Change doesn’t have to be bad, and although it can be tough it will be easier if a plan is put into action. Obtaining as much information as possible prior to arriving will make it easier for the family and it will alleviate unnecessary stress for all involved.