It’s the time of the season … for PCSing

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Lisa Moshier
  • 509th Mission Support Squadron commander
Warm weather, sunny days, kids out of school. Must be that time of the year again - moving season. It's a sure sign of summer when the huge trucks clog neighborhood streets and cardboard boxes clutter lawns like clover. 

For outgoing families, the stress increases as the days click down. So many things to remember: school records, vet records, education records, medical and dental records. 

Our lives are well documented if nothing else! Inbound families explore their new terrain and work to make old furniture fit new rooms. 

Although I'm not moving this summer, I'm saying good-bye to some dear friends I manage to get stationed with about once every fifth move. 

They, like many of our neighbors, rooted themselves into the hustle and bustle of our block. Undoing the nest looks overwhelming. 

I start to notice little changes as they prepare. Gone is the basketball hoop to make way for grass seeding. "Got any spare boxes?" she asks. "Nope." I'm in denial and not much help. 

Moving is chaotic to say the least, but Whiteman has some terrific programs to assist your transition. 

For outgoing families, the Whiteman Airman and Family Readiness Center offers "Smooth Move." The goal of "Smooth Move" is to ease your transition through education and prevention. 

"Smooth Move" class trains you on the many steps involved in processing a permanent change of station so to help you avoid possible problems. 

Designed to minimize the stress of PCS, "Smooth Move" features key base support agencies in a 2 1/2-hour class where you can ask questions without running from building to building. 

Spouses are encouraged to attend - we all know who is the real czar in moving logistics! 

Meanwhile, I have snapped out of it and offered to barbecue for my neighbor's family as they fly in for the big retirement ceremony. 

Note to self: cookbook pictures lie. Oh well, everyone's fed. And as an extra bonus, they had plenty of opportunities to acquaint and reminisce while waiting the extra 1 ½ hours for a late dinner. 

Eventually, it's moving day. Whether inbound or outbound, every family needs some flexibility with the kids. 

The Air Force Aid Society, through the A&FRC, provides up to 20 hours of free child care within 60 days of PCS departure or arrival. 

Go to the A&FRC with a copy of your PCS orders and they will issue you a certificate to be used by an on-base child care provider. 

To ease concerns about a new base and community, the A&FRC offers materials, videos and web sites about every Air Force base. Computer packed? No problem - the A&FRC also has computers for your use. 

And have you noticed the Wi-Fi in Whiteman billeting? A real plus for keeping up with our electronic lives. 

Recently, I've noticed books written by seasoned military spouses and even Web sites geared for transitioning children. The A&FRC has coloring books and other tools to assist children in coping with a move. 

For spouses, A&FRC hosts a monthly key spouse meeting and recently started a welcoming coffee for arriving spouses - the morning coffee is a great starting point for networking with other Whiteman spouses. Meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at the A&FRC. The next one is scheduled for July 18. 

Military newcomers are scheduled for 'Right Start' as part of their inprocessing. 'Right Start' hosts various base agencies for one-stop shopping on information important to acclimating to our area. 

Spouses are encouraged to come and learn about tornado preparation, driving and other safety concerns, as well as meet with representatives from both the Whiteman Enlisted and Officers Spouses' clubs. 

One last wave to my friends. It's been a busy couple of weeks. All that is left are the flowers she groomed and the tell-tale signs of the basketball hoop. 

Down the street, large wheels slowly squeal to a stop, the air brakes let out a heavy sigh - it's the big blue and white moving van delivering more household goods. Time to go welcome another new arrival to the neighborhood and Team Whiteman! 

Wonder if they play basketball.