Unpacking your life after PCSing

How to walk into a new duty station gracefully.

There isn’t a lot of talk about this subject and unfortunately but this is where people miss a lot of opportunities. After all the work from the move, we forget all the little tasks that mean the most like registering with a new primary care physician or finding a new community to support you. Well, here is a guide to help you transition smoothly.

Registering your family to a new base

A few things to cover on this category. Have you updated your Primary care Physician (PCM)? Have you changed your mailing address? Did you update your address with DEERs?

If you live off post, did you check if the local utility companies waive the deposit for active duty members.

Reviewing your reimbursements

This can be a big deal if you just moved and are trying to make up for the deficit. I know personally, a lot of the stuff that we felt should’ve been written off of our personal expenses for moving weren’t covered. On further investigation, we realized the terminology is pretty vague so our next step to send in a review for certain expenses. Here is the Government Travel Card website and info on how expenses are reimbursed.

Find communities by searching online

A good place to start is searching Facebook. Look for military spouse groups for your duty station. They’re a great place for asking questions and finding out what local activities are going on.

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Get out into the community by attending local USO events

These activities are great because there’s food, fun, and family. Another thing I love is that they often partner with local business to give you a discount or free services at the events! Click here to find local events.

Go to a MWR event or weekly activity

Click here to find your installations MWR website and click on the calendar tab. This is a great outlet for some of us that like to workout but like to do it in a group setting or wanting to start a new hobby like pottery making.

Lastly, get in touch with yourself!

If you felt like you have been pushed to the brink a few times over the course of the move, get help from a professional. A few resources available are Military One Source, finding a counselor through Tricare, or even speak with the Chaplain’s office on post.

I reason I bring this up is because I had ‘post-pcs depression’. The PCS move was so incredibly stressful among other life events happening at the time that I just simply wasn’t taking care of myself. It’s really easy to get down on yourself, get distracted by the move, and continue to have this underlying mood. So if you have felt less energetic, odd, indifferent, or otherwise go get yourself some help instead of continuing to let it take a toll on you.

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