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A&FRC helps make a smooth move

Peak moving season runs May through August each year with the peak of the peak between Memorial Day and July 4. Surface Deployment and Distribution Command officials want servicemembers, federal employees and their families to know a smooth move for household goods is possible. (Air Force graphic)

Peak moving season runs May through August each year with the peak of the peak between Memorial Day and July 4. Surface Deployment and Distribution Command officials want servicemembers, federal employees and their families to know a smooth move for household goods is possible. (Air Force graphic)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- I am getting ready to make a permanent change of station. This will be my third move with the military, but my first overseas. My initial reaction to my assignment notification was excitement. My children are also eager to be going on this adventure. My husband, on the other hand, has some reservations. He's not ready to leave his job to find a new one and we are still remodeling a house we just bought a year ago.

These challenges are to be expected as "PCSing" is a fact of military life. Luckily, the military does offer assistance to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

As my report-no-later-than date nears, the stress of accomplishing everything is starting to set in and my excitement is starting to dwindle. I've been going through all the checklists in my head: getting the family medical clearance, setting up household goods pick-up, out-processing, job searching for my husband, enrolling the kids in school, looking for a place to live and shipping my car. It's overwhelming at times with everything that still needs to be accomplished.

When I went home the other night to finish up some of the last projects we have on our house I thought, "I can't be the only one who feels like everything is getting turned upside down." And the truth is I'm not. May through August is known for being the peak moving season according to the Defense Personal Property System.

Moving can bring opportunities, but it can also create stress. One of the ways to alleviate some of that stress is to know where to go when there are questions.

Thankfully, the Schriever Airman and Family Readiness Center offers a Smooth Move class.

The class had multiple briefers who walked attendees through each step of the PCS process. This was one-stop shopping for getting the answers I needed.

Everyone who attended the class was given a binder filled with information, websites, phone numbers, pamphlets and more. And based on each member's preferences and needs, other freebies were handed out to include maps, language cards, coloring books, reading material for children, a time zone calculator, bag tags, etc. The class hadn't even begun and I already had a wealth of knowledge in my hands.

The class started with the A&FRC relocation brief. They talked about pet relocation, helping dependents with the move, housing options, resources for spouses, programs available if you're single and what to do to start planning for the move. You are also given a military relocation workbook that suggests that organization is the key to a successful move and how making a checklist of everything that needs to be accomplished is a useful way to keep organized during the moving process.

A TRICARE representative briefed about how benefits transfer to the next location. The Joint Personal Property Shipping Office talked about shipping household goods and vehicles. A member from the 50th Comptroller Squadron spoke about out-processing procedures, military pay while en-route, per diem, travel advances and other finance items, which brought us into the financial planning brief and how to prepare financially for a move. Lastly, an overseas brief was given for anyonegoing overseas.

The class was not only informational, but now I have actual points of contact if I have any questions throughout this process. Moving is never an easy process. If you are getting ready to PCS, I highly suggest using the resources the military provides to make the transition as seamless as possible.

The Smooth Move class helped to get me organized and answer my questions. If you have any questions for your move, check out the next Smooth Move class July 12. For more information, contact the A&FRC at 567-3920.