How to support a Military family during a PCS
A PCS (Permanent change of station) affects Military Service members and their families worldwide every year. Most families PCS every 3 years or so and try their best to make a new home wherever the Military sends them.
Military communities everywhere know how tough a PCS can be and the ups and downs it can bring. Our family recently went through a PCS and as much as you can prepare for it and learn about the resources offered having extra help is always needed.
If you know a Military family getting ready to PCS here are some ways in which you can show them support throughout the time they have left at their current duty station.
Time before a PCS can be stressful; between housing appointments, overseas screenings and decluttering sometimes it feels as if there is not enough time in the day to get it all accomplished. Show support by bringing a family you know a meal. Offer to start a meal train for them or ask them if they need anything while you are at the grocery store or snacks for the kids. I am sure they would love the help. At times you get so caught up with packing that dinner is the last thing on your mind. That would be very welcomed!
A PCS means shipping personal vehicles and many families get stranded with last minute transportation requests more so when they do not have many friends around them. Offer them a ride to the airport on the day they need to depart. We have all been there and we know how stressful it can be to plan to take your whole family and luggage to make your flight without a vehicle and how expensive it can be to pay for a shuttle.
Moving day can be the worst sometimes, so many moving pieces, random people in your home and boxes piling up everywhere. How are the kids and the pets in the house? If you know the family talk to them ahead of moving day and ask if they need help watching the kids or pets. We know younger kids require constant watch and that can be tough when movers are asking you questions and you are overseeing operations. Ask if you can take their dog on a walk while the movers are there. Check to see if their kids can play with yours to keep them out of the way.
What about offering to help them declutter or clean the house for their move-out inspection? One thing I noticed is how many people within the Military community request cleaning services for a move-out clean to not only be scammed or cancelled on last minute. It truly is terrible and cleaning a house can be such a big job to take on alone.
Of course all of these also depend of your relationship and how well you know a family but why not help if you are able? We have been blessed to have an amazing village be with us through our PCS. From rides to ship our vehicle to friends bringing us lunch while in lodging and airport rides, it is true Military lifestyle friendships that make it all better.
Throughout this lifestyle we are all we have at times and relying on each other matters. Be there for someone else when they need you like the family they cannot have close-by. Help each other through the trials that PCSing brings and let's make our community stronger by creating these bonds.
Hope you can find it in yourself to help someone soon!