Our PCS Fiasco


It’s that time again! PCS season is here and thousands of military families will be moving across the country and overseas. No matter how many times you PCS, there is always a hiccup of some sort. I thought I’d share the biggest mishap we experienced while PCSing. This occurred during our last PCS from Ft. Bragg, NC to Michigan, where we reside currently. It sounds daunting at first but I assure you there is a happy ending!

We moved to Michigan so my husband could take command of a recruiting company. The nearest Army installation is located over 7 hours away, thus our only option was to rent a home in the area. To begin our journey, my husband received orders merely one month prior. We had no choice but to find an apartment sight unseen and hope for the best. Since my husband had more experience with PCSing at this time than I, he chose where we were going to move. When we arrived at the apartment in Michigan, simply put, it was a dump. Not only was the location unfavorable but the apartment itself was an eyesore, poorly built and just plain shabby. I literally did one walkthrough then promptly sat on the stairs and balled my eyes out while telling my husband there was no way we were going to live there. Of course, looking back I completely overreacted, but I wear my emotions on my sleeve and in that moment, that’s all I could do. This reaction of course offended my husband (rightly so) as he tried his best to research and find us a place on short notice while also out-processing. In hindsight, I’m beyond embarrassed about how I behaved. How selfish of me! Ugh, even typing this I feel remorseful and can’t believe how ungrateful I was. We took a time out and while I cried on the stairs, he went for a walk and called his go-to for advice, his dad. By the time he returned, we both gathered ourselves, and I was able to calm myself enough to apologize and have a coherent conversation to figure out where to go from there. I scoured the paperwork and found fine print that allowed us to get out of the lease within 30 days, but I still had to stay in that hole for a few weeks while my husband traveled to do the whole right-seat, left-seat transition into his new command job.

I thought, “Okay, I can handle this. It’s only a few weeks,” but I had no idea what was in store for me. How bad was it, you ask? The neighbors were constantly screaming and threatening to kill each other. When they weren’t yelling profanities, their gangster rap took over the air and blasted pretty much 24/7. If that wasn’t alarming enough, the sporadic gunshots sealed the deal. Venturing a few feet to my car was a feat in itself as I had to repeatedly dodge the creepy neighbor and his friends and their sleazy pick up lines while strolling through a thick fog as they openly smoked weed and listened to rap music on the stairs. Yeah, that was my life. I made it a point to never be home and basically lived in Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and any other place that had free Wi-Fi and comfy seating until my husband returned. The entire time he was gone, I made it my mission to find us a new, safer place to live. At this time I also found out our household goods wouldn’t arrive for another month and a half! Thankfully, I ended up finding a great duplex at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the next town over, where we currently reside. My husband agrees our current place is a vast improvement from the prior hell-hole of an apartment. As a result of this fiasco, we have now agreed that finding housing will now be my responsibility from here on out and I am more than eager to take on that task!

Have you had any PCS horror stories? How did you overcome?



  1. This happened to me! I moved in three days earlier than my husband and in the quick walk through (by myself the realtor didnt even bother to come) it was horrible! it was the dirtiest nastiest place i have ever been. the cabinets were peeling off, trash all over, dirt everywhere, stains on walls and ceilings, food left in cabinets… it was awful. i ended up just cleaning for hours and hours and we decided to stay but NEVER again will we do site unseen. it was a big learning experience. they reasoned “oh but a young EOD guy used to live there so it was hard to clean” i told them it didnt matter and its their responsibility to clean it. not like they cared though ‘___’


  2. […] PCS season is upon us. For those out there who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, PCS is another one of the endless military acronyms that stands for Permanent Change of Station, the military term for “you’re moving.” I have no idea why it’s called permanent because it’s not. For us, we usually average 2 years at each duty station. This go-round, we PCSed to Ft. Leavenworth, KS. We lucked out this time as my husband actually got orders months ahead of time, so I actually had some time to plan and managed to avoid another PCS fiasco. […]


  3. We’ve been lucky so far to PCS to locations within several hours driving distance so it’s made it a little easier… But the last one we did, I literally sobbed as I watched the movers carelessly unpack my belongings, breaking a set of Tiffany’s champagne flutes (a wedding gift) and crystal glassware right before my eyes. My husband paid for me to get my nails done just to get me out of the house because these moves are so stressful!


    • Oh no! I’m so anal I would’ve been all over them. I always watch them to make sure they don’t mishandle my things. We usually take our fragile and valuable items with us so that doesn’t happen. On the bright side, they were a gift and you didn’t have to pay for them. 😛


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