Kelly’s PCS Adventure Begins

Kelly BallKelly’s Adventures begin

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I am very excited to share my experience with you all for my first PCS!  My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years, so I am new to the whole military lifestyle.  Since Alex has been in the Marines for 14 years, people assume that we have been married longer and I know all the lingo.  I had to learn what PCS even means. Thank goodness there is a site like MilitaryOneClick to be a resource for newbies like me.  I have lived in San Diego for 9 years, so the move of course is bitter sweet.  I will miss my family, friends, and life I have built here, but am really looking forward to this new adventure on the east coast. 

Preparing for this move has been crazy.  I have accumulated a lot of “stuff” over the years and this has forced me to do some needed downsizing.  I am also going to school right now, and as luck would have it, my finals coincide with our moving days.  Yay!  Juggling moving across the country and school has kept me so busy, that I haven’t had time to be sad about moving.  Last night we had our going away party at our house.  It was a combination of both my husband’s and my friends, and we had a great turn out.  I hate goodbyes so I kept things light and positive, but in the back of my mind I wondered when I would see everyone again. 

Having lived everywhere but the east coast, this next chapter in life will be filled with new experiences.  I can’t wait till next week to get on the road and begin this journey.  Not only is it my husband and I, but our two dogs, Scout and Lars, will also join the fun.  Lucky forKelly's Dogs us, we were able to book all our overnight stops with La Quinta Inns & Suites.  Known for their pet friendly accommodations, we can travel with ease with the whole family!  The La Quinta Inns and Suites website ( has made the planning of our cross-country journey easy.  The website has a cool feature that allows you to plan your stay by the route you are taking.  This made making reservations so easy.  I have also downloaded the La Quinta app for my iPhone in case I need to make any changes to my reservations along the way. The LQ Instant Hold feature allows you to book a room using only your mobile phone number.  La Quinta has definitely got things figured out on how to make traveling easier, so there are fewer things to worry about.


Please stay tuned for our first stop –Tucson, Arizona! 


For more PCS resources, please see MilitaryOneClick’s Home and Relocation Page.



3 Replies to “Kelly’s PCS Adventure Begins”

  1. We traveled with our dachshund when it was very hot, with no a/c in the car. The dogs will make sure you stop every couple of hours to walk them, so it will help the drivers also.

    Have a small tote bag with you that is easily accessible with towels to dry off the dogs, their food, bottled water, some toys and chew toys. The towels will help with drying them off if you are walking them in the rain or snow. If you are walking them in slushy, water on the side of the road, use water to wash the salt/sand solution off their paws. The solution can make them sick (something you don’t want while traveling by car). Also, have bottled water for them to drink so they don’t get sick from the local water.

    If possible, mail or fed ex some pots and pans, coffee pot, etc. to the General Mail or to a sponsor (someone who is assigned to you to help you get around base, etc. – the Army had it for us in the 1970’s-80’s) so you can cook when you first get there, especially if you have government quarters assigned. You can rent furniture for a few weeks, if needed, so you are not staying in hotels while waiting for your household goods. Also, send ahead extra clothing for cold weather if there is not room in your car. With the road conditions and weather, plan on double the time to get there. You never know what to expect.

    I have noticed there are a few books in the BX/PX that are basic “manuals” for new brides to the military. If you are lucky, at your next base, maybe you can find a mentor who will take you under their wings to assist you since it appears your husband will probably aim for 30 years. We had friends who helped us. The husband helped groom my husband to advance to E9 (he retired as a E-7 due to health problems) and his wife was a former WAC (Women’s Army Corp) like me, so she helped me transition from military to civilian/military wife/support person.

    We met and married while in service and I got out on our second anniversary. We both had Top Secret Security Clearances so he could not discuss his days (or nights) when I was discharged without being in a secure location. One trick we did that helped him relieve his stress without picking a fight, I would ask him Person, Place or Thing. It would make him stop and think that he was not mad at me, but at something from work or the company or an incompetent person. He couldn’t discuss it, but it relieved him of the stress somewhat. We were married by a military chaplain and had to have premarital counseling. Over the years (13 military, 27 civilian) we utilized the chaplains or civilian counselors when we had difficulties. This will help you stay married for a long time. The main thing is keep the conversation going. Remember too, when he retires he will be a different man than now so encourage him and use counseling to help you both transition. My husband was very ill several years ago and someone asked me if something happened to him, would I date again or remarry. I told them I had been married to many men already and didn’t think I would. I entered the Army not planning on getting married for at least 3 years and was married before I was in 1 year.

    If you two have not been to the East Coast before, get the travel guides from the different states that are a couple hours from base and plan short weekend trips, especially if you like history. Check about tours, etc. If you want to go to the Washington, DC area, just know that it takes a day to visit each museum, there are trains/Metro that you can pick up on the outskirts and travel into the city for less than parking fees. Enjoy your assignment to the East Coast. If you are moving into base housing, ask your neighbors about best places to buy food, etc. They will be glad to help you out. If you meet a new bride/couple like you and your husband, take her under your wing and help her. It is how family does things. Welcome to the military family.

  2. Susan steemke says:

    Love your blog your dogs are darling

  3. David and Danrea Steemke says:

    That Lars looks like a really great watchdog. Good luck on the trip. Love you big time

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