Friday, March 26, 2010

Changes

Just FYI, this post is full of info for our families so it's just a lot of information, nothing really exciting and no pictures.  Feel free to read if you want...I'll get back to the fun stuff tomorrow =)

We officially have orders to Okinawa, Japan and have started the process of PCSing (or moving in civilian terms).  I knew this process wasn't going to be easy, but man the Army and all of it's bureaucracy sure do make it stressful.

Step 1 for us was for me to get a government passport.  I filled out the necessary paperwork, took it to the proper office and got sent away, once because I didn't have my tourist passport with me and then again because my name was in the wrong spot on the orders.  I had to go to a 2nd office to get the orders changed, which at least I was allowed to do w/o my husband with me. (The amount of things I am unable to do on post with out my husband is mind boggling!  I'm still not sure why my husband had to sign off to have my background info released for a job, but that's another post completely)  So after 2+ hours of waiting in line and going back and forth between offices, I got step 1 accomplished all by myself =)

Step 2 was to start the process for our dog.  We knew that there is certain criteria that he has to meet in order to travel with us and I'm glad we started when we did.  To take Buster to Japan, he has to have 2 rabies shots 31 days apart, then get a blood test 21 days after the 2nd rabies vaccine and the day after that test, he has to be quarantined for 180 days.  Luckily while we're stateside, our house is considered quarantine so 180 days of quarantine + 31 days between vaccines + 21 days between the vaccine and the blood test = 232 days until our dog is allowed to run free in Japan.  Too bad we only have 217 days until we are supposed to be in Japan so it looks like he'll have to be in real quarantine for about 2 weeks.  Not too bad all things considered.

Step 3: schedule transportation brief and schedule HHG/UB pick up (House Hold Goods/Unaccompanied Baggage).  This step was easy and painless!

Step 4 was deciding to move back home with my mom for the summer while Jason is away at Sapper/Ranger schools.  This decision was something we debated on for a long time.  Neither of us is thrilled with the idea of me living with my family again (in our opinion, we're grown up and married and not supposed to be living at "home" any more) but we chose this for 2 reasons.

1. it just seems silly for me to live in our big house in MO all alone and fork out closed to $1300 a month on our mortgage and utilities when we could start renting now and put all that money toward paying off debt (we'll be able to pay off over $9000 in debt over the summer). Plus, I won't have to try to maintain our ridiculously large yard all alone, although I don't think that factored into the husbands decision at all ha ha!

2. I will get to spend just a little more time with my family and friends before I move 7,000 mile away.  Again, this didn't really play into my husbands decision at all, but it helped sway me.

So we started the process of getting our house ready to rent, finding a property manager whom we're comfortable with and now we just wait.  We only want to rent for 6 months, because we have friends moving here in January who want to rent our house.  The property manager said this will be a little more difficult but we're going to try.  Hopefully it rents quickly, because that will be one less thing for me to worry about.

Jason is on spring break next week so we hope to have the house 100% ready to rent (except for the holes we'll have to patch after I take down photos) by the end of next week.  We have a long to do list including waterproofing the deck which I'm sure is not going to be fun but it's got to get done!  Have any of you ever rented a house before?  Any suggestions/recommendations?

4 comments:

The McGriff's said...

Have you started the EFMP stuff? Our unit has a lot of soldiers who had to leave their families in the states because they didn't do this! And like your passport, it took me several trips to the hospital and then to another office. I wasn't on mu husbands orders because they were cut before we were married so that made it more work.

And you should be fine on bringing your dog. I think they allow the in-home quarantine here too as long as it is on-base. I haven't heard of anyone having to put their dog in quarantine. The only times I have heard of any trouble was getting snub nosed dogs off the island when it was time to PCS because of the heat restrictions.

d.a.r. said...

Wow, crazy!!! I didn't realize it was so...involved! Good luck!

JG said...

Those are the same reasons I went ahead and moved home for BCT & OCS. Plus, we didn't want to have to worry about trying to sell the house in a hurry once we got orders...the market here is a buyer's market, so it could have been bad.

MLH said...

So glad you found my blog! There is a CrossFit box on Torii Station (not sure what unit your hubby is coming with) and there is an expensive box out in town (IMHO). CrossFit Torii Station is amazing!!! Kaz-san does a great job of keeping up the blog for them (http://crossfittoriibeach.blogspot.com). He is level I certified and will help with all the movements or answer questions.

My husband is a Marine, but I work for the Army on post. Shoot me an email if you have questions - there is mandatory on-base housing so your pup can finish the quarantine in your quarters (thats what we had to do!). We got orders while my husband was still in Iraq, but luckily the base personnel were really helpful in getting the info I needed. FYI - I never once have used my gov't passport. We PCS to MCAS Miramar in July so we'll just miss each other. It would've been great to have a workout partner! Good luck to your Soldier at Ranger school - my bro went through in 2001 and I know it was tough!

... and I wrote a novel. My bad.