The Call of Duty That Impacts Military Families: A Permanent Change of Station
We’re back with a new topic for our military spouse series, “You Are Not Alone.” Each month we explore a new topic chosen by you, then share resources in one spot for your reference whenever you need them.
A permanent change of station (PCS) is a milestone in every service member’s career. For many military families, it is a time that weighs heavy in their hearts and minds as one post ends and another is to begin. Quiet tears are shed for all the rapid changes, and most family budgets feel the pinch.
At NMFA, we know the importance of easy access to resources as you navigate a PCS. Whether your family is looking for assistance for meals, pet or storage fees, or car transport, there is help available.
To get a pulse on a current PCS situation, just view a military-related social media page or publication to see the challenges families face moving from one duty station to the next.
Can anyone point me in the direction to get assistance with paying for lodging outside of base since the on-base options are all full? How do we cover these hotel costs while we wait for allowances to be disbursed?
Does anyone have advice on making meals last while waiting for on-post housing? With no refrigerator or cookware, we have to spend daily on take-out meals. And for our large family, this is unsustainable.
But what is being done to help military families?
“We’ve taken the stories families have shared about their challenges with the high cost of moving, housing, and child care to Congress,” said Kelly Hruska, Director of Government Relations at NMFA. “Our lawmakers have been responsive, and we see their concern in some of the provisions included in the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).”
What We Know Is Being Done
Efforts to provide relief for families are actively at work. The defense budget includes a 4.6% pay increase for service members—the largest pay raise in 20 years. Improvements are being made to the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), which includes fostering collaborative efforts to build more homes for families and rebuild trust and transparency.
Even with rising inflation costs, NMFA has not slowed down in fighting for better housing solutions. Your family’s experience matters, and we’re listening.
Resources to Help During Any Stage of a PCS
Our friends at PCSgrades support the relocation needs of military families with insights and advice on everything from the move to finding a temporary or forever home. Looking for assistance to feed your family? Military Family Advisory Network sets up food distribution events around local bases and can connect families to ongoing support and resources.
Service members at a departing or newly assigned post can also access family information centers for more tailored help. It may take some time, effort, and follow-up, but it can alleviate some of the PCS-induced stress.
We know many PCS hardships are hardly discussed openly at any rank level because it has become synonymous with a call to duty. A call that impacts military family members, too. Remember that you and your family are not alone. Together our stories are stronger, and together we will win the hearts and minds of our lawmakers to make positive changes.
Has your family faced PCS-related hardships recently? Leave us a comment and tell us about it. Your story could help us fight for better solutions.
By: Angela Sablan Tenorio, Content Manager
Military Branch Specific Resources: