WASHINGTON - As thousands of service members receive orders this month to move to new duty stations, the Defense Department has a variety of resources in place to make their summer moves as smooth as possible, the director of the Pentagon's office of family policy and children and youth told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.
"Moving is such a part of the mobile lifestyle," Barbara Thompson said. "Military members and their families can move about every two years, so relocation assistance is critical during those times of transition and adjustment. No matter how many times you move, it's still a stressful event."
One of the best places to start organizing a move is the installation's family center, which handles a variety of issues surrounding military moves, Thompson noted. Relocation assistance specialists are available at the family centers to connect parents with school liaison officers, assist with housing options and help service members figure out budgets in their new environment, among other necessities, she said.
The Military OneSource website also carries a wealth of information, Thompson said. A "Plan My Move" feature offers organizing options such as calendars to remind service members when the packing and moving companies will arrive, when a pet needs to be quarantined, when school begins, and other vital information.
"It helps you organize all the dates you need," Thompson said. "Plan My Move" also provides information on installations to familiarize service members and their families with the new duty stations.
Thompson said she's talked to parents about the assistance resources such as "Plan My Move."
"I got some good responses on how it's made their lives easier, and [how things] made more sense on how to get the job done without additional stressors," she noted. "It's a good way to try to save money, because if you know upfront where the good places are to live, and [where] to send your children to school, you're making fewer adjustments once you get to your new community."
Such resources assist service members and their family members, Thompson said, by "giving them more power to take charge of their move."