pcs in aug .. need some help

Stacy - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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my husband and i are going through are first move shortly after he gets back from deployment...this being our first move i am clueless!!! we have orders to germany. so if someone could answer some questions for me id be thankful

1. can i get on housing befor we leave ? if so how ?
2. i have heared we have to pay to ship our car... if so how much will that cost us ?
3. will we need to get international dl.. if so how do i do that ? and how much does that cost?
4. i have heared befor you pcs over there you need to get some series of shots?
5. our daughter is 3 newly potty trained... its a long flight... im worried about accidents or her getting bored... any things that worked with your kids ?

thanks so much in advanced

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Paige - posted on 01/30/2010

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the only real concern you have are the wheels and tint. the wheels CAN NOT extend past the wells. period. and front drivers/passanger windows CAN NOT have tint to pass inspection. the ppl that book your flight will take into consideration you are flying with a child if you ask them to. We flew out of ALT at night, shipped out car out that day, took a cab to the airpot, got on a flight at 1945 and landed at 0945 Germany time, but it was only an 8 hr flight, and I had Cadence was 11weeks old, and woke up 1time during the flight :). If you are flying Lufthansa (I would request..had GREAT experiences with them!) even coach is a very comfortable flight

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Leba - posted on 02/06/2010

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1. Unless housing has changed drastically, the military won't release your passport for you to join your Soldier until he's obtain either temporary or permanent quarters. If you travel on a non-military passport, they won't pay for your travel.



2. Again, unless things have changed drastically, the military will ship one car. Anything more than that is your responsibility. We only shipped one, but had to replace it while in Germany. The cost of shipping the new car from NJ was about $1,000.



3. An international driver's license didn't used to be necessary. You WILL, however, have to get a USAREUR driver's license. An international DL might be helpful, but should not be necessary.



4. You will need to ensure you have an up-to-date tetanus shot, but that's the only one I remember having to get.



5. Pull-ups are probably a great idea, sometimes you can't use the bathroom when you need to! I think a dvd player with some of her favorite shows would be a great distraction. A few books, her favorite blankie/pillow (if small enough), and a few of her favorite toys.



Refreshing your German is a great idea... they really appreciate it when we don't expect them to speak English (although the Germans I remember spoke it far better than I did German!). Sponsorship is a good idea also, although it doesn't always work the way it's supposed to. You can contact the ACS (Army Community Service) in Bamberg and request a relocation packet (if you're at an installation now, you can do that through your local ACS, too). If you're feeling lost with regard to the acronyms and military "speak", may I suggest taking AFTB classes? Army Family Team Building will help you understand the military, will help you understand your community resources, and is a great way to network with other military family members. And if your Soldier is E-5 or below, he can earn promotion points by taking the classes (in the classroom only)! Most installations should be offering free daytime child care, so if your little one isn't in preschool already, you won't have to pay out-of-pocket for her care, just so you can take a few classes.



Sounds like you've already been to Germany, and are looking forward to going back. Get out, explore, and enjoy! It isn't just a shopping trip (although good deals could be found before the Euro, not so sure about now). It's a great way to learn more about the world!

Susan - posted on 02/03/2010

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I'm guessing from all of the responses you are Army. We are AF and have had two overseas assignments. You should be assigned a sponsor from your husband's future work place. Here are some of the things I've learned. Hope it helps some.
1. Once you get orders, you should be able to get on a waiting list for base housing. You need to fax it to your sponsor and have him/her take it to base housing and get your name on. I've lived off base in England and the cost is quite high. The housing allowance covered the rent but... it all depends on the exchange rate. When we were there, it was almost $2 to one British pound. With the gov. only paying up to a certain point, you'd have to make up the difference. Utilities were also quite high. At least on base/post, you wouldn't have to worry about that.
2. The gov will pay for one car to be shipped. It took a month for our car to get there but we also kept it until the last minute in the states. We were able to rent a car when we got to England for that time.
3. I'm not sure how it works in Germany but for England, we are now able to get online and study for the DL and I think to take the test as well.
4. I think I had to have a TB test done but since all of our shots were up to date, no other ones were needed.
5. The overseas planes have a TV for every seat with games and kids TV shows. Take some quiet toys and books. As for the toilet thing, she should get up and walk around which will give you a chance to get her to the toilet, only thing I would caution you about is the loud noise of the flushing. That might scare her. I know it did my kids a few times.
Does your husband have a travel credit card? That should be used to pay for any hotels you might have to stay in. If there is base lodging, your sponsor should be making reservations for you ahead of time. We did have to stay off base for a couple of nights and the cost was high but the CC took care of that. I also know that you can ask for an advance on your dislocation allowance 10 days before you are due to PCS.
Benedryl and my kids do not mix. It makes them 10x more hyper. I do make my kids drink a lot of Airborne before all flights. Lots of vitamin C.
Good luck in your new assignment. We loved our time overseas. We really enjoyed all of the opportunities to travel and get to know the local area. Have fun.

Melissa - posted on 02/03/2010

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If you are PCS'ing outside of CONUS, they will pay to ship your car. TMO. You should put her in a pull-up just in case, but definitely let her go potty in intervals that you normally would have her go(like every hour or so, ask her if she needs to go).. good luck! :-) PCS-ing is tough. We just did it from AZ to FL... and I thought THAT was tough!! haha

Bette Jo - posted on 02/02/2010

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Congratulations. My sister was in Germany with her husband (army) and loved it, especially the bakeries. We are 20 years retired USCG with four kids. We had to make a few long air flights with toddlers so here's my best advice. I wrapped some small toys like birthday gifts. (check with airline about wrapped gifts in your carry-on) This kept them busy unwrapping and then made the toy more special and interesting. Also had lots of snacks the kids liked but weren't messy. Wet wipes are a necessity. We alternated snacks with gifts.

Best moving tip: get some post-it notes. When you have a cupboard or closet ready to be packed or emptied put a note on it and then you don't have to check it a million times. This is great for clearing your quarters to. When you've cleaned somewhere put a post-it on the door so you don't keep checking. As you give the house a final once over as you're ready to leave, look inside and the remove the post-it. This saves a lot of time and you and spouse or friends don't keep going over the same areas. Hope this helps.

Biggest advice for being in a new area is to be adventureous. We knew people who never left the base area during their whole tour. There is so much to see and learn whether you're in Germany or in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Have fun and enjoy!

Rosemary - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi Stacy!! My name is Rosemary. I was completely in the same boat as you!! My husband and I have been married for 5 years, and thankfully, have been stationed in my 'hometown' for all those years!! Try to make a long story short....ugh, my husband got orders to North Carolina, which I was COMPLETELY scared and unprepared for!! We own a house in Fife, Washington, have a 4 1/2 y/o girl, 2 1/2 y/o boy and a dog. We had to pack the whole house up, plus find renters, plus plan on driving ourselves across country, plus visit his family in Cali before heading across country....... OK, TMI and stressful.... Around this time, he put in his packet for Warrant Officer, I was praying and praying that the order's to N.C. would somehow be canceled... We were able to find renters (newly married military couple that were looking for a small house to rent for now) and about 5 days before we were suppose to leave, My husband received the call that he was picked up for the W.O. program, and that the order's were canceled. Talk about stress, 3 days before we were leaving on vacation, and renters were moving in, I was signing papers AT MY WORK to rent a house in which I had NO CLUE where the location was, let alone, know the neighborhood, as we were staying put!! My husband received orders to Italy as a W.O. for when he finished the course. We did the vacation as planned, were practically homeless when we got back from vacation, but thankfully, the rental place that ran the property were able to turn the keys over to us.... moved in that day we got back, husband went to school in Alabama, then order's changed to Germany!! We are currently living in Schweinfurt, Germany!! It's been a stressful ride, as this was the first time we have actually moved, and depended on the military to move us!! So..... to answer your questions....

1. Unfortunately, you cannot get on the housing list until you arrive here!! You will want to basically buy the biggest suit case to pack the majority of your clothes in!!! AND, do not listen to anyone that says you want 2 shipments, 1 for things that you need right away, and the 2nd, for the rest of your stuff, like furniture.... We ended up having to buy things that we needed right away... Our 2nd shipment arrived before the 1st shipment due to changes in the orders!! ORGANIZE your items so when the movers come to pack your things, you know exactly what pile is kitchen stuff, what pile is bathroom stuff, and what pile is kid's toys, clothes, your clothes....ect. ORGANIZE IT!!! We did and I was thankful!! Movers don't care if there is a garbage bag sitting there with garbage, they will wrap it up and place it in the shipment.... so I've heard...lol.
2. You can ship 1 car for free. If you have more than one car, than you either want to think about selling it (like we did) or pay to ship it. How much? I don't know the cost... But if you do sell a vehicle, make sure it's the smaller one if you own an SUV.. that was a big mistake we made as we thought Germany = small..... no, we traded in our car once here for a Jeep SUV. Don't get me wrong, getting a car here is a lot better financially, but just be warned....
3. To get your internation driver's liscence, you will be taught in a class the different signs, road situations, then take a test!! STUDY STUDY STUDY!!!!!! It's way different here than in the states, and KNOW YOUR SIGNS!!!
4. For the shots, go talk to your doctor!! I didn't get any series of shots, but to be on the safe side, just make sure your up to date with them!! You can always finish the series, like hep. B, when your here also!!!
5. The flight was VERY long for us!! My kid's did GREAT!!! I didn't get any sleep as my husband was sleeping, and one or both kid's were awake..... so, I stayed awake!! Best thing to do, get some decongestant for yourself, and liquid for the kid/kid's!! I just used my best judgement for what the bottle said, and how old my kid's are!! There's nothing more annoying than congestion in the ears, causing earaches....... My son wasn't even 2 yet, the bottle said 6 yrs and older.......so, I used like 1ml every 4-6 hours... but we flew from Washington state, Seattle/Tacoma airport, to Chicago, then flew to Frankfurt!! 16 hours I believe!!! But, relax, make the most of it, and hey, if the kid cry's, the kid cry's....so what!!! You can only do so much to make them comfortable!! Hope this helps some!!

Stacy - posted on 01/30/2010

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yeah sean was talking about driving to washington and dropping it off there ... and flaying back... i dk why washington thats a 22 + hr drive from here . and he said it would be cheaper if he just went... im thinking cuase we were talking about going to cali befor we pcs ( on way to wa...) i think we should do it on the way back. get a rent a car in cali and drive home .... i think that would be better but i do not know open to sugestions. and his whole car is tinted .... like i said he loves his car ( its his 3rd wife. after me , and the army) ...

Paige - posted on 01/30/2010

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just the front driver and passanger windows, back are ok. and you have to get you car to the port. is it san diego? my suggestion is drive it down, and fly from there

Stacy - posted on 01/30/2010

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paige you are a life saver ... lol thank you for letting me as you a million and one questions... ! hubbys windows are tinted i tolled you what he said he was not too happy but he said ok we will fix it when he gets home ... only prob with the car is we live in colorado ... so going to the closet port is a bit of a drive ... is there anyway we can ship our car to the port ?

Stacy - posted on 01/29/2010

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thank you mary ... i will be going the same time as my husband.. and im not sure about benadryl im allergic to it i do not know if my little one is... i might talk to her pedi and see if there is anything she thinks would work. our car ( tg ) is not a cluncker. i am worried on the other hand thought becuase my husband ( a mechanic ) has done a lot of mods to it... i dk how that will go over there ..i will deff study for the test :) and i plan on taking a refersher. i took german in h.s and i lived there for 3 yrs when i was little.. i know i need to take the class .. we plan on traveling every other weekend or so. i want to enjoy it while i have the chance :)

Mary - posted on 01/29/2010

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1. It depends on if you are going at the same time as your husband - if later then he will be a little further down the list, but you will need to find out where he is going exactly and keep an open mind cuz it can change.
2. Unless they have changed it - they will cover the cost of one vehicle only. Suggest that you download the drivers test info now to study - u have to pass the test to drive there.
3. The DL will be issued by the military - it will have to pass the German inspection, tho - so don't take a clunker! Also, if ur vehicle dies and goes to junk yard heaven while there you have to pay the German's to take it off ur hand. LOL! Crazy, I know!
4. Can't say for the shots - I'm sure a lot has changed since I was over there from '96-'99, but just go to the military doc and ask - they should know or be able to find out.
5. Benadryl! LOL! But seriously, it does help. And let her drink lots of fluids - might mean more trips to the bathroom, but it will help with the pressure in her ears. Otherwise she will likely be fussy.

And best of all......ENJOY IT! I absolutely LOVED Germany! Driving all over is really easy and Germany is close to so much! Take the language class they offer - fun and very helpful! Don't be afraid to get on the train and go! You will love it! Have a safe trip!

Stacy - posted on 01/29/2010

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yeah she had probs but lucky for us her ped was really good at guessing that is what it is and sent her to a gastro asap.. so glad to hear she is doing good . you have been so helpful on the passport stuff. thank you so much .

Paige - posted on 01/29/2010

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There is, you need one to leave the country and one to get back in, so yes. Really? She is doing much better now.. you know what the drs are like and all the appt and the endless dilation. but shes doing better now

Stacy - posted on 01/29/2010

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is there a diffreance between te military passport and a reg passport? and i have MULTIPUL copies of his stuff.. learend from my momma lol my baby girl was dignosed with hirschprungs when she was really little they did a pull through .. i hope your little one is ok...

Paige - posted on 01/29/2010

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you want to do BOTH paaports..the one on post (you have to have the military issue to travel on his orders) and the ones you get at the post office, these will cost you about 75 each, these you will need LEAVE the country when traveling on leisure. it's confusing, but like I said, it's a visa issue, but you will need BOTH. The ones on post are free. Get about 10 copies of his orders. You'll nedd them.
The hospitals aren't bad, my daughter has some pretty serious medical issues (Hirschprurgs Disease related) and we are still here, we just see german doctor. It's not too bad at all

Stacy - posted on 01/29/2010

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@ shannon . we are going to Bamburg . i think i will end up staying on post tell we get the car again thank you for the support i am also very excited to be going to german. my husband is starting to get excited its taking him a little bit but lol ... i have flowen with vanessa befor and they very nice to her normaly ..

@ paige. oh ok i get it thanks. only thing i worrie is my daughter was born premature so she has a few probs .none require a specialist reguarly.. she has a cardo appt like every 6 months becuase of her heart but other than that she is a healthy kid. i deff plan on traveling while we are over there . i want my husband and our daughter to remember some of it and enjoy it. what is the hospital and base likethere ? i will deff do passports on post ... does it cost anything ? and i have his orders .. never heared of the army e mailing you your orders but thats what happend... but thank you again for the info :)

Paige - posted on 01/29/2010

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BAmberg is a nice assignment, and if you are staying on post temp quarters, you will not have to pay out of pocket for lodging most of the time. It's usually 15-30 out before you can make reservations, and this generally isnt a busy time of year. If you need help negotiating the website, let me know.
http://www.bamberg.army.mil/sites/local/
save that link to your faves. EVERYTHING you need will be there. it will be a life saver, even when you are here.Call the MTF and tell them you need to set up for a EFMP screening for you and your baby.It is a screening to make sure there are no medical issues that can't be handled at the clinic they have at the here.It stands for Excetional Family Member Program. Basically they don't want to put you here if they can't provide medical care for a condition you or your child may have- say you have severe asthma and need a specialist, and there isn't one in the area, they would not station you family to this area. Or you had certain allergies, and this is a high mold area, you would not come here. Very basic ideas, but I hope you understand. These are things you can do while your husband is gone. Call the passport office on post and have passport photos/paperwork done for you and your child, they will tell you you cannot pick them up with out orders, but thats ok, it'll take 4-6 weeks for them to get in anyway. If you are smart you'll go down to the post office and have tourist passports done (you can't travel as a tourist on your military passport, due to visa issues-if you plan on traveling when you are over here!! ) these are all things you can get done now and not have to wait on.
BTW, It doesn't cost anything to ship your car, you will need a copy of your title, and USAA is the ONLY insurance company that will cover you over here, so you may as well look in to switching now.

Shannon - posted on 01/29/2010

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Sometimes it takes a month for the car to get there, and houshold goods, depending on the time frame could take a few weeks. No worries though...if your car gets there after you do there will be people that can help you within his gaining unit, and most bases have a running bus system to get to and from commissary/px. It runs hourly so you could plan the trips easily. Don't worry about the flight though, they should stick you up front in coach so that your kids have a bit more room...and the flight attendants will be really helpful, on the most part, with needed items. I'm excited for you, I wish we could go back to Germany. LOL Enjoy! What part of Germany are you going to?

Stacy - posted on 01/29/2010

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than you ladies!
@ paige we are going to be stationed at bamberg . do not know much more than that .. EFMP ? ( sorry im new to this)
@ whitney i went on the bases sight and read a lot of info but i will go check that one out. after talking to sean i think he wants to live off post
@ kasie how much is a hotel there ? we will have some in our account , but if i can get an idea of how much it cost i will add that to the budget to make sure we do not run into that problem. and we have not been assaigned to a sponser . he is deployed. i think he will be assigned to one when he gets home but by than its only a few mon tell we move .

thanks again ladies you guys are very helpful

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google army housingonestop it will have all the numbers and everything u could need to know about the base going to be stationed at

Paige - posted on 01/29/2010

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I just came to Germany 2 months ago and there were no shots involved. I had to make sure my well woman exams were up to date and EFMP wasn't out of wack. It took almost 50 days for my car to get here, and cost $10 for my license. You can't get on the housing list before you get here, and I wouldn't try off post housing unless you are very comforatble with the language, driving and customs. As far as temp lodging, if you are staying on post they don't make you pay up front, you have to go into housing every 2 weeks and get statements stating you are still waiting and are on the list, then the payment goes directly to the lodging

[deleted account]

You should be assigned a sponsor to answer all these questions for you. Has your husband said anything about it?? They should be able to communicate via email or DSN phone numbers.

For us we have to pay for a second car to be shipped. The first car was paid for by the military.

Also, we had to pay for our stay in a hotel (military hotel) up front, then the military paid us back. So you do need to have money in your bank account JIC.

Stacy - posted on 01/28/2010

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thank you !!! he sent me a copy of his orders . he is deployed i know housing here wouldent even answer my questions without them!!! ... ok about the car how long does it norm take to get there ? its our only car so.. and we are shipping our household goods befor he goes on post deployment leave. cuase we heared it takes Forever to get there ... and about the MIHA .. what is that like over there how hard is it to find a place ?... i have been looking for some sort of chart and i can not find one . i lived in germany when i was younger and we lived off post .. i loved it ... this will be my hubby( besides deployment) and daughters first time living overseas... deff excited... think i need to brush up on my german though ...i am deff worried about the flight though with my little one... i know she does road trips very well but thats becuase she passes out listeing to music. we have flowen a couple times ... she likes to talk .. a lot and some people tended to get annoyed with her talking or playing so... but thank you so much... i will deff do pull ups but she hates being dirty ... so i see a lot of br trips

Shannon - posted on 01/28/2010

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Ok...here's my answers for your Q's in order...



1. When you get to Germany either they will have housing available for you, or they will show you off base housing and allocate MIHA (Military housing allowance) if they do not have quarters on base. I wouldn't worry, overseas I never had issues with getting on post (Germany and Italy)



2. You do not have to pay to ship your car. You will however have to take it to inspected and to a certain location for it to be shipped via banana boat. No cost, that is on the Army.



3. International DL...The post you are going to will offer classes and information on learning the German road signs and how to travel the autobahn. Your IDL will be a special one for dependents, as per the SOFA (Status of forces agreement)



4. I had to get some shots before I went to Germany, as did my child. Usually it is just a booster or two. Contact your local base and explain that you are PCS'ing overseas. They may need to see a copy of your orders, but that is all. Easy as pie!



5. Use pull-ups for such a journey. You can invest in a dvd player (small one) to bring with you. You can also bring such items as a coloring book, books to read, and stuff like that. Bring children's tylenol in case she doesn't feel well, or has issues with her ears while flying, that is common for little one's on long journeys. Bring a blanket for snoozing, as she will more than likely fall asleep.



I hope this info helps you out. All of the numbers and contacts you will need for this journey, including car shipment info, etc. should be forthcoming from the unit or when he gets his travel briefing. Good luck, and enjoy the hell out of Germany! Take advantage of the USO tours and everything about Germany...

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