He of the Sea got an interesting package in the mail today. Wrapped in a plain, manilla envelope, was a pile of stuff from the Fleet & Family Support Centers (FFSC) of Hampton Roads, Virginia. The generic cover letter leads us to assume that someone, somewhere has actually seen a copy of He's orders, and that He is going where we think that He is going.
At first glance, the enclosures weren't very exciting. Things such as...
- a listing of websites for moving, installation information, housing, local governments and local press
- a handy booklet outlining basics of military & civilian housing, child care, schools, EMPF, Tricare, Utilities, Automobile registration, transportation to and around the region, and Navy Lodge info.
- a brochure on the Relocation Assistance Program run by the FFSC, including a separate flier on the Lending Locker, which offers kitchen kits, highchairs, pack & plays, strollers, tables, chairs, mattresses, irons & ironing boards, & coffee pots
- a Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society brochure
- tri-fold titled, "Free and Inexpensive Things to Do In Hampton Roads
- A map of the base, highlighting important locations such as the Housing Welcome Center and the Household Goods office
- Three magazine sized brochures from local area visitors bureaus, including coupons
- Two Navy specific magazines on the Hampton Roads area
In retrospect, I think we usually get something like this before every PCS. I just don't remember paying attention to these packets before. I really wish I had...we went four weeks without our household goods the last time we PCS'd to Hampton Roads! If I'd only paid attention to the welcome packet, I would have known that we could borrow items from the lending locker instead of learning how much I could cook with just ONE pot. Or I might not have spent so much time driving around, trying to find the Household Goods office. And I certainly would have saved some money on the invariable PCS fast food.
In a perfect world, we'll also be assigned a sponsor, and the sponsor will be a good one, and both the sponsor and He will have oodles of time to help me get things organized before they have to do actual military stuff. But when it comes right down to it, I need to be able to handle these things by myself, and the more I know, the better I am going to be able to do what needs to be done. So instead of filing this packet in the recycling bin, I'm going to file it in my "moving" tote bag. Because apparently those orders are out there somewhere.