In a couple of months my husband and I will be saying goodbye to Twentynine Palms and hello to his new orders. Even though this move will happen in the later portion of the year, the OCD freak that I am is already freaking out. My mind is racing 100 mph with questions, ideas, thoughts and more questions. We won’t be moving far, but we will still be moving. This will be my billionth move since I was born and although I’m completely used to the notion of moving, packing and so forth I’m not used to it by Marine Corps standards.
On each Marine Corps base there is a Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) office. What RAP does is to help you, in a very small yet helpful manner, with your PCS (Permanent Change of Station). They let you know the best neighborhoods to live in if you opt out of base housing, they let you know if said base has housing, they let you know about the local school, they talk to you about TRICare, they let you know about anything and everything you may have questions about regarding your PCS.
Each Marine Corps base offers monthly classes for PCSing within CONUS and OCONUS. Since our move is going to be “down the street” I felt a one-on-one chat with the local RAP representative was much better than the actual class. Either way, you get the necessary information detailed to you. So, in my case, we skipped the subject of children since it wasn’t relevant. But, if you are moving to say Okinawa and this will be your first PCS, let alone the first time you are living in a foreign country, take advantage of it. Remember, as a military spouse, it basically going to all be on us to take care of things. Our spouses are told to report here and there, they get told what to do. We, on the other hand, get told what has to be done and that’s it, fend for ourselves.
These programs such as the RAP are such great sources that people seem to forget they exist. They are there to put the military spouse at ease during a PCS. I would advise and strongly suggest to any of you who have a PCS in the works to take advantage of this wonderful program. Call them, set up an appointment with them and ask questions. Nothing will make you feel more at ease than having your PCS under your control.