The Decision Has Been Made (I think...)

So I called transpo today ("transpo" being the "Outbound Household Goods" office) to see if I could track down an answer to the question of whether the Army would pay for non-temporary storage IN ADDITION to maintaining BAH (housing allowance) should a family/spouse decide to leave the island during the upcoming deployment.

During the LAST deployment, they DID - families could have the government come and pack their stuff up, transport it to a military storage facility, store it at government expense, and STILL collect full BAH for this locale. Talk about a windfall...

No. Not this time around. Seems the government lost too much money on that deal last time so they are not going to maintain that policy through this deployment. Damn. I understand but...damn.

So, it looks like the decision has been made. To put all of our stuff in storage here would eat up at least $5,000 of any savings we might realize if I were to move back to the mainland with the kids while MacGyver was deployed. Then we'd also have to buy plane tickets (3 one way for me and the kids, 1 round trip for MacGyver, and then 3 MORE one way tickets to get me and the kids back to Hawaii at the end of the deployment) which would probably (best guess) run us about $6,000. Add to that the fact that I would have to furnish an apartment, find a car, uproot both of the kids (who have just really settled in here), and then do it all again in 10 months.

Financially, I don't see it as being worth it. On an emotional level, both sides were pretty even (going vs. staying put) so we're using the financial bottom line as the litmus test. And the idea of moving back to the mainland appears to have failed.

I'm sad in a way. I would have been closer to my family. Closer to my church family in Alabama. Closer to great friends. I would have been well-taken care of.

At the same time, I feel like a burden has been lifted. I've been struggling with this dilemma for 2 weeks now and it was beginning to wear on me. Now I can begin, mentally, to get into the "deployment mindset" as we inch closer. It's going to SUCK, don't get me wrong, but we'll be ok. Many others have done it and done it well - I have no doubt that we will too. Obviously, the first few days after the unit leaves, I may not seem to be living up to that belief but we'll be ok.

AND, for those of you who were looking forward to me heading back to the mainland during this deployment, rest assurred that I *DO* plan to come visit. The kids and I will be making a trip that direction sometime after the holidays/new year 2007. I'd like to take at LEAST 2 weeks, if not longer, to traipse around the South and visit everyone that I miss dearly. So I'll put you all on notice now that we will need a place to stay!

In the meantime, just remember that there are flights in BOTH directions across the Pacific...


- hfs

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