One of the reasons that I wanted to write this blog is to (possibly) give non-military people a little window through which to view our lifestyle. The majority of my family has no personal experience with military living and are full of questions about how things work...I figure the average civilian household is much the same. Because of that, I had really hoped to bring every twist and turn in this assignment process to the blog for the simple fact that it's so crazy and unpredictable! I'm a little behind in that regard. Let's play catch up, shall we?
When last we talked, Jason and I were trying to decide which possibility would be best for our family: the familiarity of a place we know and love (Florida) or the excitement of a specific area we have never lived as a family. (It was San Antonio, by the way.) Not too long after I wrote that post, a few things occurred which made that discussion null and void. Go figure.
We were asked by individuals within the "familiar" crowd if we would be willing to volunteer for New Mexico or Japan, two bases within the same command as the base to which we want to return. We did think about and discuss it, but the answer was (and is) no. The base in New Mexico has nothing nearby. There are no reasonable housing options for a family of six. The schools are questionable. There is no college nearby with the degree plan I want. And Japan, while I'm sure it would be extremely interesting, is overseas. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but we are really, really, really ready to return to the states.
So we switched our efforts to San Antonio. I won't spend too much time talking about the whys and whats of that area. In the end, timing is against us. If Jason was leaving a little earlier or a little later this might have been an option. Unfortunately, he's due to leave here in a time frame when this location is full up on manning. There just isn't anything that we can do to make it work. I am bummed beyond words by that development. Seriously. Pouting for days.
So that left the assignment list. The dreaded assignment list.
The only two options on the assignment list were two of our bottom five choices: Langley AFB, Virginia and Beale AFB, California. Both places will be similar to the work schedule here. Both are in areas that are a little questionable. We're not all that pleased. We're not really all that surprised either. But we set to talking about it. And talking about it. And talking some more.
Langely is within an area we are familiar with, even though we've never lived there. Jason's family is less than four hours south; most of my family is about 12 hours west. It's close to Danny, though. So there's that. There are pockets of good neighborhoods and schools scattered around the area further away from the base, although this will require a little commute for Jason. They have Target, so it's not a complete loss.
Beale is in an area of the country which we are not familiar with. At all. It's not close to any family; not even my brother and he lives in California. We've heard a lot of bad things about the base, although it seems that the further you live away from the base the more positive the reviews get. It is supposed to be very pretty up there. They also have Target.
I think you can probably tell that we're kind of resigned to the idea of either of these bases. There's good and bad. We wouldn't stay in either location for long. I would imagine that we'd try to PCS right around the two-year mark either way.
But wait! There's more! One final (I hope) twist to this assignment process.
Not too long after our assignment list came out, Jason got a phone call from a guy at work. And an e-mail from another. (He was on leave, so the guys wanted to make sure he saw it. Aren't they awesome?) Something like seven jobs had opened up for his career field in...St. Louis, Missouri. (Hello? Random, much?) Of course, we know absolutely nothing about St. Louis because who really thinks about moving to St. Louis?! Have you ever considered it? Exactly!
End result? Jason applied for the St. Louis assignment. It will be a great opportunity for him if he gets it; if he doesn't, we will know that we tried everything to keep him out of the other two bases. There is a certain amount of peace that comes with that knowledge.
Recap: We are less than 90 days from leaving Germany and we still have no idea where we're heading. Likely areas are Virginia, California, or Missouri. We're hoping for Missouri. We'll probably get Japan. Ha!