One of the extra added benefits of military service, besides being overworked, underpaid, sent off to God-forsaken hinterlands for months at a time, and having people try to shoot your fanny off (sounds pretty good so far, eh?) is that every couple years, you get to uproot your family and drag them off to some area of the country where they get to start their lives all over again. And because everything in the Army has to be described by a TLA (“three letter acronym”), this pick-up-and-move ordeal is known as a PCS (or “permanent change of station”). (As opposed to TDY (“temporary duty”), which is where you abandon your family for some period of time, and which further shows that everything in the Army must have a TLA, even two-word expressions. Go figure.) Besides the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of military families going through this process every year, what’s doubly amazing about it is that somehow military families not only rise to the challenge, they largely show the fortitude to make it a virtue. Like this:
All of which is a long way of getting to the point: Robert, Laura, and the boys are, as I write this, in the process of PCS’ing from Seattle to Tampa, Florida.
Because they are who they are, though, they are once again “PCS’ing with style.” All five of them, plus a poodle (don’t ask), with whatever belongings they’re toting with them to avoid their being destroyed by Army movers, and towing their trailer, are meandering diagonally across the country, camping and seeing the sights along the way.
As you might expect, Laura has the boys studying in the truck between stops, getting their Junior Ranger badges at each stop, and somehow making sure that three boys and a dog crammed into a four-foot wide space for three-plus weeks don’t kill each other.
So, our plan is to meet up with them in New Orleans, see the World War II Museum together, then off the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, and then, with a stop in the middle, travel with them down to Tampa, where we will help out with the Little Darlings while they get everything moved in to their new abode.
Further posts to follow…