Dear Moving Companies and Possible Contract Winners of the GHC,
It’s no secret how crazy the “PCS Season” can be. Each year the peak time frame gets shorter and shorter as more shipments are crammed into the last few weeks of June while little is done on the military side to negate that.
Due to when orders get cut, schools get out and start, the report date, families are left with a short window to have their lives packed up and moved across the country.
Regardless of if this process remains the same with some fixes or if it changes to the Global Household goods Contract (GHC), there are things that military families want you to know…..
⁃ As a military family we don’t have the option to put down roots anywhere. We move every 12-36 months. We put our “roots” into our household goods. We tie those memories made to the material goods we have.
⁃ That table is not just a table that can be replaced. Yes, it could be physically replaced, but due to us tying our roots into our things, that table is the place where we invited the single Soldiers in the barracks to come have Christmas dinner with us so they weren’t alone. It’s the place where all my neighbors came and had Thanksgiving the year our spouses were deployed. It’s the place where I first told my husband in Iraq that we were pregnant and where a sibling would say their first word over Skype while Daddy was deployed, again.
⁃ Telling us to move the important things ourselves or leave them with family just isn’t possible for everyone. Yes, I’ll pack all my jewelry in my suitcase everyday, but I cannot pack my Grandmama’s hutch in a suitcase on the plane with me. Also, many service members do not have a good home life to be able to leave things behind. Many of our young service members join the military in a way to escape home and to do better. We just don’t have those options available to us.
⁃ Telling us we shouldn’t have nice things until we are out is unacceptable. Many of us take pride in our homes as they are the places that we put our roots. Families shouldn’t be penalized for the things they have when it comes time to move again. If a job is done properly then it shouldn’t matter if our things are solid wood or not.
⁃ We are tired of fighting the claims process, but By God we will stick it out. Don’t tell me the Walmart couch replacement you are offering is the same as my Pottery Barn couch that was destroyed in the move. My home should be made whole again with the things that were in it, and offering a substandard replacement just doesn’t do it. If you don’t want to pay to replace the Pottery Barn couch, then do a better job. My home should not be penalized for your carelessness.
⁃ PCSing is an emotional time for families. Often, it coincides with our service member returning from deployment or preparing for a deployment on the other end, we are leaving our support system and heading into the unknown, our kids will start their 7th new school. It’s stressful and emotional. The last thing we want to have to do is micromanage a move to ensure our HHGs are taken care of and show up on the other end.
⁃ Be in our shoes. If your home was being packed up and moved, how would you want it to be done? What would you expect? I bet the things we ask for aren’t too different than what you would want too.
Many of us are not unreasonable, but you will find the years of horrible moves and poor service have plagued us into believing that you are the enemy. We know there are good crews out there, there are good companies out there, but they are too far and few inbetween for us to see the impact they make. In our 10 moves within 14 years, only 2 of those have been good moves.
Something has to change.
So regardless of if we keep the current process or move forward to the GHC, please take our perspective into consideration.
We have an amazing opportunity here to work together, to change the narrative, and to make this system work for everyone.
⁃The tired military families who deserve better.