Resources to Help Military Families Relocate Easier
Military life often means frequent relocation. While this aspect of service can present unique opportunities, it also brings about significant challenges for military families. Upheaving one’s life, and adjusting to new communities, schools, and social circles, is far from easy. However, understanding the resources available to assist in this process can make a significant difference. This article seeks to provide some guidance on resources that can help make relocation easier for military families.
Getting Familiar With The Military Relocation Assistance Programs Available To Your Family
Relocation assistance programs are designed to alleviate the stresses and burdens that come with frequent moves. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) provides several relocation assistance programs to military families. For instance, the Military and Family Support Center offers a broad range of services and information to assist in the relocation process. They provide personal counseling and planning assistance, workshops, and online support for service members and their families.
Similarly, the Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) provides comprehensive information, tools, and resources to help manage the relocation process. RAP includes pre-move planning, settling-in services, entitlement and benefits counseling, and specific programs for special needs or circumstances. Military families must familiarize themselves with these programs and fully use their advantages.
The Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) is another resource that facilitates the move. This DoD initiative provides a system for managing personal property moves and streamlining the entire moving process. It is designed to enhance service, reduce inconvenience, and yield more efficient moves for military families.
Another assistance program, the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP), provides financial aid to qualifying service members who face financial loss when selling their primary homes during PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves. This program aims to alleviate the financial stress associated with relocation.
The Military OneSource Plan My Move tool is an online resource that provides personalized moving checklists, school reports, neighborhood summaries, and more. It simplifies the moving process and helps military families plan and execute their moves more effectively.
Various DoD-sponsored websites provide information on housing options and living conditions at prospective locations, offering military families a glimpse into their potential new communities. These resources provide invaluable guidance during relocation planning.
Car, Motorcycle, and ATV Transporation Services to Streamline Your Family Move
For many military families, the thought of transporting vehicles during a move can be stressful. Thankfully, several services cater specifically to this need, making the process far more manageable. Whether you’re moving a car, motorcycle, or ATV, these services can significantly simplify your move.
Many car, motorcycle, ATV, and boat shipping options are available to military families. A reputable shipping company will coordinate the pick-up and delivery of your vehicle, ensuring it arrives safely at your new location. This service alleviates the logistical headache of transporting your car and provides peace of mind throughout your move.
According to Montway Auto Transport, one of the car and motorcycle shipping brokers available to military families nationwide, “Montway is able to negotiate discounted and set rates… These reduced prices are directly passed on to you to keep your rates low, while ensuring your motorcycle is transported with a top-tier shipper who will take extra care with your transport.”
Before choosing a transport service, research its reputation, insurance coverage, and customer service record. Check for references and reviews from other military families who have used their services.
It’s also worth noting that some transportation services offer military discounts. These can significantly reduce the cost of transporting your vehicle, making the move more affordable. Always remember to ask about any available discounts for military families.
Consider the timeline for vehicle transportation. Vehicle shipping can take a few weeks, depending on the distance and location. Make sure to coordinate the shipping timeline with your overall moving plan.
Remember to prepare your vehicle for transport. This includes removing personal items, checking the car for existing damage, and ensuring the gas tank is only a quarter full. Proper preparation helps ensure a smooth transportation process.
Financial Support for Relocating Military Families
Relocation can often be a financially challenging process. However, military families have several options for financial support. The DoD provides various allowances and reimbursements designed to cover the costs associated with relocation.
The most well-known is the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), a U.S.-based allowance determined by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides uniformed service members with permanent housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets.
Another form of financial support is the Dislocation Allowance (DLA). The DLA is meant to help with miscellaneous moving costs, such as rental and utility deposits, typically not covered by other moving allowances. This can significantly help to smooth the financial burden associated with moving.
Military families may also sometimes qualify for Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE). TLE is intended to partially offset costs when a military member and their family must occupy temporary lodging in the U.S. during a move.
The military also provides a Per Diem allowance to offset meals and incidental costs incurred while traveling from an old station to a new one. This allowance is calculated based on the number of days traveled and the number of family members.
The Military Assistance Program (MAP) offers financial counseling and assistance to service members and their families to help them achieve financial stability. This includes providing advice on budgeting, saving, and managing money during a move.
Online Military Family Support Groups and Networks: Military Families Stick Together
In times of uncertainty and change, there’s nothing more comforting than a supportive community that understands your experiences. Online support groups and networks can be a lifeline for military families facing relocation. These communities can offer advice, share experiences, and provide emotional support during a challenging time.
Platforms like Military.com, Blue Star Families, and the Military Family Advisory Network host vibrant, supportive online communities. They connect military families across the globe, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie. These platforms also provide resources and information related to relocation, enhancing their value to military families.
Participating in these online communities allows military families to learn from the experiences of others who have been in similar situations. This shared wisdom can provide invaluable insights into the challenges and solutions associated with relocation. The emotional support and understanding these communities offer can be incredibly comforting.
Social media platforms also host numerous military support groups. These groups provide an easily accessible space for military families to connect, share stories, and offer mutual support. Whether it’s advice on the best schools in a new location, tips for packing and moving, or just a listening ear, these groups can be invaluable resource.
For children in military families, relocation can be particularly challenging. Online networks such as the Military Child Education Coalition provide resources and programs to support military children during the transition. They focus on ensuring the academic success of these children, fostering their well-being during challenging moves.
Spouses of service members can find support in groups such as the National Military Spouse Network. This organization provides a platform for military spouses to network, access professional development opportunities, and share their experiences.
Remember, military families are never alone in their journey. A robust network of support and understanding stretches across the globe, ensuring that no matter where your next move takes you, there’s always someone who understands and is ready to help.
Relocation is a significant part of military life, and while it presents challenges, it also offers unique opportunities for growth and new experiences. Understanding and utilizing the resources available can significantly ease the process.
From military relocation assistance programs and vehicle transportation services to financial support and online military support groups, numerous resources exist to aid your family during the transition. Remember, as part of the military community, you’re never alone on this journey. By leaning into the available support, military families can turn the relocation challenge into an opportunity for resilience and growth.