We often read pieces where military spouses or kids talk about how they feel about the PCS process. The answers can be both inspiring and heartbreaking at times. But how often do we ask servicemembers to share their thoughts? In honor of Father’s Day, we asked five military members THEIR thoughts on the PCS process and how it has affected, positively or negatively, the lives of their military kiddos. Collectively this group of military members and dads have served our nation for a total of 71 years, they have 14 children, and their kids have lived in a total of 23 different homes during their service.
How do you feel your kids have dealt with moving?
“I believe they have done well. They never enjoy leaving their friends but they see a move as an adventure.” — 2nd Lt James Foley, USMC
“I feel that they dealt with the move well as they were too young to really make sense of the situation.” — MAJ Jason Wieczorek, Army
“They are tough and work through it.” — TechSGT Stephen Jackson, Air Force
“Pretty good, I think. From my perception anyway, because I can’t really tell sometimes. It takes a bigger toll on my oldest, for sure.” — GYSGT Joseph Whitehead, USMC
“They deal with moving much better than most adults! We have a great support structure between family and friends that has helped shelter them from the drudgery of some moves. They’ve avoided the hurried cross-country car trips, so the moves have seemed like an adventure.” — SSGT Steven Alwine, Army
What do you think has been the hardest part for them?
“Leaving their school and friends behind.” — Foley
“The change of environment in the sense that they moved into different rooms.” Wieczorek
“Leaving friends and family.” —Jackson
“Our youngest, it doesn’t seem to have affected her much. But our oldest, our teenager? I’m sure it’s tough having to make new friends at that age and to not have gone to school for years with the same kids. And I think the different locations have affected her too. She loves the beach, and we were kind of stuck in the desert for 4 years. Now that we are back in a coastal community, I think it’s easier for her. She feels more at home.” — Whitehead
“What do you think has been the hardest part for them? The past couple of years, seeing us stay in the same place long enough for friends to move away has been very tough for them. As they’ve gotten old enough to understand that we’ll eventually move too, it’s sometimes hard to allay their worries that they’ll like where we end up next.” — Alwine
Has moving benefited your kids? If so, how?
“I believe it has. They get to see new places and meet new people. They also learn how to become resilient and adaptable.” — Foley
“Due to their age, I do not think there was a positive or negative impact on their lives.” — Wieczorek
“Yes, i think they will appreciate having lived in different areas. Also it teaches them how to maintain friendships over long distances.” — Jackson
“It has because it’s shown then there is more to the world than just one area, or one group of people.” — Whitehead
“I think it has. They learn to appreciate different places for different reasons, from being close to family when we were in Maryland to the beautiful sunny skies in Arizona. My children cherish the friends they have, but as friends move, they feel confident they’ll make new friends just around the corner.” — Alwine
How do YOU feel about the fact that your kids have had to move?
“I do not enjoy making them move but I grew up in a military family and I was able to move all over the world. My children will ultimately benefit from the moves.” — Foley
“I do not like it. Though I enjoy the excitement of moving to new places, having kids changes the dynamic entirely. If there were a way to progress professionally while limiting the moves every couple of years, I would jump on it.” — Wieczorek
“I feel bad that they have had to move. But we all know that it is something that we must sacrifice together.” — Jackson
“I kind of hate it. I hate that every few years she has had to uproot and make new friends. It makes me feel guilty for choosing the career path I did, but I don’t worry about her because she is a pretty strong kid and how she has handled her experiences as a part of a military family gives me confidence that she can handle other tough situations.” — Whitehead
“I hope it benefits them in the long run. This next move will be tough; they’ve been here long enough to put down roots and I think if we end up liking wherever we go next, they’ll always end up looking forward to that next adventure.” — Alwine
Anything else you would like to tell us about your amazing military kids?
“They are great kids with positive attitudes. Having to move because a parent is in the military is nothing they cannot handle.” — Foley
“They are incredibly adaptive. I am so proud to be their father.” — Wieczorek
“I am extremely thankful to have such wonderful and supporting children.” — Jackson
“They have made sacrifices for my career without too much complaint, and I am so grateful for that. Now that we are coming to the end of military life as I am about to retire, they can finally put down roots in one location. I am extremely proud to be their dad.” — Whitehead
“Anything else you would like to say about your amazing military kids? I love them so much, and I’m so proud of how well they handle everything life throws at them. I can’t wait to share the rest of this Army adventure with all three of them.” —Alwine
We want to hear from you… how would you answer the questions when it comes to your military kids and the PCS process?