By Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Director of Strategic Communications

You’ve left behind the long hours, the stressful deployments, the unexpected orders, and the overall anxiety of never knowing what will come next in your military life. You are part of the more than 20 million Americans who can claim they served their country well as military veterans, protecting a nation through some of our toughest times.

But just because you won’t receive official orders to pack up the family and move, doesn’t mean you are necessarily settled. Many of you elect to stay at your last duty station to “get the kids through school.” Some of you find your follow-on job there. Whatever the reason, many of you will make at least one more move. Some will move “home.” Some are still in the prime of their career. Some of you will finally relocate to that retirement beach house or cabin in the woods. Maybe you will move to be near the grandkids.

A Veteran Resource

Vets and retirees, whether relocating due to a job change or to a “forever” home, still want many of the same amenities as they did on active duty. Your Veterans Administration medical benefits may top the priority list, but there are so many other things you will be considering.

Easy access to health care, the commissary, good schools, affordable housing, and safe neighborhoods are still on your list of priorities even if you have separated or retired. And who better to point you in the right direction than others in the Armed Forces Community? Who better to assess a local neighborhood or a REALTOR® than our fellow mil-vet families? These are the people who understand the unique issues that can arise when trying to move a family of four with two pets across country.

For Vets and Retirees too

While many of our PCSgrades members are in fact, military families checking out base housing, neighborhoods, and REALTORS® at their new duty station, veterans and retirees are quickly learning that PCSgrades also has a lot to offer them.

Whether it’s your last move or just one of several to come due to job changes, you still want to know which moving companies have given your fellow military a fair shake. And you will want to avoid those companies that haven’t.

It’s a Matter of Trust

What would you tell someone thinking about moving into your neighborhood? Would you boast about the local park, hiking trails or community pool? Would you warn people that your Home Owner’s Association is run by the local neighborhood mafia? At the heart of are the trusted reviews which can make your next or even your final move a smooth transition.

Many veterans want to be close to a VA facility as easy access to those Veterans Administration medical benefits are a major priority. Some enjoy living near a military installation. They want to continue taking advantage of all the base has to offer. PCSgrades offers trusted reviews veterans can use in making those important relocation decisions.

Help Your Fellow Military Families

If you are interested in paying it forward, YOU can impact the future of the relocation experience for military and veteran families! Legitimate reviews from verified military and veteran members in an open, third-party forum have a much bigger impact than the anonymous and unverified reviews found on today’s social media.

One thing we hear, time and time again at PCSgrades is, “I wish this existed when I was PCSing!” Our biggest supporters tend to be the veteran community who really do understand how valuable it is to have neighborhood, school, Realtor, and moving company information all in one place when it’s time to move.

Pay it Forward

So, whether you are facing another move or just simply want to “pay it forward”, we encourage you to visit Tell us what you think of your past couple of duty stations and the neighborhoods you’ve lived in. Or you might do a little research to see if that retirement beach house is close enough to still hit those Commissary Case Lot sales!

Whatever the case, we invite you to help us to help your sons, daughters, all those currently serving and your fellow veterans. We are still military “family” and those transitioning, for whatever the reason, want to rely on legitimate and verifiable information when the time comes to move. is a community of military and veteran families helping each other with our biggest relocation needs through trusted reviews. Help us help each other by leaving a housing or neighborhood review. Together, we can truly make a difference!
Carla Olivo has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, and their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.
Carla Olivo

Director Strategic Communications