Saturday, July 23, 2005

the move....

We are no longer in Georgia. Here's our tale:

Back in September 2004, Scott got a phone call from the proponency office. They told him that there were 2 slots open in Germany (1st ID and 1st AD) and would he be interested in "volunteering" for one? His classmate, who was at Ft. Sill, had volunteered for a 1 year unaccompanied tour to here was the deal. We could stay at Ft. Gordon for the remainder of our 3 year tour...but then that would put Scott #1 in the hotseat for Korea, and they weren't guaranteeing a 2 year accompanied tour. Or, he could volunteer for one of the Germany slots. After discussing it, we chose Germany, keeping our fingers crossed for 1st ID (in Bamberg), as they were currently deployed and would be returning in February or March. 1st AD (in Wiesbaden) had returned from the sandbox in 2004, so there was the distinct possibility of another deployment.

We were, very fortunately, pinpointed for 1ID - the other "volunteer" to Germany wanted 1AD! So, in April, we began the arduous task of packing for an OCONUS move. Add to the mix a 13 month old son, not quite walking yet...oh joy! We had movers for 4 was supposed to be 5, but they managed to get our HHG loaded and our family unaccompanied baggage packed and loaded in one day (due to rain predicted the following day). We said goodbye to friends and our belongings, wondering if we would EVER see them again.

We spent 2 weeks in Pittsburgh with Scott's family, and on April 25, he flew out of Pgh airport to Frankfurt. We (the kids and I) were on deferred travel due to lack of housing. You'd think they would give us off post housing, but noooo, the BSB commander installed a 90 day policy...if there was an availability in 90 days, you had to wait. Of course, the housing office couldn't (or wouldn't) give us any specifics, only "sometime in June", well within their 90 day policy. (the policy saves the Army a ton of money because the OHA is outrageous, with the Euro coming in at $1.24 exchange right now).

So, the kids and I headed to Maine to visit/live with my mom. While with my mom, I spent a lot of time with my sister, got to go to my old hometown and visit friends and relatives, and saw my dad for the first time since summer '98! He has never met his grandchildren, so he was thrilled to have some time with them.

Memorial Day weekend, I get a call from the office at Ft. Gordon asking me where to send my passports and when did I want to travel. I told them we couldn't travel till we got orders for housing, and that's how I discovered we finally had a place to live. We travelled back to Pgh, spent one last week with Grandma and other relatives, and flew to Germany June 16th, on a 16 hour adventure. We flew from Pgh to Atlanta...that flight was delayed 1 1/2 hours with some hydraulic fuel issue...of course, we were already on the plane! I had originally had a 2 hour layover in Atlanta, so this was going to cut it VERY close and I was in tears thinking about having to be delayed. Luckily, the flight from Atlanta to Paris was late, so we managed to make it just fine (thank God - believe me, I prayed my head off for that one!). It was a fairly uneventful flight (as uneventful as an 8 1/2 hour flight with 2 kids under 5 CAN be).

Of course, when we landed in Paris, we were shuttled off the plane and bussed all over Charles deGaulle airport (while I wondered if my 2nd carseat and stroller made it, since I was unable to get them before I was pushed onto a shuttle bus). Then I was forced to chase a french airline guy all over the airport in order to catch the shuttle from Paris to Nurnberg, GE. Of course, I was berated and belittled by the flight attendants for having too much stuff: Deez eez unbeeeleevible, madame! We do not help carry zees are causing zee flight to be delayed. Then she muttered nasty things about me in French...oh yeah, guess what? I SPEAK FRENCH, idiot. I said some not so nice things to her in her language, which surprised her to no end, and she semi-apologized to me.

Anyway...being as we almost missed the shuttle to Nurnberg, our luggage of course did not make it with us. I was almost hysterical, having been awake for over 24 hours at this point, and trying to adjust to the new time zone. I went through customs, no one stamped my passport (I think I am in this country illegally, lol!)

We have a nice big apartment, by military standards. You think having an empty house for 3 days is bad? Try a month in my echo chamber. Oh, and Ft. Gordon, in their infinite wisdom, screwed up our HHG shipments. When we got our family travel orders, Scott had transportation release the 2 shipments being held. The office here faxed the release, along with the requisite forms and copies of orders - 11 pages in all. They then sent hard copies via mail. We just found out yesterday that our UB shipment is due 25 Aug and our HHG 23 Sept....uh...NOT supposed to happen that way! Since the stuff was released on 31 May, the UB should have been here on or about 15 July...and the HHG in early August.

Turns out that Ft. Gordon says they never got copies of the family travel orders via fax (leading me to ask: why did you not call or email Bamberg's transportation office with a follow up???), and they got our hard copies on 14 June. But, it's "busy season" there, so they didn't have time to release our things till 20 July. OMG!

So, I get to spend 2 more months on rotten military lending furniture, no computer (using the CAC's pc occasionally), no scrapping or crafting supplies, generally just going out of my mind!!!!

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