Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Don't you just hate it when you post on a message board/group about something and the next thing you know, you're being attacked? What makes it worse is when the person who is flaming you has absolutely no clue what they're talking about!

It's all about this move to Ft. Riley. When the military started restructuring and talking about bringing troops back from Europe to the states, it was with the PROMISE that the needed infrastructures would be in place prior to moving everyone. This means that they would figure out what units were going where, what buildings would be needed, what housing, schooling, community support, etc., was going to be required in order to move an entire division back from a foreign country to a post in the states. But as we all know, the military doesn't always take the obvious into account.

So lately, the talk has been about housing at Riley, and all the other good stuff that goes with it. Find any of the realtor listings for the Manahattan, Kansas area. Look at what's available. The majority of listings I've seen are "under contract" or "sale pending". What's left is either trashy looking, or way out of our price range. There's not going to be housing available on post, even though I've heard it's decent housing. With the amount of soldiers coming, anyone on the advance parties have the advantage, and the wait lists will be close to a year.

But I digress...

One lady and I have been talking because she is in similar conditions as I am...less than a year in Germany, not knowing when the move actually takes place, etc. Her situation is a bit different in that there may be a good chance she can stay in Germany.

So we're talking on a Ft. Riley group. And someone who is ALREADY there has the guts to tell me to be proactive and stop complaining. First off, these military groups are supposed to be SUPPORTIVE. I think this email was NOT supportive - share your opinions please:

The post out here is doing its best to have everything ready. (it would be ready if they had just delayed the move for 1-2 years) If you start looking now, there are a lot of houses/apartments available. (if the Army would allow us to "start looking now" we'd have been to Ft. Riley already. We choose NOT to live in an apartment - we have had enough of sharing our housing with others, thank you) If nothing else you can get a month to month until you find something better. (I have a child that will be starting school this fall. The needs of my family comes first. I will not force my child to make friends over and over again, unless the Army sends me to another post. "Month to month" also means moving. We're doing that already...we don't want to do it over and over again. It's hard on the kids, it's hard on us. ) There has to be money to do things, I agree with the fact that army should phase out the restructure but since when do they listen to me or anybody else? (okay, I'll give her that one...but then again, delaying the move for a few years would have allowed the funds to be there for the restructuring) So the best thing to do right now would be to stop complaining and to do something proactive (been searching since July 2005 after finding out we're headed there), you know you're going to be sent here, start looking now, (so are the other 250-500 soldiers and families that are heading there - why do you think there are so few things available????) there are some lovely websites that can help. (I have them all bookmarked) I found a house with about 2 weeks notice of us being moved here instead of Ft. Sill, (she's ALREADY there - NOT involved in the mass move where EVERYONE will be scrambling to get what's available. She was ONE person, of COURSE she found something) so make the best of it, that's what army families do!

Sorry, but I'm just really ticked off. She has NO clue, none whatsoever. When we moved to Ft. Gordon, we looked for over a week for a rental we would be happy with. We lived in a hotel for that time, with a 2 year old...out of our pocket, since the military would only pay for a few days. We saw a lot of dumps or bad neighborhoods. But we were only ONE family. Imagine what it will be like when there are over 100 families all trying to find a place to live in the same area. Yeah, some people have lower standards. They don't mind living in dumpy houses, in trashy neighborhoods, with seedy neighbors and the like.

But I don't want to live like that. I want a safe, secure HOUSE where my kids will be able to play in the yard. Where the school districts are good. Where I don't have to move in a few months because of the crime, drugs, or neighbors. Where I won't be assaulted by a neighbor (that's why I don't like to live in an apartment anymore). I don't particularly care if we buy or rent a house, but it has to be a a good neighborhood. And I don't think that's going to be easy to find. I don't want to settle because this is MY life and MY kids we are talking about.

This is just absolutely grating on my nerves. I know I'm going to get flamed for it on that group, but too bad. I think I have a right to complain. The Army has tied our hands behind our backs with limited time to get to Riley. When we go, there'll be so many others going too. They (the post and community) just aren't ready for it.

And here's a kicker for you: buy a 1100 sq. ft house for about $150,000 (slab, not basement - IN TORNADO ALLEY, for crying out loud!). Get ready to move 2-3 years later...and discover that the house is truly not worth that $150,000 because the market was oversaturated and inflated due to a mass move. Now, a few years later, the economy's stabilized, but the housing market's crashed. There's no choice...sell at a loss (I doubt there'll be a break-even), or hold on to the house and rent it, in hopes that the market will go up enough to eventually sell it. The proverbial monkey on your back. And if you own a house somewhere, how easy is it to buy another house? And what if you can't rent it? Then you're paying a mortgage for a house you don't live in, and you're paying rent on a dump you can barely afford.

Sorry for the downer post - sometimes you just gotta vent.


Sue said...

Man, when it rains it pours -- I suppose until "she" finds herself in the same position as you she will never truly understand how it feels -- pray that she eventually does -- I am sorry but I do believe in retribution :) or in what goes around comes around. You have had one crappy move (the one to Germany was a horror show) so you should NOT have to deal with another -- however, I am biased -- I love my sister and want her to be happy and safe :)

barbie2be said...

Linda, it is definitely NOT too much to ask for a safe home in a decent neighborhood for your family. This woman was not in the same situation as you are now so she clearly doesn't have a real view of housing in the area. Hang in there!

Da Boogs said...

You can vent all you want! You have a right to your opinion which I completely agree with. Don't let someone else's ignorance rattle you...they're just ignorant to your situation and experience, and not worth your time.
It'll all work always does.

rennratt said...

Vent away! Nothing you stated seemed unreasonable. You want as smooth a transition as possible. It is hard, when, after nearly a year of searching, little has changed. I don't think you should be flagged for clarifying that you have been organized from day one; some military personnel (or families thereof) have NO idea what others have to deal with. To clarify - I am not part of a military family; I live close to FT Bragg (NC) and am friends with many soldiers' families.

SB said...

sometimes ARMY life sucks. Pray that it works out. YOUR home is waiting for you, and you're tough, you will see this through again. Greg and I rented for a year before we bought our house in an area where the housing rates just went UP and UP and UP. Even if it doesn't work out right when you hit the ground, it will settle in eventually.

Christy said...

I imagine the houses that are available in Manhattan are most likely primarily college houses, so you wouldn't want to live there anyways...normally they dont' look hot on the outside, but are better on the inside, but still probably located in prime college kid living spots...not great place to live with kids!

You and I have talked about different places around Ft.Riley...Wamego may have more available housing, but I can't say for sure. :( Also there's tons of little towns around, not on the Manhattan side so much, but on the West side of Fort Riley. Herington is a wonderful little town...I have family that lives there and there's normally lots of homes for rent and sale there. It's 30 miles from Ft. Riley and honestly the drive is very boring...but it's there.

As far as the lady on the blog,'s really easy for her to say what she is, as you said she's not in a mass military move, she has NO IDEA.

I'm praying for you and the housing situation. I pray that the home God has planned for you in KS will fall easily into your lap.

Carmi said...

Vent to your heart's content. We understand. Words are good when you're feeling put out.

I find that so many readers are so shallow-minded when it comes to responding to something I've written. Whether it's a blog entry, a comment on a blog, something where I've been quoted or a column I've published in the newspaper, the real anti-my-position rants tend to be from people who obviously haven't read into what I'm trying to say.

I write subtly. They choose to ignore the nuance, the spirit of the message.

In your case, you're so within your right to express yourself in this manner. Anyone who takes you to task for doing so is an absolute boor.