What’s the Cure for PCS Depression?

strained woman

I’ve spent a lot of milspousedom envious of friends who seem to get the most desirable duty stations possible. One couple in particular has been stationed in Texas, Florida (Tampa and Miami), Hawaii, Georgia and now North Carolina. For the most part, these areas were desirable to me because of climate. I marveled at their ability to get assignments in warm climates. I hate nothing more than being cold. But if I had to be cold, I sure would like to be cold in Germany, where so many of our friends have been lucky enough to be posted. There, I could hop from country to country and use the opportunity to sightsee at a very discounted rate. But that was never in the cards.

With the exception of Kansas, I can honestly say that no matter how reluctant I may have been to move to some duty stations, I always made friends and found that life wasn’t as bad there as I had imagined it would be. I’ve lived in places that I thoroughly enjoyed, but never places that I absolutely, positively dreaded leaving.

Until now.

Now, we’re in an area which I have fallen in love with. For the past two and a half years, I’ve enjoyed virtually every moment of living in a tropical paradise. I have been beyond happy with this assignment and found that although you can make the best of any situation if you put forth the effort, it sure is nice when you don’t have to make an effort. When happiness is not forced. It just is.

This summer will bring another PCS. I have approximately six months left, but I’m already dreading the move. I have no idea where we’ll end up, I just know that wherever it is, it won’t be here. The place I have fallen in love with and the place we plan to retire. Yesterday, I told myself that I can’t spend my last six months here obsessing over the upcoming move or I won’t fully enjoy the time I left. But still, it’s easier said than done.

This is the first time in almost two decades when I’ve absolutely not wanted to move.¬†While it will be difficult, as always, to leave the amazing friends I’ve been blessed to make, it will also be hard to leave the location. If there’s such a thing as PCS Depression, I think I have it. If there isn’t, I’ve invented it. I’ve been known to do this. Regardless, I need a cure.

Sooner rather than later….

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About the Author


Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.

  • JAG

    We lived in Germany for many years and HATED to leave. I remember waking up the first day in the hotel after we moved and I started crying. It hit me that I was probably never going to live there again, and even if I did, all my friends would have moved away. It was over. I still miss it. There is a great book that helped me a bit. It is called “Homeward Bound” I don’t remember who wrote it. Another good book is “Third Culture Kids” also don’t remember the author.

  • d`Arcy

    if you like cold well come up to vancouver bc canada , we have mixed mild weather here, my fiancee who is currently in afghanistan sure will get a shock when he moves here from florida , no wonder he was asking what the weather is like , we dont get hurricanes,tornadoes,, just rain rain and more rain and maybe the odd flood here and there and yes germany would be nice crisp weather kinda like paris

  • Joan D’Arc

    I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I am not sure what to say. I guess one perception to take is that you all plan to retire in your current location so you’ll “be back” to enjoy it. Maybe the same friends won’t be there and maybe there will be other changes, but knowing that SOME day you’ll go back may help a little…

    I have to say I am envious that you know where you plan to retire. DH could (but probably won’t) retire in 2 years and we have no clue where we want to retire. That kinda scares me…

  • Shelly

    I understand completely. I spent 4 1/2 years in Germany, and I dream of moving back. I now have two children who I tell stories to all the time about how wonderful it was over there. Those were the happiest times of my life. It’s been 20 years, but seems like last week. For all those military wives who don’t want to go overseas, you don’t know what you are missing. How many places in America can you walk downtown at 1:00am and not worry? If I couldn’t sleep, I would take the dog for a walk, and grab a cheeseburger at the McDonalds in downtown Pirmasens. IT IS AWESOME!!! Sometimes it is all what you make of it.

  • Kris

    Shelly, I lived in Pirmasens as a kid and have always had a love for Germany. A few years ago while visiting my sister and her family in England, we went back to Pirmasens for a couple of days and it was heavenly. My husband and kids got to meet my “adopted Oma” who I hadn’t seen since 1980 (I was 8) when we came back to the states. I wish my hubby could be stationed in Germany, but he’s Navy so we probably won’t have that opportunity. I just had to comment because I was surprised when your comment said that you were in Pirmasens.

  • Andrea

    Funny I found this post. Here I was crying last night and telling my husband that I was not ready to move. He looked so confused. Afterall, I/we have moved constantly! Why is this PCS different from others? (And folks, feel free to throw something at me… we’re going from Hawaii to Germany – I know, wah, cry me a river). Sometimes you do fall in love with a place and it is very, very special. What brought me to tears was thinking about leaving the place that we brought our daughter home to. She’s our only baby. It seems like just yesterday I carried her through our front door from the hospital and made our little family complete. I know I will find a great circle of friends wherever we go, but gosh… I am going to miss living in Hawaii.

  • Helpusplease

    We have to move away from our house which is now $50,000 less in value than what we owe. We can try to sell it but there are no buyers in our city. We can’t afford a $50000 debt. It could take forever for this economy to get better. I can rent it, but we can;t uphold the responsibilities that good landlord is supposed to do. What are we supposed to do? I cannot foreclose because we would like to buy another home and don’t want to destroy our credit. Help us please.

  • Having grown up in New Mexico, I can tell you that it’s really not all that bad! My husband and I just left Kirtland AFB for TN. Keep an open mind. Natives are friendly and there is alway places to explore! Good luck!

  • mills

    Helpusplease: Why not hire a management company to do all the landlord duties? Shop around and find one that fits your needs. I know several military friends who go through management companies to manage their properties, and it has worked out good for them. Good luck, and I am sorry you are in this situation.