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Need to Vent about Your PCS Nightmare?

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WE ALL HAVE OUR SHARE OF HORROR STORIES WHEN IT COMES TO MILITARY MOVING!

Name the most disgusting item erroneously packed by your movers… for me it was used coffee grounds and of course, trash. For others, I've heard everything from wet towels to dirty diapers. I've caught movers raiding my fridge, lounging on my mattress in my front yard, and throwing out items that they've broken. Raise your hand (or have a drink) if you ever had packers show up late (or not at all). Ever had packers get into a shouting match among themselves as they were packing your china? Or have you caught your movers throwing boxes down the stairs to the basement? That would be me!

LESSONS LEARNED

With each military move, there are "lessons learned". For instance, I won't go into great detail but let's just say after watching one packer go directly from using the restroom back to packing my kitchen without washing his hands, we now use gigantic ziplock bags to "pre-pack" all my kitchen utensils. A packers' bare flesh has never again touched one of my kitchen utensils.

My family's last military move was by far the shortest, only 1½ miles up the road. We were moving from a rental to a home we purchased. It was by far the worst in terms of damage and overall angst. I think because we were only "moving up the road" the pack job left a lot to be desired. I found one box of dishes which had not one piece of wrapping paper! Instead two throw pillows from my family room were used as a buffer! Amazingly, nothing was broken! Go figure!

When I heard glass shatter in the moving truck, I asked one of the guys what shattered.


Mover Guy: "Just a light bulb."

Me: "You mean one of the bulbs I wrapped and packed into my car because light bulbs are on your 'Do Not Pack' list?"

Mover Guy: Blank Stare

TOTAL RECALL

Just by reading about some of my family's military moving experiences, you have recalled at least a half dozen of your own horror stories. But honestly in looking back, there were a few bright spots. Such as the packers who saved the kitchen for last so that I could get everything I needed into those sanitary Ziplocs. Movers who asked permission each time they went into the fridge for a soda or water despite the fact that I told them to help themselves. Or the packer who found two twenty dollar bills in the hallway and turned them over to me rather than shove them quietly into his own pocket. He made that $40 and then some back in a tip.

There are moving companies I would gladly call on again and others that I wouldn't use if they paid me! And now PCSgradeshas made it possible for you and I to share our moving experiences, the good, the bad, and yes even the ugly.

With the launch of the Moving Company Review platform, PCSgrades is giving military families a voice in the PCS process. We can now interact with and review the people and companies that move our household goods and our lives around the world.

Here are 7 reasons why you should go to PCSgrades.com and submit your review:

1.Every review submitted strengthens the voice of our community, providing a little more control for our fellow military families that has never existed in the PCS process before.

2.Reviews from the military community can often provide peace of mind that your belongings will be treated with respect.

3.Thorough reviews can also highlight the shortcomings of a particular company, so you can better guard against them.

4.PCSgrades Moving Company reviews can HELP you with your "choices" and yes, you actually do have some choice! You can always choose whether or not you want to DITY/PPM or partial DITY/PPM. In some cases, you can actually request to work with or NOT to work with a particular moving company (although still subject to DoD approval). If you read reviews about your moving company that indicate a history of damaged electronics, would you consider a partial DITY for your most precious electronics?

5.YOU can impact the future of the Military Moving experience! Many moving companies are very leery of online review forums. Legitimate reviews from verified military members in an open, third-party forum will have a much bigger impact than anonymous/un-verified reviews…and certainly more so than venting in a closed group on Facebook.

6.You can arm Military/Veteran Support Organizations with unique and reputable data from your reviews so they can wield even greater authority when engaged in advocacy on behalf of military families everywhere.

7.The PCSgrades review process is meant to encourage and reward positive behavior among the companies and professionals we all do business with. Our interactive review process allows participating companies and PCSgrades members to start a conversation through our messaging system. This is unprecedented. Reviewers have the option to ignore the message, continue the dialogue anonymously through the messaging system, or to exchange contact information and take the conversation offline. The choice is yours!

HELP EACH OTHER!

Please go to PCSgrades.com and write your PCS story in a Moving Company Review. And spread the word! If we band together and document some of these horror stories, we can MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

This post sponsored by PCSgrades.

Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)

Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

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Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

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A Purple Heart (DoD photo)

Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

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Ships from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 transit the Pacific Ocean Jan. 22, 2020. DESRON 23, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

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Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores and his family. (GoFundMe)

When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.

Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.

"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.

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