My husband was recently deployed for a year to Afghanistan. He came back with a Bronze Star and a couple other awards. It seemed to be a job well-done.
The fact we had to move upon the heel of a year long combat tour pretty much sucked, but it has not been the first time. While Congress sits on its fat ass dickering over the budget, we used some of my husband's precious leave to prepare for this move.
For SIX MONTHS I researched the market in Florida to where we were moving. We got a real estate agent, did everything we were supposed to do, paid for the house to be inspected, went through a mortgage broker we'd used before familiar with military moves. The price on the house's square footage was the SAME as all other homes that had sold in that area, but the appraiser with the VA Loan people decided the home was worth considerably less than ALL the other homes that had sold in the area. No one can tell us why.
EVERY move we have ever had with the military has been hell. The movers that are hired are the "lowest bidder" and behave as if the people they are moving are the enemy. They move military people by the weight of their stuff. Whatever rank you are is the amount of poundage you get to move. Just off the top of your head, right now, I want you to estimate how much all of YOUR crap weighs. The military will tell you that they are supposed to pack and unload everything, but because the mover has low-balled their bid to get the contract, they realize that cuts into their profit margin. One way they get around this situation and attempt to make more money is to use this ridiculous heavy paper to try to add weight to whatever you are moving. Let me tell you, military contracted movers LOVE this paper. They will individually wrap every teaspoon you own to try to get you over the allotted weight. Why? Because then the military member who is moving has to pay for the amount of overage -- which is frequently some heavy-assed paper.
The people moving your stuff may or may not be the same people picked up and hired from the local methadone clinic that very same morning. Licensed and bonded -- who knows -- you should just be happy you have someone to move your stuff. We have moved five times in ten years and we are ALWAYS told it is going to be different, but it never, ever is. NOT ONCE have we EVER had military movers unpack all of our goods. The last time they decided to move all the stuff they couldn't unpack into our garage. They gently placed a roll of butcher paper in the corner of the garage. This stuff is like crack to termites and several months later, when my husband was deployed again, we were told we had termites. I had to bribe someone to move the boxes for me because I have had open heart surgery and cannot do heavy lifting. Fortunately we had termite insurance so the whole debacle only cost us the $200 bucks it took to bribe somebody to move the infestation out of the garage.
Determined to get crap under control for this move, we decided to head down to Florida to find a house. House hunting was a nightmare. The neighborhoods were mostly over-priced slums. Finally we found a house. Our credit rating was golden, it passed inspection, we placed it in escrow, we got the insurance.ther homes in the area had sold for more, blah, blah, blah, blah. Fat lot of good that did us. The fucking VA appraiser came in and decided the house wasn't worth what we wanted the loan for. So much for that so-called "benefit". I will tell you who all of these governmental agencies that are supposed to be working for soldiers benefit and that is themselves. We have arranged movers, lavyers, real estate agents and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and one governmental fucktard screws up the whole works. So, we have a move scheduled for two week out and no house, unless we want to forego the VA and get a conventional loan -- which is probably what we will have to do because two weeks from now the moving van will be showing up and God help us if we try to change that around. I would like to challenge the VA to finding us a home in the same area at that same price because we really do need to move there if it is available. They don't have to do anything to help us. They just say "no" and we are left holding the bag as usual.
I know the real estate market tanked. The Bulldog and I TRY to live within our means. THIS is the thanks we get for it. We have NEVER defaulted on anything, paid our bills and kept our noses clean. NO ONE has EVER bailed us out for making some sorry-assed financial decision. Yet these governmental agencies that are supposed to support soldiers ALWAYS seem to be find some way to deny them their benefits.
The divorce rate in the military is high among officer. No shit. Instead of all the dumbass handholding and LIP-SERVICE to "...giving military famlies support", try actually supporting us.