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Thread: First PCS and it's to Ft. Hood...

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    #1

    Bang Head First PCS and it's to Ft. Hood...

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    .....yeah, with that being said, I have A LOT of questions

    1. Why us?

    2. Anyone that has been stationed here, what would you choose as far as on-post or off-post? We have always lived off-post and enjoy it, but considering the amount of crime and how unfamiliar we are with that area, we don't feel comfortable risking renting a place off-post that turns out to be the worst place to live. Honestly, if it were just my husband and I, I wouldn't give two shits about doing research on this place and would just go with the flow, but ever since we had our daughter, I've turned into a major psychopath and worry for her to the utmost extreme, so her well being is top priority.

    3. What are some on-post housing that you would recommend and what are some we should stay away from? I really HATE the on-post housing, if I'm just being honest. We are currently looking at the least outdated ones and chose one so far, but I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.
    What are some places off-post that you all would highly recommend and where to stay away from?

    4. As far as the movers are concerned, what are some tips when dealing with them? What should I have already prepared for them to pack? We are closing off our daughter's room as the "don't pack" room and putting our things in there that we plan on taking with us. I'm not comfortable with having random people touching my stuff, and I really don't have enough eyes to keep up with everyone, so any advice on how to make this whole situation as painless as possible would be wonderful.

    5. Everyone that finds out we are moving to Ft. Hood always says sorry, and goes into detail about how shitty and ghetto of a place it is. How the base doesn't care about soldiers and definitely does not care about their families. I want my husband to be happy and comfortable at his new unit and I know at the end of the day, I have no control over that, but it would put my mind at ease to at least know what to expect for the most part. What are we getting ourselves into? How did your husband's like, or not like it? What were some things you ladies liked or didn't like about hood?

    6. What are some things/places we should most definitely avoid entirely while there? All I know is Killeen is dangerous and we shouldn't go anywhere in that town, but I find it hard to believe we won't have to drive there or through there at some point. How can I make sure my family is safe the during our sentence at hood?

    Thanks for those of you that had the patience to read my crazy lady questions. And thank you even more for any advice/opinions, in advance.
  2. Senior Member
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    #2
    For number 4, you can do a lot of prep if you want. You can put things in Space Bag, giant Ziplocks, plastic storage bins, etc. Technically, the movers can open them or even take stuff out and rearrange it, but IME, they rarely do, especially if you tell them you'd prefer they don't. In the end though, you are going to kind of have to get over the "strangers touching your stuff" thing, unfortunately, unless you want to move yourself, which is a ton of work and usually ends up costing people money.

    If at all possible consider getting a sitter for your DD or having her at a friend's house for a play date. That said, I don't actually watch my movers all that closely. I've already bagged up anything valuable and put it in my suitcases (or car if you are driving a vehicle across country). I mostly sit in an out of the way place, and then every 15-30 minutes, I stick my nose in each room. It let's them know I am watching, but in truth you shouldn't have anything extremely valuable left with your stuff anyway. In fact, if you try to claim a left for an item like jewelry, the movers will most likely deny the claim as you aren't supposed to have that in the pack out. You can do constant rounds, but even then, there are going to be 3+ guys, most likely, so if they see something they want to take, they are going to find a moment to do so. So the point is to prepare ahead of time so that there are no small valuable items that can go in a pocket. Once they start carrying stuff out of the house, I position myself outside with a book or something, keeping half an eye out to make sure nothing is going in the cab of the truck, but mostly I just let them do their thing.

    A day or two before the move, take photos or video of everything. I'm talking opening every cabinet, every sock drawer, etc. Video your electronics while they are turned on to verify they work. Have a list of high value items and give it to the movers when they show up. They are supposed to make a list, but having your own makes sure they don't miss anything.

    In the end, not every place is for everyone. I know people always say, "any place is what you make of it", and while I agree with that to a large extent, I also know that there are places I am never going to love, even if someone else does, and vice versa. But try to keep yourself positive. It seems like you already have a pretty negative outlook about this ("Why us?"). That's not going to help. This is happening, whether you like it or not, so try to go in to it with an open mind. You may still end up not loving it, but it will help. You'll be there a few years. Go there determined to eek every bit of awesome out of those three years, no matter how hard you have to look in order to find it. I absolutely get not being thrilled with the orders. Trust me. But find good things, and focus on those. Good luck!
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  3. I'm not drunk, you're just blurry.
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    #3
    We lived in Killeen for 2 years off-post in a duplex off of Clear Creek! That area was/is really nice and the homes were nice and affordable. We had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a huge backyard and really awesome neighbors so there are good places in the Killeen area that you could look at for renting rather than staying on post. You can also look in Harker Heights or Copperas Cove and those areas are fairly reasonable as well with Heights being more on the expensive side. If your husband doesn't mind a commute, I grew up in Georgetown, Texas which is about 45 minutes South from Fort Hood and it is a really nice town and community. We actually live in that area now in Jarrell, TX which is a little closer to Fort Hood but it's a really small town. There is also Belton, Temple, Gatesville etc. that you could look at but again, that is only if you don't mind a commute to Fort Hood.

    I've grown up in this area and lived here my entire life, Killeen really isn't that great of a town but you're not at risk of getting shanked on every corner like some people have seemed to of made it sound if you plan on being here for a while I have always advocated to people to look at the small towns around the area and see about living there for the sake of better school districts, safety etc. but you can still find places in Killeen/Fort Hood that are fine to live in. Plus, it isn't too far away from Austin and I LOVE Austin. There is so much to do there and so much to see so you can find fun/exciting things to keep you busy.

    As for Fort Hood itself, we didn't really have a negative experience there. Not sure what your husbands MOS is so I can't give more in depth information based on that but my husband was an MP on Hood and he enjoyed it for the most part. His unit was okay and his COC was decent so we didn't really have any complaints. He was medboarded in May 2014 and they made the process pretty smooth and easy. My dad has been a Fire Fighter on Hood for 20+ years and he's had nothing but good experiences there as well. My uncle is also a Fire Fighter on Hood too so I have a lot of family/connections there.

    But honestly, again, it is going to be what you make it. I don't have any experience with on post housing on Fort Hood so hopefully someone could come in with insight on that for you! We also moved ourselves so we didn't have a PCS or DITY move. DH and I got our place about 3 weeks before we were married so we moved everything from my apartment in Georgetown to Killeen on our own!


  4. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #4
    Hi, I've lived/worked in the Ft. Hood area for almost five years now. I can tell you some about off-post housing but I don't have experience living on-post. It's just not for DH and I, we've never been in a situation where we even considered it so my knowledge on that is EXTREMELY minimal.

    As far as living off-post, our impression was that the further away from the base you are, the nicer and safer things get. We actually bought a house right on the edge of Killeen, near the Harker Heights city limits. However I worked much closer to post and even though it was a little ... seedier, I guess is the word ... I never felt truly unsafe. Probably the worst thing that happened was there was a bomb threat at my work earlier this year, but I was warned ahead of time and wasn't in the area so it was fine. But I am also used to living in big cosmopolitan cities where you just learn where to avoid and where is more comfortable, so having to pass through areas that aren't the greatest doesn't bother me too much. Honestly the idea that Killeen is so dangerous that no one should go anywhere there is just to me, unrealistic. How much research have you done so far? It should show you what areas are great and not so great. But like if one of my friends said they were going to get dinner at Chili's in Killeen or something I wouldn't be like, scared for them, kwim? It wouldn't cross my mind to worry about their safety.

    If you're really set on not living there and minimizing the time you spend there, you can look at living further out in areas like Nolanville, Belton, or Temple. If you still want to live further away, Austin & suburbs are south (I live in Georgetown it's about 45 min for me to get to Killeen). The drive into work will be longer, but it may be worth the tradeoff to you.

    DH's experience at Ft. Hood wasn't too different from when we were stationed overseas. What he would say is that to him, his commanding officer made a MUCH bigger difference in quality of life etc. than the station. In Korea he had a great commander and then a not-so-great once and the difference was huge. His commander at Ft. Hood he felt was average/needs-improvement and his experience reflected that. I don't really have likes and dislikes about Ft. Hood because I think I went on base all of like, three times. My main experience was that the hospital pharmacy is really slow. I was standing in line getting painkillers for DH and he was getting three wisdom teeth removed and he finished before I did. So yeah ... that wasn't so great.

    I think villanelle's advice on handling the movers is spot on.
  5. I'm not drunk, you're just blurry.
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    #5
    Just to add, the only big complaint I can say people consistently have is the weather. It gets SO hot/humid here in Texas during the Spring/Summer and the winter's are literally bipolar. It could be the middle of December and it will be 60 to 70 degrees outside. My husband is a Washington state native and his first duty station was in Hawaii and then he was sent to Fort Hood after 3 years in that climate and he hated being in the Texas heat. He's more acclimated to it now but that first Texas summer can be brutal.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    Hi, I've lived/worked in the Ft. Hood area for almost five years now. I can tell you some about off-post housing but I don't have experience living on-post. It's just not for DH and I, we've never been in a situation where we even considered it so my knowledge on that is EXTREMELY minimal.

    As far as living off-post, our impression was that the further away from the base you are, the nicer and safer things get. We actually bought a house right on the edge of Killeen, near the Harker Heights city limits. However I worked much closer to post and even though it was a little ... seedier, I guess is the word ... I never felt truly unsafe. Probably the worst thing that happened was there was a bomb threat at my work earlier this year, but I was warned ahead of time and wasn't in the area so it was fine. But I am also used to living in big cosmopolitan cities where you just learn where to avoid and where is more comfortable, so having to pass through areas that aren't the greatest doesn't bother me too much. Honestly the idea that Killeen is so dangerous that no one should go anywhere there is just to me, unrealistic. How much research have you done so far? It should show you what areas are great and not so great. But like if one of my friends said they were going to get dinner at Chili's in Killeen or something I wouldn't be like, scared for them, kwim? It wouldn't cross my mind to worry about their safety.

    If you're really set on not living there and minimizing the time you spend there, you can look at living further out in areas like Nolanville, Belton, or Temple. If you still want to live further away, Austin & suburbs are south (I live in Georgetown it's about 45 min for me to get to Killeen). The drive into work will be longer, but it may be worth the tradeoff to you.

    DH's experience at Ft. Hood wasn't too different from when we were stationed overseas. What he would say is that to him, his commanding officer made a MUCH bigger difference in quality of life etc. than the station. In Korea he had a great commander and then a not-so-great once and the difference was huge. His commander at Ft. Hood he felt was average/needs-improvement and his experience reflected that. I don't really have likes and dislikes about Ft. Hood because I think I went on base all of like, three times. My main experience was that the hospital pharmacy is really slow. I was standing in line getting painkillers for DH and he was getting three wisdom teeth removed and he finished before I did. So yeah ... that wasn't so great.

    I think villanelle's advice on handling the movers is spot on.
    First and foremost, my daughter refused to let me reply to any comments without first letting her watch your chick-a-dee roll around haha. Thanks for your input though, we initially wanted to live off post because we always have and enjoy it a lot more but we aren't sure of good places to live at and the areas around them. I forgot to ask about hospitals for our daughter, we are in ft Campbell and I love it here honestly. We used to go on post for her wellness checkups, but we switched to off post and the difference in that is huge. I want a good doctor for her for sure, so that'll be another trial and error process. Thanks again though!
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    #7
    We are in Fort Campbell right now so I'm definitely used to the bipolar, overly humid weather. Weather really isn't a concern for us though. Just finding a decent environment for us to live! Thank you for your advice though I really appreciate it😃
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    For number 4, you can do a lot of prep if you want. You can put things in Space Bag, giant Ziplocks, plastic storage bins, etc. Technically, the movers can open them or even take stuff out and rearrange it, but IME, they rarely do, especially if you tell them you'd prefer they don't. In the end though, you are going to kind of have to get over the "strangers touching your stuff" thing, unfortunately, unless you want to move yourself, which is a ton of work and usually ends up costing people money.

    If at all possible consider getting a sitter for your DD or having her at a friend's house for a play date. That said, I don't actually watch my movers all that closely. I've already bagged up anything valuable and put it in my suitcases (or car if you are driving a vehicle across country). I mostly sit in an out of the way place, and then every 15-30 minutes, I stick my nose in each room. It let's them know I am watching, but in truth you shouldn't have anything extremely valuable left with your stuff anyway. In fact, if you try to claim a left for an item like jewelry, the movers will most likely deny the claim as you aren't supposed to have that in the pack out. You can do constant rounds, but even then, there are going to be 3+ guys, most likely, so if they see something they want to take, they are going to find a moment to do so. So the point is to prepare ahead of time so that there are no small valuable items that can go in a pocket. Once they start carrying stuff out of the house, I position myself outside with a book or something, keeping half an eye out to make sure nothing is going in the cab of the truck, but mostly I just let them do their thing.

    A day or two before the move, take photos or video of everything. I'm talking opening every cabinet, every sock drawer, etc. Video your electronics while they are turned on to verify they work. Have a list of high value items and give it to the movers when they show up. They are supposed to make a list, but having your own makes sure they don't miss anything.

    In the end, not every place is for everyone. I know people always say, "any place is what you make of it", and while I agree with that to a large extent, I also know that there are places I am never going to love, even if someone else does, and vice versa. But try to keep yourself positive. It seems like you already have a pretty negative outlook about this ("Why us?"). That's not going to help. This is happening, whether you like it or not, so try to go in to it with an open mind. You may still end up not loving it, but it will help. You'll be there a few years. Go there determined to eek every bit of awesome out of those three years, no matter how hard you have to look in order to find it. I absolutely get not being thrilled with the orders. Trust me. But find good things, and focus on those. Good luck!
    Great advice, thank you so much. I'll definitely keep an eye on them I have absolutely no problem with letting them know I'm watching. I want them to know, actually. But great ideas, especially video recording working electronics!!

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