RFO stands for “request for orders” and that document tells us that the Chief of Chaplains has approved the assignment that we have been given. In my last post I shared about my trip to New Mexico and the fact that I drove through Fort Bliss (the duty station that I most dread being assigned to). I mentioned that I was actually quite impressed with it and determined that if I were told we were moving there next, I wouldn’t die. (Swelter, yes. Die, no.)
I’ve been “hatin’ on” Texas for over four years now and I finally came around to see that I can do it. I can live in Texas and be happy. I can endure the heat. And on the day that I saw my least-desired post and came to a place in my heart that I’d be willing to go there if called, we found out where we’re going!
I had driven for nine or so hours when Matt called. He asked, “Do you want to know where we’re going?” I told him to wait. That I needed a minute. And I took that minute.
I breathed. I thought back over the mini-tour of Fort Bliss.
I steadied myself.
Then he read the memo and I almost cried.
Once we knew, we wanted to tell the boys before they found out through the grapevine. However, they were already at camp and wouldn’t be home for another week. I am not good at keeping secrets so after sleeping at home on Friday night, Matt, Parker, Anna, and I drove to Camp Eagle to reveal the news to the boys.
We originally had a fun plan in place for the reveal: each kid picked where they thought or hoped we’d go. Then, we had each of them pick a fast food restaurant. When we knew our next duty station, rather than just telling them where we were moving, we were going to load up in the Silver Surfer and drive (in a non-direct way, I’m sure) to the restaurant chosen by the boy who had been the closest.
The locations and restaurants chosen were:
- Hayden: Fort Carson – In & Out
- Carson: Fort Riley – Chick-Fil-A
- Bailey: Fort Bragg – McDonalds
- Parker: Germany – Mission Taco
Since we weren’t going to do the reveal as we had originally planned, Matt and I went by the restaurants selected and got bags* from each. Inside each of these I placed two items that would give them the location of our next duty station. (*I had to improvise with Mission Taco’s bag since they don’t have paper bags but use plastic [transparent] bags.
After dinner we took them to a private room in the Dining Hall of Camp Eagle and had each boy stand behind the bag of the restaurant that the had selected. I videoed the response which I will add at some point.
Inside each bag I placed a bag of Haribo Gummy Bears and a rock from our front yard that I painted:
Are you as excited as I am?!? YEP! We’re heading to GERMANY!
Stuttgart, Germany to be precise!
We’ve visited friends there before and very much look forward to living there!
I am already beginning work on my Smooth Move notebook. But here’s the thing. As absolutely THRILLED as I am about going to Germany (and leaving the Texas heat behind), I am dreading leaving my people and watching my kids say good-bye to their people. It hurts in places I didn’t even have before I moved here. My heart has grown and stretched and molded to the shape of this place in ways I couldn’t foresee. So know that while I’m happy beyond words, I am in the process of grieving at the same time. With every PCS comes blessing and difficulty… for the moment, I’m going to focus on the fun, the excitement, and the fact that I still get an entire summer AND fall school semester with my people here at Fort Hood.
I couldn’t decide which was my favorite and then I wondered why I needed to pick. It’s my blog and I can post two pictures if I want to.