Kara Pieraccini is married to a career Marine. They just completed move number 5 since being married, with 2 of those being overseas. Because of this, she kinda thinks of herself as an expert on the subject. You can follow along with the families adventures on her blog, Ramblings of a Marine Wife. She shared her adventure with U-Haul:
Being a military family, we get used to moving around a lot. We had only been at our last duty station for 18 months, but when the military calls, you go. After 18 years on active duty, this is no big deal to my husband. I enjoy the lifestyle and the adventure of it, but it’s not always fun for spouses to pack up and move their lives, especially when they are literally doing the packing.
The military gives a couple options when it comes to moving your belongings around the country. The military will either have movers come out pack and move your belongings for you, you can do it yourself, or a combination of the two. For this most recent move, we chose to do a combination of the two. The movers came and packed up all the furniture, decor, tools – anything that wasn’t considered essential. The essentials items we would move ourselves.
Due to the amount of items, we needed to rent a trailer. We have a fairly large truck, so it’s not an issue pulling a trailer for 1,300 miles. There are truck rental companies on base, but they don’t have trailers. We didn’t want to mess with renting a truck and a car hauler either.
While doing our research for renting a trailer, we came across U-Haul’s work with veterans. In 2013, they were ranked #13 of the Top Military Friendly Employers on militaryfriendly.com. During the Veteran’s Day parades in New York City and Phoenix last year, they unveiled the first commemorative SuperGraphic for their trucks and trailers, to pay tribute to the armed forces. The company was also started by a World War II veteran and his wife in 1945. All that may not mean much to everyone, but to a lot of people, including my husband, it’s a big deal.
Preparation for our trip started the Friday before. That morning, we were at the U-Haul location bright and early. We had 2 hours to get the trailer, go get it weighted empty for our partial Do It Yourself move, get back to the house, and get it loaded up before the management company showed up at 10 for the walk through. We ended up getting a 6′ x 12′ trailer. I originally told my husband we didn’t need one that big, but he insisted we did and he was right. The only things we took ourselves were 3 mattresses, 2 desks, 2 computers, and maybe a dozen boxes. It barely fit.
We set out at around 6 on Sunday morning. The first day, we drove 783 miles through 4 states. Day 2 was even earlier morning, but we only had 557 miles until our final destination. I’m glad we did leave extra early though. Around 10 am, I was driving behind the husband and got on the walkie talkie to tell him the back passenger tire on the trailer looked low. About a minute after that, it started smoking, then it blew. We were in the middle of nowhere West Texas, but thankfully, I remembered them pointing out the roadside assistance information when we rented the trailer. I called them up, told her the issue, she sent me a text so they could get my GPS coordinates and told me she’d send me a text within a half hour with an ETA on a repair truck. I got a text less than 5 minutes later saying he’d be there in an hour. The truck showed up within a half hour. He had the tire changed and we were on our way in no time. That’s not something I had ever thought about, but I’m really glad it’s a service U-Haul has!
The rest of the day was uneventful and we pulled into Lackland AFB around 3 p.m. to get checked into lodging. The goal from there was to find a house, so that’s what we started on as soon as we got to the room. Wednesday morning rolled around and we weren’t anywhere close to getting a house, but we had to turn the trailer back in. When you rent a trailer, you get 30 days of free storage at a U-Haul facility, so I called to find one that had available space. They found us one and reserved a spot for us. The rest of the morning was then spent unloading the trailer into storage. As much as I’d much rather sit back and watch guys do that, I’m glad we had somewhere to put everything. We only had it in there for a week, but it was a blessing.
We are now getting settled in our new house and getting into the routine of our new lives. I’ll be checking the SuperGraphics on all the U-Haul trucks and trailers I see from now on, looking for the armed forces ones!
Share your military move adventure with us in the comments below!