MacDill Happenings

Things to do in and around MacDill AFB
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Things to Know About a PCS Move

April 21, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, PCS Move

Moving Tips

Moving Tips

There a lot of things to know about a PCS move. There are also a lot of things written about PCS moves. But I think the best things to know about a PCS move are found in the actually documents or pamphlets that are written by the agency in charge of DOD moves.

The most comprehensive website is Move.mil. Whether you having the government move you or you are making a Personally Procured Move (PPM), Move.mil is where you must go to register for a move. When you go to your local Transportation Office, they will ask you if you have registered on the Move.mil website. You might have to search for some information on the website, but the information is there! You don’t have to Google the internet or rely on social media for someone’s opinion. Go to the actual source of information!

The “It’s Your Move” pamphlet is a little long, but it’s very thorough. There some pretty good tips about moving in the pamphlet.

If you’re a DOD civilian, you will use the same Move.mil website just like active duty military members!

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Making a PCS Move With Your Pets

April 20, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, PCS Move, Pets

It’s getting close to that time for those who are expecting PCS orders this summer to start finding out where their next assignment will be. It’s an exciting time and it’s a stressful time!

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Some of you will be making a PCS move with your pet which can be stressful!

If you staying in the States and driving to your next assignment, then you will need to make sure that the pets will be okay in the car. Plan on making sure that food and water are available during the trip. You might consider giving them food and water when you stop for a break. For cats, you will need to make sure that their is litter box available for them. Plan on stopping a little more often to take dogs for a potty break. Cats may do better in a cage because they usually feel a little more comfortable in a more structured setting instead of letting them wonder around the car. Plus if you don’t put your cat in a cage, when you stop you will have to make sure that they don’t make a dash for freedom when you open the door.

If you are moving overseas, then you need to contact the veterinarian office at your next base for shots and quarantine information. Plus, you need to plan on paying to fly your pet. You can only claim quarantine costs for your pets. You will not be reimbursed for travel costs associated with your pets. Small animals like a cat or very small dog should be able to fly in the cabin with you, but you will still have to pay a fee. If the pets are going in the cargo hold, then airlines will only fly them when the weather will not be hot! This can be difficult if you have them fly during the summer months, but each airline will have its own rules. Immunizations and blood tests for your pets must be done on a specific timeline and are specific to where you are going, so check early with your base veterinarian for the requirements. You will find out your base veterinarian can be your best resource when preparing to move with your pet.

MilitaryByOwner staff owner Jen MacDonald wrote an article about moving with your pet “Prepare Now to PCS with Pets this Summer” that you will find useful.

MacDill Happenings is brought to you by Militarybyowner Advertising, Inc., your resource for MacDill AFB Off-Base Housing!

MacDill Day Today!

April 17, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Military Life, Things to do Near MacDill AFB

SeaScapes

Today is MacDill Day on MacDill AFB!  To help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of MacDill AFB, there will be a party at SeaScapes Beach.  The fun will start at 11 and run until 4pm. Everyone is invited to attend! Free food will be served from 11am to 2pm.  Come out for lunch! There will be carnival games, giveaways, prizes, and unit and team sports competition.  There isn’t much parking at the beach so parking shuttles will be running so you won’t have to walk too far to the beach.

A few places on base may close early because of MacDill Day, so if you are planning to do something in the afternoon on base, you might to call to confirm that the office or service will be available.

After the day at the beach, you can make a stop at MacDill Lanes for Cosmic Bowling from 6pm to 10pm.  It’s $3.25 a game!

Enjoy the beach!

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Things to Do in the Tampa Bay Area

April 16, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Events, Sports, Things to do Near MacDill AFB

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

There are plenty of things to do in the Tampa Bay area for this weekend. The great thing about living in the Tampa Bay area is that there is such a large variety of things to do. From sports to arts to amusement parks to beaches, there is something for everyone in the family.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays take on the New York Yankees at the Trop on Friday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10pm.
  • On Friday at Water Works Park located on the Hillsborough River it’s the Friday Extra Concert Series at 7pm. Shane Meade will start out the night followed by the Betty Fox Band. There will food trucks and limited parking so be there early.
  • The Craft Beer & Barbeque Festival in Tarpon Springs on Friday evening is the place to be at to enjoy the outside and then maybe head over to the sponge docks. Enjoy the drink and food with some great free live music. The fun starts at 5pm.
  • The Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center will present Fiddler on the Roof on Friday evening at 7pm. This is a great opportunity to not only see some great performances, but also an opportunity to see if the Patel Conservatory is right for your children.
  • FishHawk Ranch in Lithia will have a community wide garage sale on Saturday from 8am to noon.
  • This weekend is the popular Mainsail Art Festival in Vinoy Park on the St. Pete waterfront. Besides the art, there will be free concerts and food for purchase!
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at 3pm at Amalie Arena during the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
  • The Tampa Theatre will show the family comedy “Hook” on Sunday at 3pm. This historic theatre built in 1926 offers a great way to enjoy a movie in a classic movie house from the golden age of movie theaters.

If you have ideas for the weekend, please share it with us.

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Month of the Military Child

April 15, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Military Life, Military Spouse

Month of the Military Child

Month of the Military Child

April has been designated as the Month of the Military Child. As part of the celebration wear purple today April 15th to show support for our youngest heroes. Military children are close to my heart–not only do I have five of my own, but I too was a military brat as I like to call myself.

Being a military child certainly has its challenges. The DOD states “The average child in a military family will move six to nine times during a school career. That’s an average of three times more frequently than nonmilitary families.” This fact is just one of the stresses our littlest heroes face. Deployments and frequent TAD/TDY’s are also part of a military child’s life. On the other hand, these kids get opportunities to travel that other kids only dream of. Listen to a conversation between a group of military brats and you will be amazed at where some of them were born. What these kids show us is resilience and perseverance. My kids have not moved as much as some. My youngest son did do the three high schools in 4 years thing. But these kids amazed me! I felt such anxiety for all of them every time they started at a new school. I remembered my churning stomach on my first day at Radford High School in Hawaii. Yes, they had moments of adjustment but in the end they found the positive in the location they were and ran with it. If we had not spent a year in Guam, my son would have never fell in love with rugby and my daughter would not have met the beautiful kids and teachers she danced with on the island.

I was reminded of all of this while reading MilitaryByOwner.com writer Jen McDonald’s article “4 Lesson My Military Kids Have Taught Me“. I never thought about how my children’s positive attitudes actually helped me in times of stress. My husband and I have raised our children just as our parents raised us-our military life was the norm.  When you know no other life than shopping at the commissary or hearing those dreaded words that your Dad is leaving for a year, you kind of get used to it. That does not mean it is still not difficult and we don’t have melt downs. I have always tried to play up the positive side of our lives. For example, when my husband would go to the field, the kids and I would enjoy breakfast for dinner! My Mom let us eat TV dinners! If I was having a bad day or they were having a bad day, we shared it. I can remember all 6 of us and the dog watching TV in my bed just to make us all feel better!

When I was growing up, there were no appreciation days. In fact, some people did not like the military. I am so pleased that our children are growing up in this time of so much patriotism and military support. For example, you can download a certificate of appreciation for your child on two different sites. Blue Star Families and militarychild.org both have certificates along with other information to help our military children be the best they can be.

Being a military child left such an influence on my two oldest that one is now in the Marine Corps and the other is marrying her sailor. Both look forward to touring the world. How has being a military child influenced your child or yourself? Please share your stories here in the comments section. If you know of any events taking place to celebrate the Month of the Military Child share them here with our readers. Do not forget to wear purple in support of these amazing little people!

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