It’s the time of the year that is definitely not one of my favorites. You all call it PCS season, while those of us who have gotten to know and work with those who are headed down the road to a different base and community just refer to June and July as “that time of year”.
I am not sure why, but this year it seems we are saying farewell to a lot more group commanders than usual. The relationships we forge with those group commanders is certainly key in getting information about the work they and their colleagues do and the challenges they all face in completing the mission. This spring there was a lot of snow. Photos of trenches dug to gain access to missile complexes made us appreciate the “get it done” attitude. I know I have used this cliché many times in the past. But it’s a great description for the task at hand and the approach to overcome obstacles like snow and mud, and more snow and mud.
One of the last days I spent as a Junior Achievement instructor, I was able to ask how many of those first graders would be moving during the summer. It was exactly half. Of course, we know that Minot AFB does not turn over 50% of it’s personnel every year, but in the chemistry of a classroom, losing half of your friends, your table mate or the kids you hang out with on the playground is pretty significant. I wished them all well and joked with some of them who proudly announced they were headed for Hawaii “where it’s never cold.”
Although I have never lived in Hawaii, or even visited the islands for a vacation, I have to believe there are challenges to overcome there, too. Pretty easy to say that on a day where the temperature is going to reach close to 80 degrees. We’ll talk challenges again in January where the temperature in Hawaii and the temperature in North Dakota can be 100 degrees different.
On the flip side of the coin, soon there will be new people arriving at Minot Air Force Base, and we have talked about the opportunity to meet and welcome new people to the base and our community. Even though they may be very experienced in picking up an entire family and moving across the United States, or even across the ocean, it does make a difference when they are welcomed with open arms and given a few pointers on the where’s and how’s of their new home.
So, bring on PCS season. I hear that getting a rental truck or car transport at the local rental shop is almost impossible. But I also noticed that when our next door neighbor was moving out of his home and headed for California, he had a lot help loading his furniture and boxes of possessions. And from one of the kids who had to jump out of the way as a bed mattress was being walked up the loading ramp, “Man, you would never get this help when you were moving out of California!” His words, not mine as they say. It’s all a part of that North Dakota nice that we hope you all experienced.
Best Kept Secrets
Get out a map and choose a town or city within a couple of hours drive, and I almost guarantee there will be a city park that will make a great one-day vacation. Some have pools, some have stages with entertainment. Most will list their events on their Facebook Page.
And now…a special announcement. The Minot Shrine Club is organizing a 4th of July parade. It’s been a long time since the 4th has been celebrated with a parade. We’ll keep you informed as the 4th gets closer.
Family reunion: The time when you realize that the family tree is in need of serious pruning.