Husband Being PCS to Grafenwoehr Germany and than Deploying to Afghanistan Help!

Updated on May 03, 2010
N.B. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL
13 answers

My Husband is being PCS to Grafenwoehr Germany and than deploying to Afghanistan. Should me and my 3 children go over right away with him or wait til he returns from being deployed? His orders now are 3yrs accompanied and I was told that he could deploy for a yr and than when he returns we can go over but he would have 3 more yrs there. Not sure how the support is. I have 2 girls age 6yrs and 6 months and a son who is 3. If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it.

My husband is in the Army and the base in Germany is a good size. It has just had more housing built. We hope to live on base but they do have new government housing along the base. I am a stay at home mom but I love to take the kids out to see life. We live in south Florida now and we have been here since I was 8. I have been all over the US to visit but never lived.

Thank you all for your kind words and insight. I am going to weigh the pros and cons. I am also going to talk with my husband and most importantly I am going to pray about the decision to be made. I will let all know what happens.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I would stay until after the deployment. I wouldn't want to be by myself in Germany. I live in the states and I'm already planning all my trips home while my husband is deployed at the end of the year.

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answers from Charlotte on

Go, N.. It's really the best thing. You'll like Germany. Your kids will learn to speak German. You'll have a lot of support there. Living in another country is an opportunity many Americans never get.

My husband isn't in the military, but we lived in Japan for 6 years. It was among the best years of my life.

It's also important not to be so far from him for a long time if you can help it. I've been married for 27 plus years, and I know how important being together is. Take advantage of it.

Also stay focused on looking for the GOOD in your new home and country. Look at the differences as "interesting" or "hysterically funny", instead of weird or maddening. It is important to keep as positive an attitude as you can - people will want to get to know you if you are interested in their customs.

Enjoy this time - you never know where you'll end up after he comes home, and you may find that Germany is the favorite place you ever lived!

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

My husband spent 30 years in the Army and I can tell you that the years that we spent living overseas are some of the most wonderful memories that we have!!! I would suggest that you look at the financial end of it. You know how much your husband makes a month, and he should have a sponsor assigned to him in Germany that you can contact to find out about housing, transportation, and other things that you will need to know about in order to decide whether this is something that you can afford to do. You will have access to a military hospital, commissary and PX over there I am assuming, so that will help a lot.
This ultimately has to be a decision that you and your husband make together, but I agree with Dawn that it is important to be as near our husband as you can be. Of course you won't see him while he is in Afghanistan, but it is possiblle that he can take hops back to Germany from time to time to see you. ( I don't know that for a fact...but he will know if that is possible).
My guess would be that there is a big American community there, so that you won't feel like you are all alone there while he is deployed. Get involved, go to The American Red Cross or Army Community Service Office ( if that is what they still call it!!! ) and see if you can't volunteer a day a week. It will be a nice break for you and your children can go to the base day care or you can find a good friend to trade baby sitting with. Take advantage of the culture and rich history of Germany. Don't go there expecting things to be just like they are at home...they aren't ....but that doesn't make the better or worse..just different. Let your children learn everything about their new "home"...there are so many things of interest in a foreign country. It is what you make of it...I knew people during the three years that we lived in Thailand who were miserable the entire time, because they were constantly trying to make things happen the way they had ALWAYS happened!!! I loved every moment that we spent there...I still consider Thailand my "2nd home" and I haven't been there in over 30 years!!!
Let us know what you decide to do and if you would like to talk to an old Army wife or get some advice from an old soldier...message me!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I agree with everyone else. Go with him there are so many opportunities to see all the thngs you read about in history class to go see while there. We were stationed in Frankfurt when the wall came down. To be there when history was made was something I will NEVER forget.My husband was gone all the time there. At first I wasnt happy at all but I had never left home & here I was a new wife with a baby & truly on my ownfor the first time. I didnt do well. But after awhile I got out of the house & into the city I lived in & life was much better for me & my son. It got even better once we got into military housing & I could be around more americans. Good luck with your move & do some research about the base & the area you will be in so that when you get there you can go explore your new home & try learning some German they really appreciate it when you at least try.

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answers from Nashville on

For me, a big part of the decision would be whether he would be there for a little while before deploying to help me get settled. Not long, but long enough to arrange housing, get household goods delivered, get the car registered. My husband and I were in Sicily for 3 years and the transition is difficult. Mine was deployed before the transfer, and I had a very hard time setting up our move by myself. They wanted to only deal with my husband, and didn't seem to hear me when I told them he was in the Persian Gulf.

But, something to consider is that when his year is up, he will be able to come home and settle in much more quickly than he would if you were still stateside and still needed to be moved over there. That is a big point in favor of going now, in my opinion. Plus, being closer to hubby is better.

I'm not sure about Grafenwoehr itself, but Gernany is wonderful and a very choice duty station. The base we visited there was huge and nice and I would have LOVED to be stationed in Germany. Overseas military communities are pretty closeknit and the support system is good. Throw yourself into the community and get involved with whatever you can to build up your support network, whether you go now or later.

Can you talk to your sponsors and ask their opinion? They should assign your husband a sponsor to help you with the move. Hopefully they will assign you a family in a similar situation as yours, and not a single guy in the barracks. My husband's command was good about that, but others weren't always. But sponsors can be switched around. We actually did get a single guy at first, but he realized at the first email we needed a couple that had brought a car and a pet and house full of stuff over, and switched us to someone else. Our sponsors were the absolute best help there is, in making a lot of decisions. And 10 years later, she is my best friend. All that depends on who you get for a sponsor, but I think it is worth talking to them. If you realize they are going to be no help whatsoever, you can use that info to help make your decision about when to go.

Good luck with your decision, and God bless your family for your service!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

When I was in the Army, the best adjusted children accompanied their deployed parent when they could. The discipline was greater, the cultural experience was incomparable, they might learn another language and culture, and they will be around other American kids who are similar. Military parents and spouses do best when their families are not torn apart. I was a Staff Sgt and had several men and women accompanied and not, with and without children. Being alone takes a toll. Not learning about another culture is a missed opportunity. And kids need their parents--both of them--accessible. Don't deprive them. Good luck. Thanks for being a military spouse and supporting your family by your patriotic example.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My cousin moved his wife and 4 kids over. They were there 5 months and he deployed. I say do it... take every moment you got together and it's a great place to see. But there's no shame in wanting to stay where you are either. One army wife to another. And you can always change your mind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

We always went with my dad to new stations. 6 years in Japan (3 different tours), East Coast, West Coast, & Italy. He was a submarine officer during the cold war, so he was usually out to sea at *least* 6 months a year, and then of course, during hot wars would be deployed for the duration of the war. (DesertShield/DesertStorm) was the longest. Living on bases overseas is like no other experience in the world (imagine a place where you can tell a kindergartner to be home at dinner time... THAT safe), and being overseas itself is just amazing. When we lived in Japan my mum would travel with the 3 of us while Dad was out to sea (MWR stuff as well as things she set up). My passports from when I was a kid are just FULL of stamps.

Unlike civilian moves, the military REALLY takes care of families. There are headaches, of course, but there is SO much support.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I don't have any advice, really, but I want to say that I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
I come from a military family and I'm proud of that, but I would be frightened.
I think service men and women are the most wonderful people and I know how strong their families have to be.
My cousins grew up travelling the world and living in other countries when my uncle was in the service. Career Air Force. My cousins all married Air Force men too and some have moved away to be with their husbands.
From what I understand, the families were very well cared for.
I hope you hear from some other moms in your situation and please again know that your husband's service is appreciated.

God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I know some people that have gone with their husbands there and love it! It will be an experience of a life time Your children are young and very resilient they will step right into their new life and schedules! Hope it all works out for you!



answers from Tampa on

If your family is here then I would suggest staying here until he is back in Germany for good. Why would you even consider going there unless you know people there. Stay where you have support. You don't say what branch of the service he is in so honestly you can't get a correct answer. If it's the Marines they are pretty good at taking care of their own if you live on base. The others are not quite as good. Food would be a lot cheaper for you as you can buy it on base. You really need to give more details if you want someone to give you a good honest answer. Like where does your family live? Do you have close friends here? What type of housing will you be living in? Will you be living on base? Do you have a job here? Take out a piece of paper and write pro's on the the top of one side and con's on the top of the other. Then draw a line down the middle. Start by writing all the Pro's in moving. Then go back and write all the con's. Weigh the difference and make your decision from that.


answers from Tallahassee on

N. - It depends upon your personality and inner strength - I say this because my husband PCS'd to Ramstein AFB - he went TDY A LOT. So I was there by my self a lot! I really enjoyed our time over there. There is SO much to see and do. Europe has a wealth of history to explore. I did take German Lessons (at night) before I went just so I could comunicate the basics. If you like to explore and are willling to try new things, foods, etc then GO. I am jealous, can I go with you?
M. F



answers from Jacksonville on

Go. I would have given anything to have mine get stationed in Germany. Not many Marines get to go though.
I am assuming you will be on an American military base, the wives have all been where you will be and will help you. Just go out and ask. When he gets back from deployment he will have you to go to immediately, that is what he will want, not another plane trip to the states.
13 monthers are a real drag. You will get through it by keepign yourself busy. Learn the language and get out.
Enjoy your time.

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