It’s that time of year. We’re moving, again.
My husband was told where we’d be moving next, and which job he’ll be doing next year. Our roots are being pulled up from Texas, to once again be planted in the dark soil at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
The good news is we’ve already been told that there’s a house waiting for us at Fort Leavenworth. That relieves a great deal of stress for me. I’ve seen the basic floorplan for the house, and am already daydreaming about how I’d like to decorate the different rooms.
My husband has been stationed at Fort Leavenworth twice in the past, so we are very familiar with the schools and medical resources in the area. This also lifts a load off my shoulders, as it makes the search for special needs resources for my son much easier.
On the other hand, I’m leaving a son behind in Texas, sending him off to college. He’s deaf with two cochlear implants, so I need to research resources for him before we move.
Since my husband is very occupied with work these days, my brain is spinning with all that I need to do before we move. It’s a blessing to have 2½ months to prepare for this move, more time than we’ve had before most moves in the last 25 years.
Still, I’m trying not to panic. I’ve told myself that this will finally be the organized permanent change of station (PCS) move of my dreams. Checklists will be made, tasks will be accomplished, and different colored stickers will be placed on each box so movers can easily figure out where to place them in the new home.
I’ve been visiting Pinterest frequently, looking for new ways to better plan and organize for this move.
While I’m still sitting at my office desk in Texas, my mind is already floating over the Flint Hills and sunflower fields of Kansas, all the way up to Fort Leavenworth.
Many years ago I borrowed a wedding dress for our wedding from the wife of my husband’s company commander. She was also gracious enough to help me with centerpiece decorations. We had bonded as friends, and I looked up to her as a mentor.
When she moved, I cried, sobbing big tears of loss as she and her husband pulled away from their home at Fort Bragg. This was my first personal farewell with the military.
We’ve had three sons, who’ve also learned how to quickly meet and make new friends and keep up with them when separated by the miles.
Still, while this move should be one of our easiest ones, I’m having a difficult time thinking about leaving.
Our oldest son will soon be a Longhorn, studying special education. Our second son has had great coaches at Audie Murphy Middle School and will especially miss the football and track coaches at Killeen High School. Our third son has one of the best special education teams I’ve ever seen, down at the Texas School for the Deaf.
I love Texas. I love the warm, friendly people, the bluebonnets, the smooth and easy pace of life.
I love the history of the Fort Hood area. While photographing stories for the Killeen Daily Herald, I saw the civilian side of the Fort Hood area in a more personal light than I’ve seen other cities in our military lives. I’ve met one woman whose mother used to live in a town which is now covered by Belton Lake.
One of the streets in Killeen is named after the family of one of my son’s football coaches. At an 80th birthday party for Elvis at the Bob Gilmore Senior Center, I found out that Elvis not only had one, but two homes during his short stay at Fort Hood.
I’m not sure where or when my husband will retire from the military, but Killeen and the surrounding area has made a strong impression on me. There’s always the possibility we’ll come back to Texas.
Until then, I’ll keep the list of places I would still like to visit at hand, ready for future road trips along the backroads of Texas.
Karin Markert is a writer and photographer. A military spouse, she lives at Fort Hood with her husband and three sons.