There’s a WHOLE lot of hurry up & wait in military life. When Ryan came home & announced that we’re moving to Hawaii, he had only received an RFO from HRC (in English: Request for Orders from Human Resources Command). Once we knew where we were going, my life got shoved into hyper drive. There are a few things that have to happen quickly when you’re PCSing OCONUS (permanent change of station out of the continental United States), especially if you have kids or a pet.
I had to do a lot of research to get all the details on bringing a pet onto the Hawaiian Islands. Long story short, it’s a rabies-free state, pets have to have two rabies shots and a blood test (called the FAVN-OIE Rabies Antibody Test) and then 120 days after the blood test has been sent to either a lab at Kansas State or Ft. Sam Houston, they’ll let your pet on island. If you don’t follow the protocol, your pet has to spend the 120 days in quarantine at the Honolulu Airport…not fun, for you and definitely not good for your poor pet (plus it’s EXTREMELY expensive to quarantine your pet at the airport). It’s much better for your pet to spend the 120 days with you at your mainland home than in a tiny cage at an airport.
If you’re PCSing to Hawaii, here’s the official site with info that I found. Since Abbey is still a puppy, we had to get her second rabies shot. At that vet appointment I found out that we have to wait 21 days after getting a rabies vaccination to do Abbey’s FAVN blood draw. So, for those of you playing along at home, Ryan got his RFO in mid-August, is due to report for duty in early November…that’s less than 120 days already. Even if we’d done the FAVN test the day we got the RFO, her 120 days wouldn’t have been up until December. Now, with the 21 days added on, her 120 days will be up in January. So, Abbey will stay in Colorado with Ryan’s family until her 120-day sentence is served. See what I mean about hurry up and wait?
The other thing you have to hurry up and do? Overseas medical screenings. Aidan and I had to go to the Exceptional Family Member Program Office and get medical screening forms, then get appointments with each of our primary care managers. Luckily, Ft. Huachuca is a small post so it was easy to get into see our PCMs. I can only imagine if we were still at Ft. Sam Houston & trying to get appointments at BAMC! I also had to fill out a questionnaire about each of us, our health, what medications we’re taking, our medical history, etc. and then when I turned them in, the EFMP nurse questioned me about everything. Ryan has to fill out a DA-5888 which is basically the same thing but for the servicemember.
I’ve gotten all of this done in about two weeks. The thing that’s trying my patience? We’re STILL waiting on orders. I’ve done everything I can do without a set of official orders in my hand. Normally, with a CONUS move (a move within the lower 48 states or Continental United States), it’s fairly easy for the transportation office to contact movers, set a date & get things done. With an OCONUS move, things have to boxed AND crated to be shipped overseas (involving two companies or more), our vehicles have to be shipped, his has to be driven to San Diego, mine has to be scheduled with the autotransport company to be picked up here, driven to San Diego or Long Beach, put on a ship to be taken to Honolulu. On top of all that, Ryan has to put in for leave 30 days before the day he wants it to start (which was September 3). He can’t put in for leave without an itinerary. You can’t get an itinerary and plane tickets from the transportation office without…you guessed it…ORDERS!!! So you understand my frustration, right? I can’t even tell potential landlords/real estate agents when we’ll be on island so we can set up showings. Ryan said when they DO finally arrive, HRC can expedite his leave form and speed other things along as well (we shall see). Lets all cross our fingers that the orders come soon.
Nevertheless, we’re still excited about moving to the islands! Aloha!!