Rachel Starnes's new book is The War at Home: A Wife’s Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible): A Memoir.
From her Slate interview with Elissa Strauss:
Elissa Strauss: You’ve moved seven times now, had two sons in the process, and likely have three more moves over the next eight years. How’s that going?Visit Rachel Starnes's website.
Rachel Starnes: I’ve come to see these moves as a necessary evil. I’ve got my routine down now, and my coping strategies in place. But I still dread the effect it will have on my kids. My older son is 5 years old and he is starting to understand that we never go back. Also, while he has no fear of strangers, he has developed a real fear of being seen as a stranger, and it is just gut-punching to deal with that.
Is there something the military could do to decrease the frequency of relocations for families? Or ease the process?
It’s a tough question. There are certain military careers that require less in the way of moving, but my husband wasn’t interested in those careers; he wanted to fly planes. There is this inscrutable bureaucracy that makes the decisions and calls the shots as to where we move, and the whole process can feel very impersonal. In some ways that is good, because it feels like a machine, not a person, is spitting out the assignment. It’s just a roll of the dice.
There is an infrastructure in place to help ease transitions for children and spouses, but it varies in quality from base to base. Still, it’s difficult, which is probably why the homeschool movement is so big in the military. At first I was suspicious of it and how these children are even further separated from civilian culture. But...[read on]