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Plan Your Own PCS Party

Author’s note: As I prepare to PCS, I dedicate this to the many friends that have become my family here in Michigan, especially to the Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion Wolverine Spouses that are more like sisters to me. You, too, Jon. I’m so proud of the vision, dedication, passion, work ethic, and leadership that our Family Readiness Group leaders and volunteers have selflessly given to others. You inspire me every day to always want more for our military families.

It’s officially official.

After rank ordering our list of potential 52 assignments from top down months ago, we finally  know where our future will take us…

Unfortunately, and with a sigh, not any of our “top three choices” made the cut.

Actually, none of our top 15 preferences did, either. But that doesn’t stop me from being grateful for the finality of the waiting situation. Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina: here we come!

My husband and I haven’t shared this recent news with our youngest boys yet because we plan on stepping up our PCS news this go-’round because our boys are school-aged, and with each move, the challenges and emotional implications of moving away from friends (and numerous other variables) are always at the forefront of my mind.

We’ve gone into great detail with each of our boys to design and plan their individual PCS party—a party that allows an opportunity for the departing individual to spend time with friends, have fun, and reflect on the time spent together at their current duty station. It also provides closure with the intent of celebrating relationships and friendships in the company of their choosing.

Our oldest middle-school son decided to host his PCS party this weekend and invited members of his “squad” to meet up at the movie theater where they could hang out and enjoy one another’s company. Not too much planning on our part but precisely his vision for a celebration with his friends, so I’m golden.

One down, two to go.

When dreaming together and planning the boys’ parties, our two elementary school students shared similar plans. Each one of their personal PCS parties would entail a few games of laser tag, hamburgers and cheetos, bowling, and ending with a sleepover that includes chocolate doughnuts for breakfast. Their wish is my command, and it allows my heart the joy of knowing that a gateway to my boys’ emotional needs have been facilitated and supported.

Which takes me full circle to my emotional needs.

At every single duty station, I seem to always find and cultivate amazingly beautiful, mutually respectful, and nurturing relationships that organically evolve into friendships. And every single time we pick back up the PCS process, I sink into a deeply insightful and reflective state of mind. This time allows me to focus on the positives and practice real-time resiliency that everything will be okay.

To just breathe and take things one day at a time.

So, who’s with me for my PCS party?

I’ll tell you mine will consist of tons of laughs, stories of friendship and camaraderie, great food and spirits, and plenty of fond memories that will energize my soul until the next time our paths meet again.

Shaw AFB, we’re coming for you and are ready to rock this next Arnett adventure, full steam ahead.


  • Sara Jane Arnett

    Sara Jane Arnett is a seasoned Army spouse of 15 years, mother of dragons (four boys), and considers supporting fellow military families one of her greatest joys. She serves in various leadership roles through military and civilian organizations such as Soldier and Family Readiness Groups, community events, non-profits, and schools. Sara Jane currently serves as a USARCENT (located at Shaw AFB) Soldier and Family Readiness Assistant and an HHBN SFRG Volunteer; she is an AFTB and Four Lenses Self Discovery Instructor and travels the country delivering keynote addresses, customized trainings and workshops catered to the military spouse. Sara Jane actively coaches and collaborates with SFRG leaders, volunteers, military and civilian leadership in multiple commands, ensuring all families are taken care of and remain valued. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University and plans to use her education to make a positive impact for military families across all branches.

1 Comment

  1. Bev Clark

    I want to come!!


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