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Relocation 51 They have two young sons aged 7 and 9 years and


live off-base near Trenton. Like Jacki, Karen and her family have been


relocated several times. In 1994 they were in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, then lived in Cormox, British Columbia between 1994 and 1996. Then it was off to Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan for two years, then back to Greenwood Nova Scotia in 1998. They stayed in Nova Scotia for several years before finally being posted to Trenton in 2008. After getting this background information Muchmor asked each of them about relocations, separations and the effects on their families. This is how the interviews went. MM: First of all, where have your husbands been deployed and for how long? JHB: He did two tours in Croatia, one for 7 months in 1992 and one for 6 months in 1993. In 2002 he was in Bosnia for 6 months and spent 4 months in Haiti in 2004. His last deployment was to Afghanistan for 7 months in 2009. KS: His first deployments to war have been this year and he's!done 2 tours to Afghanistan - previously he went away just to train.! MM: On the subject of relocation. Do you have any say in where you are relocated? JHB: In a word no. The military member can


express preferences but the member is positioned where the current military need is. Other factors that determine postings are rank, trade and performance review. KS: If a member is requested to relocate somewhere and they resist it can put a black mark on their record and even prevent future promotions. MM: How much notice do you normally receive


before being relocated? JHB: Usually members start hearing rumors sometime around December/January. Posting messages are issued anywhere from March to May. Members move during the summer months also known as APS - Annual Posting Season. There are some postings that happen outside the APS. The member may not get much notice (we had 1 weeks notice before our move to Oromocto in 1995). There are stipulations that allow the member to move and have the family move at a later date if required. KS: It varies, but as Jacki says it normally starts with rumors long before it actually happens. MM: How much does the military help with the


relocation? JHB: There is a huge document explaining all the obligations and benefits of the military member and families. Military members are provided with real estate contacts and are eligible to take a house- hunting trip under certain conditions. However, there are lots of things they don’t help with such as finding family doctors, public services etc.


KS: Yes, they do help with all the packing, loading, moving etc. They also offer reimbursement for things like food when on house hunting trips and the first few days of the move. A lot is still up to you though, especially if like us you choose to live off-base. MM: What is the typical length of time at each location? JHB: The typical length of time at each location is dependent upon the military's need for certain trades in certain places. Some members have spent their entire career on one base, others have moved every 2-3 years. KS: Three years, unless you are on a course or switch professions, which my husband did from navigator to pilot.


MM: Do you have a choice to buy your own home or live in military housing? JHB: Members have a choice. However, at some bases and stations, the military housing is limited. Also, many bases only have smaller homes that may not accommodate large families. For postings less than one year in duration, military members are not permitted to purchase a home and if they do, they will lose certain benefits on their next move. KS: Yes, you have the choice. We lived in military housing until we had children. It was convenient at that time, but having a family made it more practical to purchase our own home. MM: Are there benefits to military housing over private purchase? JHB: Financially there is no real difference. Rents for RHUs (residential housing units) is set by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and so is very similar to renting privately or paying a mortgage. The difference is that there are no contracts to sign and you can move in and out at any time, so you don’t have to worry about the housing market, selling conditions etc.


Living in an RHU has some disadvantages. You may not be able to run your home business in your RHU especially if you expect clients to come to your "home office". Also, you cannot deduct your RHU rent from your business income. You cannot modify the RHU in any way - even painting the walls is not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances.


One benefit I love is the fact we are surrounded by other military families who know your situation. KS: Living in a RHU is great if you are not going to be posted at a location for very long. It is also great if you don’t want the hassle of having to buy and sell. You are not at the mercy of the real estate markets. MM: Do you have any choice in the type of military housing? JHB: Depending on the availability of RHUs on the base, there may be some choices available. For example, families with 3 children get priority for 4


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