DoD Announces New Relocation Tool for Families
By Barbara A. Goodno
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2008 – It’s almost peak moving season again for military families, and Defense Department leaders want families to know new resources are available to help.
“Plan My Move,” soft-launched in late summer, is the next generation of DoD’s MilitaryHomefront tools to provide an integrated “e-moving” solution, officials said.
Moving to a new community can be a stressful event for all service and family members,” Leslye A. Arsht, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said. “This tool helps to ease that burden. It will put our servicemembers and their families in direct contact with those who can help every step of the way, from their current home and community to the new one.”
When the user enters the current location, the new location and the departure date into the new application, it generates installation overviews, a three-month planning calendar, valuable travel and arrival checklists, as well as important points of contacts and family program information, Arsht said.
The Plan My Move tool is designed to coach servicemembers and their families through the entire moving process, step-by-step. And while most moving takes place over the summer, it’s never too early to start a plan, Arsht added.
Special features of Plan My Move include:
-- A planning calendar with useful information that can be customized to meet the unique needs of each move;
-- Decision tools, such as best communities to live in, best schools, and affordable housing, based on data from military and civilian comparative community studies;
-- “Smooth move” tips;
-- Special calendars for moving to or from an overseas location; and
-- Information about moving with a special-needs family member.
In addition, families will be able to access 55 directories of programs and services on installations worldwide, from the barber shop to DoD schools to the family center; maps and driving directions to most locations on the installation; overviews, photo galleries and must-know information for each installation included in the database; current local weather conditions; and extensive local community point-of-interest information.
“We’re very excited about this new e-moving resource for our servicemembers and their families,” Arsht said. “Change is always challenging, but we can make it easier. This new application is one more way to support and serve those who sacrifice so much for our nation.”
(Barbara A. Goodno is senior program analyst with the Defense Department’s Office of Family Policy and Office of Children and Youth.)