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Month: July 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Everything You Need To Know About Offutt AFB

Just found out that you’re PCSing to Offutt AFB, Nebraska?  Great!  I have you covered with information about everything from base housing to our favorite restaurants and activities!

Offutt AFB

BASE HOUSING:

COMMUNITY INFORMATION:

  • Here’s my collection of our favorite attractions and restaurants in Omaha (with something for every age group and every budget – check out the comments for extra ideas too!)
  • My review of Click2Go, the option to order your groceries online from the commissary and pick them up without ever leaving your car or tipping anyone!

NEBRASKA-LOVE:

We’ve since PCSed to Wright-Patt AFB in Ohio,  but if you’re headed to Offutt, I’d still love to answer any questions you have!  Connect with me on Facebook or send me an email!

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Final Thoughts on Base Housing at Offutt AFB

Final Thoughts on Rising View (1)

Now that we’re in Ohio and our HHGs have arrived, I wanted to give one more update to my previous posts about base housing.

We moved to Offutt AFB in May 2012 and in September I shared this post with pictures and information about our house.  The following May, when we’d lived there for a year, I wrote an update.

For the three years that we lived at Offutt AFB, we lived in base housing, which is run by a private company and called Rising View.  I’ve heard many horror stories about Rising View (RV), but our experience was a very positive one.  I have good things to say about the neighborhood and (mostly) the staff.  Most of what I’ve said in previous posts holds true, but I wanted to reiterate a few points and add a few more.  So here are my final thoughts about base housing at Offutt AFB:

 

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Our home in Rising View (Offutt AFB base housing)

MAINTENANCE:

I loved having maintenance available 24/7.  I already miss having them in our new house!!  Most of the maintenance workers sent to my house were very friendly.  When things broke, I called right away and they were fixed quickly (usually within a couple of days if it wasn’t an emergency).

HOUSES:

The thing to realize about Rising View is that there are no frills in the houses.  At our new base, we decided to rent a house in the community rather than live in base housing.  And our new house has lots of added perks like ceiling fans, an ice maker in the refrigerator, and a water purifier at the sink.  You won’t find those things in RV houses.  I didn’t really miss having those when we lived at Offutt, but I definitely appreciate having them now.

 

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Master Bedroom

COMMUNITY:

My FAVORITE part of living in base housing was the community.  By the time we moved we were great friends with many our neighbors.  We would congregate in someone’s yard or on their porch, watch each other’s children, meet at the playground, and maybe share a bottle of wine that we couldn’t finish on our own.  🙂  Those neighbors are some of the people that I miss the most.

MOVING OUT:

When it was time to move out of RV, I was NERVOUS!  Again, people told so many horror stories about being charged ridiculous amounts of money for (what they claimed) were small damages.

Since my husband was deployed when we moved, we opted to hired cleaners to clean the outside of the house, the garage, and the entire inside of the house.  My brother came out to help me move and made sure the yard was up to code.

A couple weeks before you move out, RV will do a pre-inspection.  They come to the house and tell you exactly what needs to be fixed before your “final out”.  My pre-inspection went great.  The man who checked my house was thorough, but kind.  He was very happy with the condition the house was in so he didn’t think we’d have any problems at our final out as long as the cleaning was done.

The day of the final out, I was still so, so nervous about it.  But it went great!  We weren’t charged for anything (damages or mistakes on cleaning).  I am so glad that we hired cleaners (I’d love to give out the name of my interior cleaner because she did a great job, so message me if you’d like her info) and glad that we kept our house in good condition while we lived there.

 

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One side of our kitchen in Rising View

Would we move back??  Would we recommend it to others?

This is the question I keep coming back to:  If we got orders back to Offutt, would we choose to live in Rising View again?

No.  If we were sent back to Offutt, we probably would choose to rent a house in the community.

But I WOULD recommend Rising View to other people and I AM happy that we lived there for three years.

Here’s the long answer why:  Everyone in the military receives a BAH (basic allowance for housing) based on their rank.  If you live in base housing, your BAH goes directly to the company running the housing (in our case, Rising View) and covers both your rent and your basic utilities.

When we arrived at Offutt, my husband was an O-1, the lowest ranking officer.  His BAH was decent, better than lots of people in the military, so I’m not complaining.  But…I think it would have been difficult for us to find a good house to rent in the community where BAH covered both rent and the utilities.  In base housing, we had a fairly new, three bedroom home and never had to worry about utilities or maintenance.  It was GREAT!

My husband will be promoting to O-3 this fall, which means our BAH has gone up.  If we went back to Rising View, we’d be giving them a good bit more money for the exact same type of house we lived in before.  Additionally, I think that with an O-3’s BAH we could probably find a good rental in that area.

Final, Final Thoughts:

We had a very positive experience in Rising View and I would definitely recommend it to other people.  If you’re considering renting, take a few weeks to watch the rentals in the area (I recommend using AHRN or Military By Owner) to see if you can find a good rental option that would use part of your BAH and allow you to spend the rest on utilities.  If you don’t see many good rentals in your price range, I think Rising View would be a great option, especially if you know you’ll only be there for a couple years.

If you do live in Rising View, take care of the house and call maintenance right away if anything is broken.  This will make the move-out process go a lot smoother.  Use it as an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and enjoy the close-knit military community.

And if you happen to get assigned a house on Larson Circle, start celebrating now!  You’re getting some awesome neighbors and I’m a little jealous of you!!

  • Have you ever lived in base housing at Offutt or another base?  What did you think?
  • Do you prefer to rent or own your home?
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Will You Only Listen If I Yell?

WILLYOUONLYLISTENIFIYELL-

 

The last few weeks have been difficult.

In case you’re new here, I’ll summarize: My husband has been deployed for months.  But the Air Force had us moving from Nebraska to Ohio this summer and it just worked out better for that to happen earlier rather than later.  So it was up to me to pull off a cross-country move with a two-year-old in tow.  I relied heavily on my anal retentive tendencies and a lot help from family and friends.

All went smoothly until we arrived in Ohio and found out that our HHGs  (household goods – our moving truck, for non-military readers) would be delayed.

This is where things went downhill.

The moving company wasn’t communicating with me.   They would give me a date that the truck would arrive and I would be waiting at the house that day for a truck that never showed up.   I could talk with someone who promised to find out some information and then call me back, only to never hear back from them.  Even though I was frustrated, I made it a point to speak to everyone from the company kindly and carefully.

A week later, Hadden and I were STILL sleeping on an air mattress with no clear date of when our truck would arrive.

What I don’t talk about often these days (either on the blog or in person) is my chronic pain.  Over the past few years, I have carefully curated my life to keep that pain at a tolerate level.  But the stress of moving and so many nights of sleeping on an air mattress meant that my pain levels were off the chart.  I wasn’t sleeping.  I was nauseated most every day.  I was barely hanging on.

Finally I got in touch with a Manager at the company who was helpful and kind.  She listened as I quietly, haltingly explained that the late truck meant that I was in physical pain that was compounding each day. While she still didn’t know when our truck would arrive, she admitted that our shipment was unusually delayed and said that she could authorize reimbursement for our meals and would put us up in a hotel until the truck arrived to relieve my pain.  I thank her profusely, grateful that she took the time to listen and that we would soon have a break from the air mattress.

But when I was called with the claims department to make those arrangements as promised, I was put in touch with a Super Slick Customer Service Representative.  I softly explained the pain I was in and repeated what the Manager had offered as a compensation.  He immediately tried to change the offer.  I was close to tears by this point.  I didn’t have the energy to fight.  “Please,” my voice cracked “Could we just have our meals covered and could I please just have a night or two in a hotel?”  He smoothly ignored my request, trying to make it seem like he was giving me a great offer, but refusing to honor the Manager’s word.

I hung up the phone and cried.  The man had been chipper, but insincere.  I couldn’t point to something he said that was clearly wrong, but I I could tell that he hadn’t been listening to me.  It felt like he was waiting to pull out his bag of magic tricks until I screamed and yelled.  But since I wasn’t going to verbally assault him, he wasn’t going to listen to me.

The situation has been resolved since then, but still, I can’t stop thinking about it.  About how it felt to be ignored.  How it felt when he didn’t listen.  How it felt like nothing would happen until I yelled.

It brought up memories of interpersonal relationships where I (or we) have tried to say something gently, carefully, cautiously.  But the other party doesn’t listen.  They bulldoze.  They slickly rewrite reality or try to explain how they are really doing The Best Thing, even as you tell them that it isn’t The Best Thing For You.  And so, eventually, you’ll left with the choice to Lose It or to Leave.  And so you leave.  Because you’re not going to scream and yell.

But I also keep thinking of people who riot and wail.  Of people who picket and scream.  Of people who climb poles to rip down flags.

We roll our eyes a bit, as though they are being histrionic.  Our attitudes say is clearly: “Hush up!  Must you be so loud?  Is it really necessary to yell?  Can’t we just talk about this instead of yelling?”

But maybe they were talking, and talking, and talking and we just weren’t listening.  Maybe we never heard them until they yelled.  Maybe they never even wanted to yell in the first place, but they couldn’t get our attention any other way.

Are we listening to those speaking quietly?  Are we paying attention to the person who is using all the courage they can muster just to whisper?  Or will we only listen if they yell?

 

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