Military Families

Looking for guidance- Oahu

So we just received word that DH will be stationed at Tripler in July.  We will have two young children at that point, 4months and almost 3 yrs.  Looking for any guidance you all have on living arrangements, daycare/preschool, etc.  DH will be an O-4, this is our first move, and we will be coming from the East Coast.  Still in a bit of shock over all of this.


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Re: Looking for guidance- Oahu

  • So jealous!  I love Hawaii.

    No advice though as we have been stuck on the east coast for-e-ver and are just currently branching out into... Kansas...  Yea...  So, no Hawaii for us. Stick out tongue

    The only thing I will say is that I have heard through the grapevine that it is wise to budget about $5,000 of your own money for the move.  For example, they will only ship one car and to ship a car is $2,000.  Stuff like that.  This is true of all OCONUS moves I might add, not just Hawaii.

    The housing list out there is pretty long if I remember correctly.  My DH is also an O-4 and I know our peers have had to wait in TLA for months on end. 


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  • My sister and her husband (Navy, O-2) have been in Hawaii for 3+ years.  They've lived in Kanehoe, Kailua, and now on Ford Island.  Kailua is awesome and if we ever get stationed there it would be a hard decision for me to make about living there or in base housing.

    Another friend (husband is Navy, O-3) just moved back from an 18 month tour and they lived on Ford Island.  She has 2 young kids and absolutely loved base housing.  Her youngest was in preschool there, but I can't remember the name of the school.  I can ask her and I know they loved it.  The kids did yoga to reggae music first thing in the morning!

    Based on what my sister and my friend tell me, Hawaii is what you make of it.  Some people sit inside and are afraid to venture to the beaches outside of the touristy ones, and they end up hating their time there.  My friend's biggest complaints were lack of summer activities for her kids (4 and 8), cost of school, and quality of schools.  Both of hers went to private schools and she was afraid her son was falling behind after just one year, and he was at one of the good ones.  My sister has no complaints and would stay forever if she could.



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  • Thank you both so much!  I am so nervous about all of this, being 32 weeks pregnant isn't helping.  They are telling us to expect to stay for DH's entire commitment (8 yrs) so hopefully I will only really go through this process once.  I just need the t-shirt collection that says "Remain Flexible", "Go with the Flow" and "It will All be Fine".

    I am really anxious about the schools. We had been looking at off-base housing in Mililani just because the schools are rated well there.  Ford Island looks absolutely beautiful though.  I would love to hear about the preschool there!

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  • I was stationed at Pearl Harbor and loved living in Kailua and then Kaneohe. You cannot go wrong with either of those locations. My brother was stationed at Hickam and lived on base with his small children. They had a wonderful base house and the elementary school was great. You're so lucky to move there.
  • My husband and I moved to Oahu from the east coast in June (he's stationed at Schofield). (No kids; I'm due in June but my family is from here). Tripler is in a decently central area (right off the main highway) so easy to get to - BUT TRAFFIC SUCKS! So keep that in mind when looking for a place - Mililani does have good schools and is a nice neighborhood-y area, but you will def hit the traffic as most people commute from Mililani area to downtown. 

    Hawaii is a big adjustment coming from the east coast but it's been really great so far - we try to go out and explore and get to the beach as much as we can. And people really are pretty nice here. Let me know any other questions you have! 

  • My husband is in the AF, however he was stationed at Ft Shafter, which is just a short jaunt to Tripler.

    I hear most of the housing that's actually on Tripler, which isn't much, is being torn down soon.

    We lived off base, however with young children, I probably would consider living either on base or the Winward side. I love love love Kailua.

    I would suggest not living in Ewa or Pearl City. It's so congested.

    Traffic is always horrible. I got real sick of living there after a couple of years. My husband was stationed in HI for seven years. We just moved in November.

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  • Also, I didn't have children in school in Hawaii, and I'm very thankful for this. If it's an option, I would suggest private school. Hawaii's public schools are among some of the worst in the country.
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  • We just left Hawaii in December. It was my first PCS, too, but we went there from California.

    First off, if you have pets you plan to take, get on top of the Quarantine stuff. They don't HAVE to be quarantined at all, but you have to start the process about five or six months before you arrive. There is a waiting period after you submit the blood test results. You also have to make sure they have rabies shots within a certain time frame. It's also expensive to fly them there, then to pay the fees, so plan for that. If you don't have pets, ignore this paragraph Wink

    If we ever go back, I want to try to get housing on Hickam - it's pretty central, and pretty nice. There's lots of stuff to do on Hickam - beach, arts and crafts center, etc.

    For the first year and a half, we lived in Kapolei. It was nice, newer, we had a nice yard, it was close to Target...but that side of the island is hotter and drier, and paying to keep our lawn nice (required by HOA) was $$$. We didn't want to live in Ewa because there are sooo many houses close together.

    With Ewa and Kapolei, there is quite a bit of traffic getting into town, then going back home. I went to UH while we lived in Kapolei, and I rode the bus because I didn't want to sit in traffic. Rush hour begins between 6:00 and 6:30, then again around 3:15. It's ridiculous.

    For the rest of the time, we lived in Mililani (the "Mauka" side, east of the H2) and I looooved it: cooler, great for walking, more rain (rainbows every day), and much closer to the North Shore for when we wanted to go get some shave ice. They have community centers and pools - I wish we had started out there.

    We were offered a house right away when we checked in, though it wasn't available for a few more weeks. We turned it down for various reasons. The waitlist will depend on where you want to live and how many bedrooms you need.

    It IS a bit shocking when you get there, but there are soooo many great things to do. Get connected with other military families, and you'll be okay.

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