Illumine and anyone else overseas — The Bump
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Illumine and anyone else overseas

Hi! First off, I am Lyndsey, H is Hugh and is AD Army.  He is in BOLC right now.  We don't have any kids yet, which is why I stick to MN, but I lurk over here all the time :-)

 The girls on MN suggested I try my question over here.  My husband just found out we will be headed to Germany next, Grafenwohr specifically.  Has anyone lived there or Germany at all?  Does anyone have any advice on how to make sure my ducks are in a row so this is as easy as possible?  Thanks!

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Re: Illumine and anyone else overseas

  • We PCS to Graf at the end of March.  DH has been AD for 11 years and we've been married for 7 years, but this is our first OCONUS move.  Make sure you get started with your EFMP paperwork as soon as possible, so your husband's orders aren't delayed.  Also, start making lists of what you want to ship ahead, what you want to take with you, and what you want to ship when you leave (so it arrives well after you do).  Has your husband been assigned a sponsor yet?  That person will be a huge help as you navigate the move.

    That's all I've got for right now.  The logistics are stressing me out just a bit, as we will have a 3-month-old in addition to our 3 animals, but I'm sure it will all work out.

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  • We were at Vilseck (Graf's sister base about 20 minutes down the road) for 3 years.  Not much advice on getting your ducks in a row but I just wanted to say that when it comes to household goods, car shipments, etc, you HAVE to be patient!  It probably will take awhile to get HHG and your car and the Germans never appeared to be in a hurry when it came to stuff like that.  We had a sponsor but he was worthless.  Be prepared for a busride from the airport to Graf when you arrive in Germany.  Most of the time, pets have to ride under the bus in the luggage compartment so be prepared for that also. 


    We LOVED our time over there and miss it!  That's a beautiful area and there are many great restaurants around and you will be able to travel to so many great places! 

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  • DH and I are stationed in Hohenfels, which is about 45 minutes from Grafenwoehr.  I enjoy being here, but be prepared, that this area is really rural.  Nuremburg is about 45 minutes away, while Munich is about an hour and a half.  Graf is a pretty nice base, Hohenfels is pretty small, so I do most of my shopping there.  

    Definitely make sure you get your EFMP paperwork done early.  It is required even if you don't have any medical issues.  Also, on top of getting your no-fee passport, get a separate tourist passport for yourself and your H if you want to travel outside of Germany (Prague is about a 2 hour drive, Salzburg is 3, and Paris about 6).  You will also have your household goods shipment and an unaccompanied baggage shipment.  Unaccompanied baggage will get to Germany the soonest.  Make sure you have kitchen supplies, linens, and warm clothes depending on when you get here.  

    If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me. 

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  • 1) Get your medical clearance done ASAP.  There will always be a hold up somewhere. 

    2) You both need your Tourist Passports if you want to travel outside of Germany, especially if you fly. 

    3) Get your international license before you go over.  While you will be required to get your SOFA dirvers license (at least for AF you need them) to drive on base, you will also need an international one to:

       a) drive outside of Germany

       b) rent a car when you first arrive.  This is important if you want to (and are able given the army requires its people to live on base), live off base.  Looking for housing requires a car.

    4) Seriously look at shipping one of your cars.  WHile many people have TMO ship one car and buy a junker once they make it over, the reality is, shipping costs are not THAT much more expensive than the clunkers. 

    It only cost us $1200 to ship my Calibre (funny-but this is like THE major compact american car over here, but in FL NO ONE had one) over.  And the best part, it was here less than 5 days after we were, since we were able to ship it over SO much earlier.  GO US. 

    5) House Hold Good (HHGs) are shipped in two phases. The bulk stuff first, like the furniture, etc.  That goes first.  Then about week (depends on TMO) they will ship the rest.  This is the more necessary items like blow up mattresses, most of your clothes, basic pots and pans (not all, just some), your full cadre of makeup, kids toys, etc.

    The second phase that goes will be the first shipment in.  So pack accordingly.  I do recommend your computer and at least one small tv in that shipment. 

    6) You will also be given a specific amount (depends on teh airline) you can pack for your luggage.  I HIGHLY recommend packing at least one blow up mattress in your luggage.  Also remember that warm clothing is a must.  We PCSd in the end of August / Early Sept.  I packed for summer...but we were not able to move into our house (therefore get our HHG) until the end of October - in the snow.  Have winter wear. 

    7) Look at getting TIVO.  You will need to register it back in the states before you move, but its been a godsend.  While your base may actually offer more than the basic AFN, you wont have a DVR unless you get SKY TV. 

    I actually like Sling Box too.  But that means you have to have someone back in the state hook up thier SlingBox to an unused DVR in the States.  We did this when DH was in Korea, but could not find someone to do it for us now.

    8) Start on your language lessons now.  It is harder once you are here (or with a toddler). 

    9) Recognize that its going to be totally different than what you are used to...embace it...and enjoy.

  • Thank you all SO MUCH!  I am sure I will have more questions along the way, but this is a huge help!  We don't have a sponsor yet, he is at BOLC until March so we have a lot of time, but I know that time will fly!
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  • I have one more question...I was looking up how to get my EMFP paperwork started and did not see this answer.  My H is in Georgia for BOLC and I am still at home in Nevada.  There is no Army base near by, but there is an Air Force base.  Does anyone know if I can get all of this done there or do I need to go to an Army base?
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  • We were stationed overseas for 3 years. England to be exact. My biggest advice outside all the military related stuff is to TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL. Who knows if you'll ever get another opportunity like this again. Take advantage and see everything you can. Cruising overseas was the best option we found for seeing lots of places all at one for one price.

     Have fun!!!!!!!!

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  • I have been in Germany for the past 4 years.  I am AD AF and my husband is AD Army.  Feel free to pm me if you have any questions!!
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  • I am pretty sure that EFMP screening is the same no matter what branch.  I would call the hospital, but I can't see why the AF clinic can't do it.
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