News: Military Homefront offer assistance for moving
Story by Cpl. Thomas Bricker
BARSTOW, Calif. — Permanent changes in station during a service member’s career can be stressful to Marines and their families. Planning, financing, and the logistics of a PCS can add enough stress to make anyone dread it.
The Department of Defense and Marine Corps Community Services offer several resources to service members and their families preparing to make a journey from one chapter of a military career to another.
Military Homefront, the official website of the DoD’s transition and relocation assistance, acts as a directory to resources service members, their families, and DoD employees to find information for their move.
“Homefront is a website that can help employees of the DoD if they’re planning a move,” said Alma Rodriguez, the relocation assistance program manager aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow. “It has information that covers almost all sides of relocation in the military.”
The website offers information on different aspects of a move including how to finance a relocation, how to properly plan, and provides checklists of things to do from start to finish.
“Think of it as a directory to point you to whatever you need to do for your move,” explained Rodriguez. “It covers every part of PCSing. I think it’s the best tool our Marines and sailors can use when moving,” she added.
The resources found on Military Homefront aren’t just utilized by the service members of the armed forces. DoD employees often PCS from one base to another as well. Information found on the website can assist DoD employees in relocating just the same as service members.
“I was really impressed with how much Homefront helped me when I started planning a move,” said Gabriel Murillo, a firefighter with Fire and Emergency Services aboard MCLB Barstow. “Everything I found on the website was useful information I could use”.
MCLB Barstow sets up briefs for those transitioning to another base or leaving the ranks of the Marine Corps.
“I advertise around base on a monthly basis for the briefs I have,” said Rodriguez. “Since we have a smaller base, it allows me to make the briefs more personalized for the people attending. That way, I can answer any and all questions they may have about their move.”
Rodriguez explained that many people make the move without utilizing Military Homefront. Although it’s possible, she recommends people to see what the program has to offer.
“I can’t stress enough about how helpful Homefront can be to people moving,” she said. “It’s easy to use and can direct its users toward agencies who can help make their relocation go smoothly.”
As a first time user, Murillo, a native of Ridgecrest, Calif., said the website made planning for his move a lot easier than he thought it was going to be. It explained things he would have never considered thinking about when moving to another country, he added.
“I’m planning a move to Naples, Italy, and I came down to Ms. Rodriguez to start setting stuff up,” Murillo explained. “She showed me the website and after I was done looking through it for the first time, I felt 100 percent more equip for this move with the information that I found. I didn’t know there was so much I needed to know about moving to another country,” he added.
The relocation assistance program is open to everyone on base looking to move to another base or leave active duty to return home and the classes held monthly are encouraged.
“It’s important you find out as much information as you can before you make your move,” explained Rodriguez. “I invite everyone who are interested in my briefs to attend so they have the proper tools necessary to plan and coordinate their relocation properly,” she concluded.
For more information on transition or relocation, contact Alma Rodriguez, the base’s program manager at (760) 577-6533.