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I Finally Found My Way Home

Erin Whitehead
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tagged: pcs, at home
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Home. As the years pass, I find it more difficult to define this word. Webster defines home as: “One’s place of residence,” “the social unit formed by a family living together,” or “a familiar or usual setting.” I find it hard to define “home” in those terms. Some days I have a hard time defining it at all.

I grew up in Tallahassee, Fla. I met and married my husband in Alabama. During our almost 13 years of marriage, we've resided in four states, eight towns and 10 different homes… all compliments of the United States Marine Corps. We have not lived in the same town as either of our sets of parents for 12 years. Our siblings (most of them also military or spouses) reside in three different states, each one apart from our parents and all other siblings. As a family, we do our best to make sure our kids have meaningful relationships with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins… but it's a challenge.

Last summer, we embarked on our biggest PCS (Permanent Change of Station) move yet: from Cherry Point, NC to Fort Huachuca, AZ. Prior to this move, both my husband and I spent the entirety of our lives in the south and all of our marriage within 30 minutes of the coast. Moving out west has been quite an adjustment for our entire family (except, of course, for the new baby who doesn’t know that there are actually places in this world where your skin becomes moist the moment you step outside). We've met some incredible people, made wonderful friends and visited places we have never been before. But even after a year, our family is having a very hard time calling AZ “home.”

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