The PCS season has unique challenges every year.
This year, one company is trying to alleviate a little bit of that strain on the military community. PCSgrades, an online platform of user-generated reviews on moving companies, real-estate agents and neighborhoods, is asking military families to submit a review on its website and then share their most memorable PCS story.
Two families will receive a full-service move -- including packing, loading, transporting and unpacking their household goods, and all the materials. The first through fifth place families will also receive 300,000 rewards points from Radisson Hotels Americas and six other families will get $500 to $1,000 gift cards from Home Depot. The contest runs through Aug. 31, 2021, and winners will be notified on or about Sept. 15, 2021.
All active-duty military families -- including National Guard and Reserve -- are eligible. A panel of military spouses and community leaders will select the best stories, based on their entertainment, inspirational and emotional value.
Todd Ernst, founder and chief executive officer of PCSgrades, became aware of PCS challenges through social media.
"Our Facebook closed group, called Lost During my PCS, is a highly interactive and engaged group of approximately 36,000 people from our military community who are focused on asking and answering questions regarding the PCS process," Ernst said.
"We've also hosted webinars during this summer with the International Association of Movers and with U.S. Transportation Command [TRANSCOM], both of whom spoke to the unique challenges of this particular summer PCS season. In short, the summer season always puts a strain on moving companies, but this year COVID has even further strained these companies due to the impacts of a limited labor force."
Army Major Emily Tucker knows all too well about the stresses involved with military moves. Tucker described relocating this summer from Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as "the most tense and potentially disastrous move in the last eight PCSs."
"When my pick-up date came and I received a phone call saying one of the crew tested positive for COVID, I tried to remain positive they would come the next day," Tucker said. "The next day, another crew had COVID, and they told me they could come three days later."
PCSgrades is waiting to hear stories such as Tucker's.
Even if you don't have orders yet, you still can enter. The winners of the full-service move must be able to complete their shipment between mid-September and March 15, 2022. To be eligible for the gift cards and rewards points, the move must have occurred within six months before or after the selection. There is no expiration date on when the points or gift card can be used.
The grand-prize moves are limited to destinations to and from the 50 states, so anything outside of the country is not eligible. The regular weight limits based on rank and dependents still apply, and moves to or from Alaska and Hawaii are capped at $25,000. Any moving costs over $25,000 will be the responsibility of the family.
Ready to enter? Head to PCSgrades.com and start leaving a review. You may enter multiple times, as long as a review is shared with each PCS story.
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