Hi guys! I am in California for vacation and wanted to have a few guest posts share with you about where they call home at the moment! If you would like to guest post about your duty station or location, please email me at soldierswifecrazylife (at) gmail (dot) com
Hi! I’m LC from Faith & Deployments (link: http://flightlinefightline.blogspot.com). I was born and raised in what is known as: Hampton Roads Virginia. For 24 years it was my home. It’s where I went to school, college, got my first place of my own, my first full time job, met and married my husband, bought a house, and started our lives together.
Living in Hampton Roads Virginia had my incredibly spoiled. I used to hate it before I realized how much there is to do in the area. My husband was stationed at Langley AFB for six years and even he misses it.
If you’re getting stationed at:
Yorktown Naval Weapons Station
Coast Guard Training Base
JEB Little Creek
Dam Neck Naval
Then you are in for a treat. They are all within an hour of each other. Langley AFB to Norfolk Naval is a whopping 10 minutes (without traffic). It is a highly heavy military area, however the stores/restaurants are not as “military friendly” as many others. Since the area survives on more than 1 billion dollars of income because of the bases, few stores and restaurants offer discounts.
But don’t let the lack of discounts discourage you, the area is home to more historical significance than I have ever seen. Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown are all there. The birth of our USA began on these very lands.
During the summer the local area is flooded with outdoor festivals (food & beverage), concerts (free & cheap), the beach, amusement parks, and anything else under the sun you came dream of. The area from Williamsburg to the North Carolina Border is flooded with things to do 8 months out of the year. From spring until fall, if you are willing to be adventurous you will not be disappointed.
The one disclaimer I will say is that the traffic sucks. There is no way around that. VA has wacky road systems and to get from one peninsula to another (Langley AFB to Dam Neck, JEB, Norfolk Naval) you have to go through tunnels. Now ladies and gents these are always, always, always backed up. This area is full of tourists and military members all on the same schedule of work and there is no avoiding the traffic. But if you can get over that simple fact, there is no reason why you can’t make the most of what the area has to offer. So many military members complain about the traffic and never go out and experience this amazing area surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Don’t be one of those families. You will hate Virginia and the area if you do that.
But enough of the area. I’ll give you some insight on Langley AFB since I know it pretty well. It’s home of the fighter jets and one of the biggest Intel headquarters, so the base is giant. One whole side is offices alone and the other is housing. Langley is tearing down their old 40s 50s housing and putting up brand new: Officer, Senior Enlisted, Junior Enlisted housing. These new houses are gorgeous and well worth your BAH in gold. The local area is expensive and many places are not very safe off base, so if you can, live on base. It’s worth the fact alone that the area around the base is pretty sketchy. Wonderful, but some low income families make the area not what it used to be.
The base has separate enlisted and officer spouses clubs and both of them are incredibly active in the community and on base itself. I would definitely check them out if you get a chance.
The base offers tons of things to do for families, but you have to go out and find the information. The biggest complaint I had about the base was it’s lack of communication, even to the active duty members. So if you want the information you will have to work for it, or make friends with the right people: First Shirts, Squadron Commanders, Spouses Club board members, Flight Chiefs, etc.
All in all I loved the area just as much as the base. I lived in the area for 24 years and I miss the area so much more than I thought I would now that I am in the desert.