In March, we will have lived here in the Fort Campbell area for TEN years!
I can’t even wrap my mind around that. Since I left my parent’s home for college in 1997, I have never lived anywhere that long.
When I tell people I have been here for almost ten years, they look a little shocked and wonder if it is because my husband has been stationed here for all these years…
He was, from 2010-2014 he was stationed at Fort Campbell but ever since he has been in the National Guard, and we stayed in the area. We did this for a few reasons.
One of the biggest is that we can’t go back to where we are from. California is way too expensive, and it just doesn’t seem like that option is ever going to work out. Another reason is that we are just not sure where we want to settle for the long term.
We have so many thoughts about that, and we are just not sure. The third is that we have three boys in schools here, one with special needs, and we overall like how things are going. We don’t want to mess with that.
So how long will we stay in the Fort Campbell area? We are not sure. We have to see what the future brings!
There are active duty families that have been here for a long time. This seems to be the place that can happen sometimes. On the other hand, I have known a lot of people who have just come through here for two or three years, so you never know.
So, being here so long, you might want to ask me, what is the Fort Campbell area like? Is this place a good place to get stationed? Should we put it on our list that the Army may or may not go by?
Well…one thing to know about the Fort Campbell area is that different people have different opinions about the place. If Fort Campbell comes up in a Facebook group, I will read the replies and agree with some of them and wonder how the person came to that opinion with the others.
It seems like Fort Campbell is a different place for different people, so that is something to keep in mind when you look into moving here.
Where you can live
We live in Clarksville, a lot of people who live off post here live in Clarksville, on the Tennessee side. However, some people live in Oak Grove, Kentucky or further away from post, Hopkinsville, Kentucky or even up to Madisonville, Kentucky.
Where you decide to live can make a big difference in what you think of the area. There are active duty military families that live up by Exit 11 that can get to Nashville in about 30 minutes and others that live 30 minutes from Fort Campbell in the other direction, in a much more rural area.
The great thing about that is that you do have options and choices based on what you want to do. Want to live on post? You can. Want to live in a regular old neighborhood 10 minutes from post? You can. Want to buy property in a very country like area? You can. Fort Campbell is pretty flexible that way.
Where you can shop
Fort Campbell does have quite a few options for shopping. We have a Target in Clarksville, and many other stores you are familiar with. But we are also missing other stores such as Macy’s, Costco, and Trader Joes. The good news is, you can find a lot of what you are missing in Nashville. The bag news is, you have to actually go to Nashville and that isn’t going to be a quick trip.
Where you can eat
Clarksville does have its share of local restaurants. They try, they really do and we have a few favorites. However, the Fort Campbell area isn’t going to be the best place to find all the different types of foods you might be used to if you come from a bigger area. You might be missing something.
We have too many fast food places, and they seem to keep adding them. When a new building goes up, we hope for a new sandwich shop or cafe and get an Arby’s or a Taco Bell. That can be a bit frustrating.
One of the reasons Fort Campbell can be a good place for you is that overall they are pretty family-friendly. This is, however, an area where people disagree. Some people think Fort Campbell and Clarksville are family-friendly and others don’t.
The schools are a big hot button issue. We have always had a good experience in the off-post schools. Others feel very differently about that. The best thing to do is to check out what people are saying about the school but also keep an open mind. Talk to people who have had good and bad experiences to get the bigger picture.
Clarksville has a lot of community events you can take part in. From Easter Egg hunts to Halloween fun. There seems like there is always something going on. They are also trying to work on their downtown area and in the last few years, they have really added to it with new restaurants and the Downtown Commons which turns into an ice skating rink in the wintertime.
If there is one thing I hate about this area it is the traffic. Being that I learned to drive in Southern California you would think it wouldn’t be that big of a deal but for some reason, the traffic around here gets under my skin. But I try to avoid the worst areas during the worst times.
A lot of the issue, at least in Clarksville, is that there are just too many people trying to go to the same place at the same time. Clarksville is spread out but there are only so many places to go on a Friday night.
You might be wondering about what Fort Campbell is like when it comes to the weather. The weather is really all over the place. In the fall, the weather can be nice but doesn’t stick around for very long. We can get a lot of rain, straight-line winds, and tornado weather.
Winter can bring snow, however, we usually don’t get very much. Usually no more than an inch or two at a time. However, we do have a lot of snow days. We have had years where we have had over 10 snow days and years were we haven’t even had one. Last year we might have had one, so I am guessing this year we could end up with a snow week, we will see.
If you live on post, the schools there do not close as often as they do in Clarksville. The post itself has closed for terrible weather but that doesn’t happen very often. It gets cold here if your idea of cold is anything under 30 degrees, which it is for me. If you are used to negative degree winters and snowstorms, you will think the winter is quite mild.
Spring brings a lot more rain and more of a chance of tornado weather and straight-line winds. One year, we lost power for 37 hours. Yikes! You do learn to adapt to this but it can still make me quite nervous.
Summer can be pretty humid starting in June and by August you will just be over it. However, you probably will have to wait until mid-September, or even October to really cool down. This year was the worst. We were still in the 90s when October started.
As I think back to my time in the Fort Campbell area, it has overall been a good experience. I am not sure I would have handpicked this area out of the entire United States, but the Fort Campbell area works for us for now.
Although we are a National Guard family now, we have a lot of the perks of the military. We can shop at the Commissary and a lot of the people I meet are connected to the military in some way. We don’t have to go far for the military community, which is nice.
If you have just received orders to Fort Campbell or wondering what Fort Campbell is like, feel free to reach out. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have 🙂
Have you ever been stationed at Fort Campbell???