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Old 03-08-2016, 09:37 AM   #1
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Coast Guard family needs help

Hello all,

This is my first attempt to send a message and hope all you rver's will read and maybe send some suggestions.
We have a 2003 tiffin, 34 foot Mh. It was purchased last year. I will tell that story later.

Our grandson and his family are being transferred to a Coast Guard station in Miami. They are in Texas now and we have agreed to do everything we can to help them. Being a previous Navy family, I know how hard it is. We are going to Texas to help take care of whatever they need now and then on to Florida.
They are mostly worried about a place to live since he is only second class. We have never been to South Fl and know nothing about it. They would like for us to go there with them and they would stay with us until they are settled.

Since it will be June, we hope to find a campground. Here's the problem. They have a cat and small dog. We have two dogs, one of which is thirteen and has only been away from us one night, when he was neutered. He is a wonderful Aussie. All the dogs are well behaved and we follow all the dog rules. They also have a beautiful 3 year old son we can't wait to see.

I know there are going to be a lot of you who think this is impossible but we are a strong and determined family. Never had much money so everything is a challenge. This might be the biggest, but we are excited about going.

Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. We do intend to use all the available military help we can get. The two dog limit is a bummer. My grandson is a boat mechanic and repairs boats on the side so he needs a garage.


Thanks so much
Norma and Don
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:41 AM   #2
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Good luck with your adventure but I am not really sure what you are asking here. Never been to Florida either so no help from me.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hi Norma and Don!

I'm not 100% sure if this is the case in every state, but in Idaho, RV parks where you pay by the month fall under housing laws. I have struggled with depression in the past and have asked my doctor for a note saying that my cat is a companion animal. It was super easy to do, and once your animal is officially a companion animal, any place/property you rent has to allow you to have them with no pet deposit. There is a lot of research that shows a pet can help with issues like stress, depression, and anxiety, and these effects also help people with cardiovascular problems, so many doctors have no qualms with issuing companion notes. Maybe you could visit your doctor and just ask for one for each of you, and if you find an RV park instead of a campground, they can't turn you away because your pets are legally companion animals? Just a thought...
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:49 AM   #4
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I am retired Army and made numerous moves with family and pets, not sure what your asking for too. But the main thing is patients, it can be stressful at times.


I would tell your grandson to start looking at places to rent and have a list already in hand on arrival in FL.


There are also other bases around in FL that can help him during his process of moving the family, he just has to ask and be pro active.


Are you saying in your post that everyone will be staying in the RV in FL. If so it will be quite crowded and will put a lot of stress on everyone.


Most of the lodging facilities on base are pet friendly, suggest that your grandson look for lodging on base.


Please don't "play" the depression card
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
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When I used to move in the USAF, we were assigned a sponsor at the receiving base. Many time the sponsor would query squadron mates to help as dog sitters. Other than boarding some of the animals, that's the only solution I can think of. I've been to Homestead ARB many times, but never camped in south Florida. Beautiful area.
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Old 03-08-2016, 11:53 AM   #6
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Are you saying 4 adults, one small child, 3 dogs and 1 cat are all going to live in one 34foot Motorhome ? That probably won't work for more than a week..... Gonna need another trailer or 5th wheel is my guess 😃
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:00 PM   #7
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It has been a LONG time since I have had a military PCS so I'm very rusty on this but...

1. What are their temporary housing options? They should be getting a temp housing allowance including separate rations until they find permanent housing.

2. I'm gathering from your message that there is limited or no on-base housing options. If so, they will be getting housing pay.

These are general issues but I don't know any specifics about housing availability in the Miami area.

It is sounding like the pet issue is really a big one. Any temp housing could be pet challenged. It is unclear but do you qualify for Fam Camps?

As to the 2 pet limit my first thought is that cats don't count for most CG managers. If you are looking at CGs with a 2 pet limit then you have to work around that with 3 dogs. I think that June in FL might gain you some flexibility with CG managers. While I'm a rule follower I think that for a short time you can work around this if you are very strict on how you handle the 3 dogs. If you make sure you only walk 1 or 2 at a time and if they all remain well behaved (i.e. don't bark), you might be able to manage this for a couple weeks. Of course, that assumes you follow all the rules such as leash and clean up. I would call around to your prospective CGs without giving your name and explain your situation to see if you can find a reasonable agreement. Of course, you could just lie about it and probably get away with it but...

So, if temporary housing allowances can provide them the funds needed to afford temp housing until they find full time housing, it sounds like pet sitting will be your biggest challenge.

If there are other issues that you think might help clear this up for better suggestions, by all means, toss them out.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:19 PM   #8
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There are no FAMCAMPS near Miami. Miami is a high cost area on an E-5's pay, so I assume that's why the OP is asking questions. I'm not sure what the CG does for incoming people, like providing a sponsor or a housing office representative, so it's going to be up to the member to find out well before transferring. I come at this from a 22 year Navy career, but if he needs CG-provided housing, or even temporary housing, and there is a wait list, I would consider leaving my family behind and live in barracks until such housing becomes available. That gets into another issue about being a geographical bachelor, but he needs to get CG advice about that as things may have changed.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:23 PM   #9
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E-5 BAH rate with dependents is $2379 in Miami. It must be dang expensive there.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:38 PM   #10
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Have you tried Homestead AFRB? It used to be an active base and most of them had family campgrounds.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:44 PM   #11
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I too am not clear on the question...we moved too many times to count (almost) as a career Mustang Coast Guard Officer (E-1 to O-4) in 24 years.

It is admirable for family to tag along to support the military family (help with house hunting, child care, etc.). The grandson will get all moving expenses paid including mileage for the family members travel TX to FL and should be granted "permissive TDY" days to house hunt without having to go in to work (but he has to ask for that).

The Miami/Dade USCG family presence is one of the biggest in the nation and the receiving unit "should" provide a welcome aboard pack as well as assign a "sponsor" who is a peer to the member to help with local questions.

Finally, an option for the RV is a military campground that the service member could authorize your RV to use:
U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Parks - Florida


Best luck and thank you for your familes sacrifice for our country!
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJEarley View Post
Hi Norma and Don!

I'm not 100% sure if this is the case in every state, but in Idaho, RV parks where you pay by the month fall under housing laws. I have struggled with depression in the past and have asked my doctor for a note saying that my cat is a companion animal. It was super easy to do, and once your animal is officially a companion animal, any place/property you rent has to allow you to have them with no pet deposit. There is a lot of research that shows a pet can help with issues like stress, depression, and anxiety, and these effects also help people with cardiovascular problems, so many doctors have no qualms with issuing companion notes. Maybe you could visit your doctor and just ask for one for each of you, and if you find an RV park instead of a campground, they can't turn you away because your pets are legally companion animals? Just a thought...
AJEarley
Methinks it will be hard to convince any doctor with a lick of common sense that 3 dogs and 1 cat are a "companion animal"...(NO matter how depressed his patient might be).

IMO the solution to the "to many pet problem" is thinning the herd by 75%.

Mel
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:24 PM   #13
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Hi Mel, and all the other wonderful people on the Forum. When you have had a dog for thirteen years and he is nearing the end, he is going to be by my side where he's always been.
I know I wasn't real clear about what kind of help we need. It's not money. I thought some of you might know what areas to look in for housing and any campgrounds near Miami. We are eligible for military campgrounds but haven't found any. Also would like a larger lot, but it sounds like they rent by the inch down there. If anyone knows of a house for rent in June that would help. We like living out a ways but don't know about down there.

As for us all living in the rv, we get along well and it wouldn't be that long. After they get settled "Let the fun begin."

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:47 PM   #14
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I know everyone is wanting to stay together. I see it as impractable. It seems like it will cozy, but your asking a lot out of 37'. Isn't it possible for him to go on ahead of his family to secure a place where they can afford to stay, then have the family follow. It shouldn't take that long. Surely the CG station there has had this occur before, and they have to have a solution for him.

Best of luck with your plans.
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