We were stationed in Germany for four years back in 2006-2010. Before we moved there I wasn’t sure what it would be like. Overall we had a challenging yet amazing experience. I wanted to clear up a few myths about being stationed in Germany.
- If they are stationed in Germany they will not have to deploy. Although it is true that some people who get stationed overseas will not have to deploy, getting stationed overseas does not mean no deployment. As a whole Germany is not non-deployable. Sometimes people think that going over to Germany would “count” as far as going on a deployment because it is outside of the US. But no one is fighting our troops in Germany. It is not considered a danger zone and does not count for a deployment. My husband was deployed twice out of Germany.
- The Military pays for your trip home. Oh how I wish this were true. Now if you are able to re-enlist for a 2nd tour in Germany right after your first one, you will qualify for COT (Consecutive Overseas Tour) travel where the Military will pay for one trip to your home of record. But for most people this doesn’t happen. It has to come out of your own pocket. There is always Space-A which is cheaper than going commercial but isn’t always easy to use.
- You shouldn’t take the time to learn German. You don’t need to know German to survive but it is a lot nicer if you do. I didn’t learn a lot of German when I was there and if I had to it over again I would have taken a class as soon as we had learned we were going to be going over there. Although most people around a Military post know English, it would have been so nice to be able to speak the local language and interact with more of the German people.
- You will love it and never want to come home. Germany is filled with a lot of amazing opportunities but not everyone loves it. It can be a hard place to be stationed because it is so far from home. You can’t take a trip to visit family on a long weekend. Flights back to the US are expensive and deployments over there can be pretty lonely sometimes. I have learned that some people really love it and others don’t. If you are over there and don’t love it that is okay. Try to find the good in it so you are not miserable but don’t feel like you have to love it like others do. Everyone is different.
- You shouldn’t go. If your service member gets orders to Germany and they can bring their family, go. I know it can be hard and for some tempting to just stay in the US but it really is an opportunity of a lifetime. In the future, Germany might not be an option for family members so make sure to take advantage of it if you can. Give it a chance. You might end up being someone who falls in love and it can turn out to be the best experience of your life.