Your family just received orders for Fort Belvoir, Virginia; what’s your reaction? For many they are excited about the opportunity to be back on the east coast. For anyone from the eastern half of the United States Fort Belvoir may only be day drive away from where they are originally from. For those who like the big city life, there are few military installations that can offer that big city life like Fort Belvoir can. While Fort Belvoir may not be in the city limits of a major city, it is but a short drive to all city life has to offer. And that big city life may be what stirs a bit of fear in many military families. If you are anything like me you believe the only reason there should be traffic is because of an accident, road construction or road closures. But when you live just outside our Nations capitol, you will find traffic can be caused by a single raindrop.
Being assigned to Fort Belvoir could mean your sponsor is attending a prolonged school to advance his/her career, so your time could be very short here. Or your sponsor could be assigned to one of the dozens of units/school houses on the installation itself. Your sponsor could be assigned to Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon or any number of military hospitals in the area. Whatever the reason is that your family is heading to Fort Belvoir, you are sure to have the opportunity to have an experience like very few military installations can offer.
While driving around Fort Belvoir and Washington, DC may test your driving skills and patience, there is good news. If you are heading into the Nation’s capitol you have an alternative in the public transportation system. This area is home to one of America’s(if not the world’s) best rail systems. It is clean, quick and user friendly; even if you are directionally challenged like me. You can live 40 miles from DC and still make it there in under an hour by using “The Metro”. And if you are looking to make a day out of seeing the museums and monuments in DC, I would highly recommend using “The Metro” to get you and your family around. It’s not only affordable, but it is EXTREMELY convenient. There are “metro” stops near all the major “must sees” in DC.
The opportunity to live and play near Washington, DC should be enough to make anyone look forward to a PCS to Fort Belvoir. Especially for those of us who love our Nations history. But what if you don’t love sightseeing? Or what if sightseeing in DC and the thought of maneuvering around “The Metro” with five kids in tow brings on an anxiety attack? What if plain and simple you are just overwhelmed with the thought of “big city life”? Well, Fort Belvoir is still for you.
It is nearly impossible to escape the urban sprawl of Washington, DC, but the further out you go from the Capitol, the more relaxed it becomes. While you will be hard pressed to find a home in the country within a commutable distance of Fort Belvoir, you do have other options than making the trek in DC to work and play.
Just over 90 minutes away is Richmond, Va. While Fort Belvoir does sit below the “Mason-Dixon Line”, you can really start to experience some “Southern Hospitality” down in these parts.
The entire area that Fort Belvoir sits in is steeped with a rich history of how America became a country of its own, and then how it became a “United” States. With our military families protecting the freedoms that were founded primarily in this region of the country, it will offer you a unique opportunity to reaffirm why it is your family does what it does. And the history lessons you can teach your kids while exploring are endless.
Besides the history that lies outside the gates of Fort Belvoir, you will be glad to know you can also participate in a plethora of other cultural activities as well. This area is literally a melting pot of Americans. There are fairs, festivals and community events going on all around, so it should be quite easy for your family to keep busy. Within the gates of Fort Belvoir it does have the “military feel” many of us are used to; and of course has most of the amenities and programs offered at the other installations you may have been to, but you can’t deny the ability to have a little bit of everything at your fingertips as a major perk to being stationed here.
A hidden benefit of being stationed at Fort Belvoir is for those spouses and family members who are looking for employment. This region of the country offers jobs from the retail sector all the way up to upper level management in both public and private sector companies. And if you are looking at furthering your education, this area is also home to dozens of colleges and technical schools.
Should your family get orders here, you most certainly want to do your homework. Fort Belvoir does have on-post housing, but like most installations there can be a lengthy wait list, which causes many families to seek off-post housing. With the diversity of the area it would be wise to connect with others who have been there or are there to find out what neighborhoods are the most affordable and boast the best schools for your children. We would strongly encourage you to check out our Army Wife Network website edition of The Post With The Most for Fort Belvoir for all the needed and important information such as local realtors/housing info, Fort Belvoir websites and any information that is not covered in this blog portion of Post With The Most. That link to our website edition can be found by clicking here.
Remember, wherever your journey leads you in this military life, each and every “post” has the chance to be the Post With The Most. Fort Belvoir is no exception.
Now, if you are at Fort Belvoir or are heading there, do me a favor and head over to Maryland and describe in detail how great the taste of a Maryland Crab Cake is. Mmmmmmm…………