Originally Posted by 5.0 Mustang
First I have a general military question. When you are given an assignment say overseas or on a ship or sub, do you usually keep an apartment back home (assuming you are living alone) or do you usually keep all the things you can't bring with you in storage? I have 2 vehicles and a room full of stuff. I imagine if you are going away for at least 6 months you are not going to want to be paying rent but it would be nice to have somewhere to go when you get some time off. ...
There is a wide variety of answers to this.
First lets look at single folk:
Each sub that I lived on had access to a BEQ [a dorm / barrack], single folk living in the BEQ moved their stuff into a storage room whenever they deployed to the sub. We normally spent an average 7 months each year living on the sub.
When I was on a surface [or target] vessel they had no BEQ; so if you lived on it then you only owned 2 seabags worth of stuff.
For married folk:
Navy bases routinely have enough housing available for the families of maybe 1/4 of their married personnel. When you are first stationed there your name goes on a waiting list, waiting for an available apartment for your family. We have never actually lived in 'base-housing'. We have spent as long as 4 years on a waiting list.
Many married couples will rent or buy a home to live in; and to store your stuff.
You can do this at your homeport so your family is present with you anytime that your vessel is in it's homeport; or you can have a home anywhere.
We always had a home at my homeport, so any day that I had 'off' I could go to my home and visit my family.
However I knew sailors whose wives and children lived in their hometown, and the sailor would travel home to visit once a year.