“It’s PCS Season”, my name is Zandra Moten
I’m a proud mother of two military-connected girls, a spouse of a retired army officer, I’ve been in education for 25 years and I’m the author of a children’s book series called “It’s PCS Season”, my name is Zandra Moten.
As a young girl growing up in low income housing in Alabama, I wanted to see the world. I was determined to not let my situation determine my destination so, I aspired to do well in school and graduate from a university. After graduating from college with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, I began teaching in Decatur, Georgia. My hopes were to inspire students to be their best selves. During my third year of teaching, a military-connected child joined my class that had just PCSed from Germany. It was at that time that I asked my fiance (who later became my husband) to not get out of the ARMY after serving his 2 year commitment because I really wanted to live in Germany.
Living in Germany was an amazing experience, not only did I get an opportunity to tour Europe but, it gave me an opportunity to teach for the Department of Defense Schools. I wanted to give back to military-connected families and most importantly help the military-connected-child. As a teacher, I learned many things. I learned the power of resiliency and that military families endures many obstacles that could destroy the family unit and damage a child’s perception of life. I also learned that the military community is strong and courageous. Military families are able to withstand many obstacles and hardships that come their way because of the closeness and the network of people that stand in the gap to help inspire and encourage them in the absence of their loved ones. Among other things, I learned that communication was important whether it was in your family, with students or in the community. These learning experiences taught me that being adaptable is an important key to being resilient.
The lessons I learned while living and teaching in Germany as a military spouse aided me in raising my beautiful military-connected girls. I have been able to guide them through difficult situations like PCSing throughout their childhood and now in their adolescents.
The experiences that I’ve had as a teacher, spouse, and mother propelled me in writing “It’s PCS Season” Book Series. I knew that if PCSing was hard and stressful for adults to grasp and gain control of, it’s only natural for some children to have a hard time handling the sudden changes and uncertainties that come with moving from one location to the next.
What’s interesting is, I never aspired to write a book. It was not a passion of mine. However; during Covid, my husband and I were thinking about moving from Manama, Bahrain, to be closer to family in the U.S.A and I could feel and sense the anxiety that was building up with my oldest daughter. She always hated moving. So, I talked to her about her feelings and acknowledged how she was feeling and later, a thought came to me in the shower. I tell everyone it was God. I got out of the shower, sat down on my bed and began to write my first book. I knew this was God telling me to write this story to not only help my children but other kids that could be experiencing the same thing. Everything aligned perfectly for this book. People were put in my path to help guide me through the process and within 5 months, my first book was written and I self-published it on Amazon KDP. The second book was started before the first book was even completed. The lesson learned in this situation is sometimes we are called to do things that we had no intention of doing.
In my first book, It’s PCS Season, Riley’s Journey to Discover PCS Season, I wanted to focus on the meaning of PCSing and give suggestions on how to help a young child understand what it really means. Through conversations with the family unit, the child is able to understand the meaning of PCS Season and get a better understanding of the reasons families move from place to place with the military.
The second book, It’s PCS Season Again, Ryan Dances with the Possibilities of Change, dives into the child that doesn’t like moving from place to place. It gives readers a different understanding about the life of a military-connected child and many of the hardships that come with a family serving in our Armed Forces. This book also gives children tools to use in situations that might cause them strife when dealing with change.
We are now settled as a family at our tenth duty station. Some moves we decided to only move the service member and keep the rest of our family unit intact. Most moves were done together as a family but a couple of moves have been to help with our transition for retirement. Our oldest child, who is 16 years old, was born in Seoul, Korea, has lived in 7 locations and has attended 7 schools. Our youngest is 12 years old, she was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, has lived in 6 locations and has attended 4 different schools. Transitions have been hard for our family but we have found many bright lights at the end of some dark tunnels and are now enjoying being settled.
My advice to military families is to take life as it comes, concentrate on the positive things that are happening around you, dive in and soak up the tour in every way possible, and seek outside help when you need it. Every family is different and situations are not the same so be true to yourself and your family. If you stay true to your unit you will realize that the adventure is in the journey and you will be an inspiration to others.
It's PCS Season books can be purchased from amazon.
For an autographed copy of the books, please visit our website at www.oursquarejourney.com