My wife and I are back and forth on what to do about this, here's the situation. I'm at 18 years in the military and due for a transfer in a month and a half. We have three kids, a 14 yo about to start highschool, a 12 year old going into 7th grade, and a 9 year old going into 4th grade. We live in a small area that we all really like, the kids have made good friends and we have a few good family friends as well.
The location I'm transferring to is about a 5hr drive away. We can't decide between only me going and them staying, or all of us going. The area I'm transferring to is a much bigger, more populated area that none of us are looking forward to. I moved around a lot when I was a kid and always hated it and I hate to do that to my kids. We've been lucky enough to be in one spot for 15 years prior being where we are now and the kids were a lot younger during that move. I'm out of the military in 2 years. If it were longer than that it would be a no-brainer, but as it sits now, I will have 23 months left when I get there and there is a pretty good chance that I'll be deployed for at least 8 months during those 23 months, which in my opinion is hitting my family with a double whammy. The whole purpose in moving them would be to be together, then I leave completely while they have no friends or support system.
Being only 5 hours away I could make the drive at least every other weekend and on any three day weekend no problems. As far as getting out in 2 years, there are plenty of job opportunities in my field at our current location so rejoining my family (if they stayed), shouldn't be much of an issue. If they moved though, in two years we would be looking at likely picking up and moving again.
I can think of plenty of pros and cons for both, but this is becoming a really difficult decision to make. I've been leaning towards them staying, my wife has flip-flopped several times