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Fort Lewis Army Post Review (3)

Base Name:  Ft Lewis WA

Base Location: Tacoma, WA

How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present)

2009-2010

What is housing like?

On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.)

Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?

Off post near base- unsafe neighborhoods, looks horrible, scared to even drive through some places!

We lived further away in Puyallup but finally could not afford it any longer. Was 1200 a month plus utilities and the drive was a bit on gas.

On post- I do like our housing; some of the even newer buildings are beautiful. Wish every place came standard with a fence though.

Save up your money for deposits!!

Rate the PX & Commissary.

Yes it is cheaper than going off post but would love the commissary to explain that “surcharge” that sure looks like tax.

Activities on base?

I always here about something going on.

Active Spouses Club?

I am sure there are but I stay away from them. Drama is in the water here.

Things to do in area?

I would visit the mountains, the aquariums, and the parks. Lots for families.

School System?

So-so. I have seen better. But what choice do you have? ½ day school is ridiculous though.

Any colleges in area?

Yes

Jobs? (on post and off)

Not sure, I work from home.

Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city?

Scenery is beautiful

Least favorite aspect?

This base is a horrible duty station.

Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.)

Local thrift website.

Any other tips?

Do not choose this base unless you have no other choice. The “support” here is drab, the women here are drama and trouble, and always putting their personal lives on the local website (hence I did not link you). It is the worse duty station ever. We would never come back and never recommend it to anyone with children. The high price to live here is crazy. Another person’s review said to save 3-4 thousand dollars for down payments, she was correct. We arrived with 6,000 $ and it took all of that to get housing and rent a car to even view the houses. This base does not help with move in or deposits. You arrive and you are on your own. Horrible base!!!

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{ 55 comments… add one }
  • andrea September 24, 2010, 5:55 pm

    ah im freakin out…we just got verbal orders for Ft. lewis…i dont know what to do…hubby is just finishing ait & there is no way we can have that much for deposits! im startin to panic!

  • Misty October 20, 2010, 12:20 pm

    I too do not like it here at Ft. Lewis. We’ve been here a little over 2 yrs. and we spent our 1st 15 days living in a hotel. When we did finally find somewhere to live, we were 45 mins. from base because that was the only place that I felt safe. Although we were only 45 mins from base, my hubby left our apartment at 415am to get to PT at 615 and usually he just made it. Traffic here is unbearable. Unfortunately, we had to get an AER loan to cover the costs of deposits because we spent our savings on hotels. Once we did get on base, 7 months later, it was much better. People here not friendly and it’s hard to find a job. I am running into interviews and then people ask if I’m a military spouse. When I answer yes, they say Oh, ok. We’ll get back to you. The only good thing here is that my hubby does seem to like his unit.

    • mrs. neumiller April 2, 2011, 10:03 am

      Are you still living at Ft. Lewis? I lived there a long time ago with my sister and her husband. I stay with them and watch her son grow up. They enjoyed living there. Her husband play on the baseball team. The reason I’m contacting you is that. I’m trying to get to a shirt from Ft. Lewis. I meet my husband to be there. We now live in Montana. Anyway I’m trying to get a shirt of the entrance there. I remember that if your looking at the entrance. We lived to the left of that. Yes right there! I have an old sweat shirt. But would like to find out how I could get a shirt. Can ya help me on this? My sister and husband have since retired and now live in Texas. If you can help me out that would be great. Love to here from you. We had good times living there. But like I said it’s been a long time ago. Let’s see Mt. St. Hellen’s went off. What a site to see. Thats beeen a long time.

  • Tarah November 3, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I don’t think it is very bad here….we live in Yelm. We did have to come up with 1400 for a deposit on our home, and to get a home in BAH range for an E5 or below they are smaller homes, but that means less heating and electricity costs. I think anytime you PCS you are looking at spending a lot of money for convenience foods, hotels, rental cars, etc. The one thing I do find a but crazy here is that at doctors appointments the only person allowed is the person with the appointment and if it’s for your child only that child and yourself can come. My husband works 12 hour days with a 4/4 schedule so no luck with him getting off, I have to try to book around him and they can be very rude and not very accommodating. You can always request for tricare to assign you a PCM off post though. No experience with FRG or anything yet, nobody has contacted me! If you join meetup.com there are a few groups around here and it has helped me meet a few nice women. There is a lot of drama but like usual military life, it follows, you just have to separate yourself from it.

  • Sarah December 12, 2010, 10:07 pm

    I have been living on Ft. Lewis for almost 6 months and I am happy.
    Here’s the deal:
    If you just take wait until you get here to figure out the housing, you are going to hate it. You will live off post in Lakewood (mostly unacceptable but cheapest around), Tacoma (don’t do it) or further out. Olympia/Lacey/Yelm are nice, but can be pricey. If you are E-5 and below, fight tooth and nail to live on post. Your BAH will not be high enough to lease anything decent close enough to base.
    As soon as you find out you will be PCSing here, figure out what day you will arrive and call to make reservations at the Rainier Inn, the hotel on post. If they don’t have any room for the full 10 days, take what you can get and keep calling back to reserve more time. We moved here in the middle of summer and it didn’t even take us 10 days to get base housing. People who arrived at around the same time ended up living off post and are not happy.
    Why?
    Because they did not keep bugging Equity. The Rainier Inn is right across the street from Waller Hall (which has Equity and all the stuff your soldier has to do to process in) and the library. I had my three kids with me. Since I didn’t want to stay trapped in the hotel room everyday, the first thing I did was walk to Equity and get on the list for a house….any house. When I wasn’t at Equity “checking up” with all my kids playing with the toys in the waiting area, we were at the library. It was tough but not too bad. The Equity people WILL try to blow you off and encourage you to go to the next counter to get help finding off-post housing they run. DON’T DO IT. Be nice, call everyday, when they say to call back, ask what time. When they give you a time, call or be there promptly. I was originally told (like everyone else) that there was nothing available for 30-60 days. We were moving in 8 days later. DON”T GIVE UP & BE NICE.

    I haven’t had the experience of the above poster with the medical appointments. I have had nothing but great things to say about Nisqually Clinic and Madigan. Our FRG is nice…made us cookies when we got here so we bake for the new families to return the favor. I have done a couple of things beside that with the FRG, but you just have to get involved – read the newsletter, nobody is going to come to your door begging you to be their friend.

    I did have a hard time finding a job, so I stopped looking…even without me working, though, we do all right living on post – we save $$ on gas and utilities, which makes all the difference.

    • Nichole Houy February 4, 2012, 8:59 pm

      Hey Sarah

      We are getting ready to PCS to Ft Lewis and I am looking for some advice with moving. I definetely love to live on post but they have all said it would be a long wait. I have a 7 month old and want to stay somewhere safe as my husband will be deploying soon after we ge there. I am getting nervous about living off post becasue of everything everyone here has said.. you have been the only one who has said anything positive that I have found so I would love if maybe I could talk to you about moving here. I know this post was from a while ago I hope your still there and still will see this!

      Thanks

      Nichole
      nmhouy@gmail.com

  • SuzHM January 27, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I too am pcs’ing to Ft. Lewis. Everytime my husband mention that post to another soldier, the first question they ask is if he’s single. Is this a good place to raise our family or is it a party place for singles or trouble?

    • Gabrielle March 27, 2011, 4:24 am

      Ft.lewis is a great place to raise a family.Cyss has alot of activites for children of all ages to get involved in. Ft.lewis always has some kind of event for you to get out the house and have some fun for a low price. and the cdc seems to be pretty nice i have my little 3 yr in their child care and she has learned alot so far. i dont really agree with the previous people about finding a place off post, i mean it is best to look ahead of time, but rpp will help u so u dont have to pay a depoist and or any other move in cost all u have to pay is a holding fee not even a app fee. living on post is nice if u are unfamiliar with where to live i would go with university place or spanaway or olympia/lacey/yelm some parts of lakewood are ruff but most parts are nice. if u are worried about the safety check with the police dept and ask them what is the crime rate for the area that u are looking in.but overall this is not a bad duty station my husband loves it and its always something for my little girl to do!

  • Julie November 17, 2011, 7:03 pm

    We moved straight to Lacey and I have loved it here. But I’m a very hands-off spouse. I got the impression early on that the FRG was not my scene…I’m weird because although my husband’s enlisted, we’ve been together 15 years almost and our kids are 10/12 so I have little in common with the young enlisted crowd. Every time they want us to go so that they can “put out information” it’s a total waste of time, the “information” is stuff my husband already told me, and they just want me to participate in some bake sale or fundraiser. I work full time. I don’t need something to while away my boredom and keep me from partying or whatever…but speaking of which, while husband was deployed (he doesn’t like my taste in music always) friends and I did visit Seattle for lots of cool concert events and stuff. There is plenty of culture up here, in fact I think the area tries to be extra-colorful to offset the grey skies. But when the sun comes out, it’s a BLESSING. Take it from a former Goth girl. You’ll never love the sun so much, until you live up here. Just try very hard to make HEALTHY friendships. Judge people carefully. If someone’s got mega-drama, stay far away. Bad stuff can happen, people will, with sweet innocent smiles on their cute hippie faces, drag you into the worst hell and take total advantage of you, then act like they did nothing wrong and YOU’RE “mean” for not “being a good friend” and giving them whatever they want with little/nothing in return. You really, really need to guard yourself against unwelcome obligations up here. I’m from the East Coast…I miss honesty, even when it’s harsh.

    Now for the concrete stuff: We rented from prop. mgt in Lacey (a great suburb by the way) called CPI. Some will warn against CPI. They do not charge a big deposit. They charge a few hundred bucks which is NONREFUNDABLE for sanitizing the carpets etc. If you keep your home pristine you will owe no additional fee, but they basically have an itemized list. A stain on the carpet, a spot on a wall, they charge for it on moveout. We wound up owing another $200 even though we cleaned like maniacs. They will rent to ANYONE. Yes, rent and deposits are high here. But so is your BAH. Check it out. Best option, by FAR is to look at Craigslist, Hotpads.com, Padmapper.com, etc. and find a nice private homeowner who just can’t sell in this market. After a year w/CPI we did this and our home is gorgeous, the owners are nice, the neighborhood is great…couldn’t ask for more. Lots of the locals love to support military families. If you make a good impression, they will work with you on deposits, especially the private owners. The folks we rent from now, let us skate for 6 months until husband got a bonus chunk for our deposit. Sweet people!

    So to wrap it up (sorry, habitual novel-writer)…I dislike the base but love Lacey, Olympia, and Seattle, and Portland. Stay away from the beach. It sucks. Check out the Artwalk in Olympia as well as Halloween down on Capital Way, and the 4th of July in Tacoma. Try to have fun!!

    Schools: My sons attend North Thurston public schools in Lacey. OK, so kindergarten is retarded, because it’s half-days. Also like every other Wednesday for the rest of the kids is an “early release” or “late start” where the day is 1.5 hours shorter. The kindergarten kids get some of these Wednesdays off. (The phone message says “PM kindergarten will attend.” for example…so they get a whole day off once every 4 weeks.) Trying to coordinate daycare with all of this so that you can work, can be a total pain. Glad my boys are now of an age they can be home alone…but I still pester them on the phone. 😉 HOWEVER…the funding in Lacey for schools is pretty good, and the arts and music are awesome. My son started Orchestra in 5th grade. It’s really not common to see at that grade level, and it’s been awesome for him.

    • Amanda Ayala May 23, 2012, 3:43 pm

      Julie,

      My husband has to report to Ft. Lewis on August 10th. I am currently looking at areas off post to live but we are from Texas and I have no idea what the best areas are to live. I found a place on craigslist that I like but it is in Tacoma. Is that too far from post? Do you reconmend Lacey or Yelm instead? Just thought I would ask since you seem to know your stuff.

      PS…We dont have kids (just 2 dogs) and I want to work. I am an Interior Designer here in Austin, TX but do not have a job up there yet.

      Thanks!
      Amanda

      • Sarah May 29, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Hi Amanda. We are in Fort Hood right now as well. We report to Ft. Lewis in November. A friend told me about http://www.ahrn.com.
        Its a site where you can look at different types of off post housing that are within your BAH etc etc.
        It is a really great site, designed with Military families in mind.
        🙂
        ~Sarah

        • Amanda Ayala June 4, 2012, 9:36 am

          Thanks Sarah! I am actually in Austin and my husband is in Kentucky right now. Ft Lewis is actually his first duty station so I am pretty new to everything. I will definitely check out that website.

          Thanks!
          Amanda

          • nathaniel July 16, 2012, 1:40 pm

            Hello, I am from the fort lewis area, and I dont know much about the other neighborhoods, but where I am from is pretty bad. Stay away from Hilltop in tacoma. The most north point in tacoma is approx. 10 miles from base (which is at the most southern part of tacoma). All in all tacoma is a decent place to live.

  • james November 29, 2011, 11:26 pm

    My husband first duty station is ft Lewis. He has to be there in Feb. Is ok for me to get in contact with Boeing on base now so we can get on the list. He is a e4 and we have 3 kids. I need to find out about school for my 12 yr old 7 yr old and daycare for my 3 yr old. I’m also looking forward to finding a job. I have been in law enforcement for 11 yrs. My main focus is finding housing for us. Please HELP ME!!!!!

    • Amanda Ayala June 4, 2012, 9:36 am

      Thanks Sarah! I am actually in Austin and my husband is in Kentucky right now. Ft Lewis is actually his first duty station so I am pretty new to everything. I will definitely check out that website.

      Thanks!
      Amanda

  • Nichole Houy February 4, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Hey Everyone

    We are getting ready to PCS there in less than a month. We have a 7 month old and are most interested in safety since my husband will be deploying soon after we get there. The wait list on post seems to be really long so I am worried if we live off post well end up somewhere either dangerous or too far away.. Any help/ advice/ or anyone to talk to would be GREAT!

    Thanks in advance

    Nichole

    • Erin February 17, 2012, 3:15 am

      We have been here for two years and we have really enjoyed it. If it was not so far away from our families, we would stay here forever!! We live off post and have since we moved here. We live in Lacey and it is an ok area. It takes my husband about 15 minutes to get to work….traffic sucks coming home though!! We live in a gated community in Lacey and it is mostly military with family. They have a pool and gym. There are a lot of gated apartment areas like ours in Lacey. Rent runs about 1000 for a 2 bed/2bath. We lived in a house the first year and it was just too expensive for us…4 bed/3 bath for 1300… The gated community suits the 3 of us much better!! A lot of our friends live in Puyallup & Graham and they are nicer areas also. If u want to avoid rough areas I would avoid Lakewood and Tacoma(they are closer to the base though and not all areas are bad) There is tons to do for people with familes. We have a four-year old little girl and she does tap(through parks and rec in Lacey) and gymnastics. My 10 year old step-daughter lived with us the first year and she played softball. We also camp, go to the beach, tube, hike, and there is always something fun to do. It is beautiful!! Yes the rain does suck….it rained the first 40 days we were here and it doesn’t storm which I miss( I love thunder). The summer though is wonderful!! It barely rains and we love to swim. The schools are normal schools and childcare is just ok…not as good as it was in Tennessee, but we love her preschool! I found a job about 3 months after we moved here. We are PCSing this summer and there are a lot of things I will miss!! FredMyer has become of my favorite stores( I love all of the shopping) and we will miss Tugboat Annies in Olympia. We love to go to Tumwater Falls and to Burfoot park in Olympia. The ocean is only a couple hours away and we will miss that too!! We camp about once a month at the differnt state parks and we love to visit all the cool places when family visits. The only negative things about living here that I can think of is, we miss some of the resturants from down south, the people are rude(I am southern and it took some getting used to), and everything is more expensive. If u have any other questions just ask!! Every place is what u make of it!!

      • Nichole Houy February 23, 2012, 11:48 am

        Thank you so much! Any ideas as far as gated communities that you talked about we should look at? My husband is going to be looking for a place so we can have one before the baby and I fly out. Any advice on which communities or websites I can check out while I am here I would really appreciate it!

        Thanks again!

        • Erin February 25, 2012, 1:30 pm

          The place that we rent has 3 communities….Abbey Rowe, Brittany Lane, and The Madisons. The floorplans are all pretty similar but they Madisons are the newest and most updated…and most expensive. You can just call any of the offices and come in and see. There are so many communities like that here. We just drove around until we found one that had everything and was in out budget. I looked online and I know there are a bunch in Puyallup. I just did a google search originally. Good luck with everything!!

  • Rebecca Robinson March 26, 2012, 12:32 am

    We just got orders to Fort Lewis from Fort Hood. Fort Hood has been our only duty station so we are very excited to be going somewhere new. We had a choice between Lewis and Carson and chose Lewis because we heard so many good things about it. After reading all of this I am now concerned that we made the wrong choice! We have three kids. Our oldest is 16, plus we have 13 year old twins. I was hoping to have housing taken care of before we got there so that my kids would be able to start school right away. The thought of staying in a hotel with them for more than 10 days kind of freaks me out. I am pretty sure that we will all drive each other crazy,lol! I really want to live on post. We live on post here now and I prefer it to living off post. My husband is an E6, but, he only has 5 years in service so we do not make as much money as most E6’s do. I need a four bedroom home in a good neighborhood. All of my kids will be in high school by the time we get there in October. I am nervous about getting in a bad neighborhood and that effecting the school that they attend. In Fort Hood, we stay away from Killeen because it is trashy. I do not want to get there and end up living in a town like that because it is cheaper. Did we make a huge mistake by taking lewis over carson??

    • Erin April 20, 2012, 11:48 pm

      Carson is nice but so is Lewis/ McChord. There is so much stuff to do here!! We camp, we sightsee, you can hit the slopes, the beach…..TONS to do!!! We are about to PCS and I will miss so many things about it!! There are plenty of nice neightborhoods that you guys will be able to afford. When we got here my husband was an E6 with 5 years and I was so worried but we managed….we only have one daughter but we had a four bedroom house when we first moved here(for my step-kids to visit) and we paid about 1200 which was resonable. The schools here are good…I worked in Olympia and lived in Lacey and both school systems were nice. I don’t know about on post housing and all of that but I did have friends in my mom’s group that lived on post and they seemed to like it. There are so many nice neighborhood towards Puyallup….we have friends that live in Graham and it was nice. You just have to kinda look around. My husband drove his truck out, found a house, flew back and drov eout with us. The weather takes a little gettting used to but the summers are sooooo nice!! I am from the south and I don’t miss the heat and humidity!! There are so many kid activities here!! Hope you guys enjoy!! We loved it!!

  • carney April 27, 2012, 8:28 am

    Single e5 posing to fort lewis from germany…. Trying to find out more about the place, I am to be with 110th Chemical, I will take any advice you got…. but if anyone know the living conditions that would be awesome, Do e5 have to stay on post!

  • carney April 27, 2012, 8:29 am

    Single e5 pcsing to fort lewis from germany…. Trying to find out more about the place, I am to be with 110th Chemical, I will take any advice you got…. but if anyone know the living conditions that would be awesome, Do e5 have to stay on post!

  • Melissa Bouska May 10, 2012, 2:34 pm

    My husband is an E-4 and he just got his active duty orders and we are going to be stationed at Fort Lewis in November. My worries and fears are the same as some that already have been talked about on here. This is my husband and mine first duty station so we really dont know what to expect. How are the houses on post? What are the safe and good areas off of post? And which is better on or off post to live. What also concerns me is that we have 2 dogs and 1 cat and are they allowed on on post housing? I am worried if we have to live off post that the deposits for houses are very high and that we wont be able to afford them, an suggestions? And since we arent going to be there till November when is a good time to start applying for on post housing? Also, is it easy to find a job out there and are there any colleges near by?

    • Lori July 23, 2012, 10:07 pm

      My family and I just arrived at Ft. Lewis 2 weeks ago, so I will try to give you some advice about the housing situation here on base. The sooner you can fill out the application, the better off you will be when you get here. My husband just returned from a dependent restricted tour in South Korea, and that put us at the top of the list but we are still waiting for housing. We chose housing for Discovery Village and the first available house won’t be ready until August 7. Needless to say, we are stuck in a hotel until then. You can stay in lodging on post, but they don’t allow pets, so you will have to pay to board them. We have 2 cats and 1 small dog and the boarding fees were going to cost about $65 a day, plus the cost of lodging. The Army will only reimburse you for 10 days, so we are out of pocket a lot of money! There are extended stay hotels nearby and they will work with you on the pet fee. That is what we had to do. I have learned that Lacey is a really nice area and so is Dupont, but they are expensive. I would suggest living on post because it seems like the cheaper route. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

      • Katrisha November 20, 2012, 10:08 pm

        My husband is currently deployed but when he gets back we are pcsing to Lewis. I am very excited about the move but nervous as well! We want to live on post were a single family no children 1 cat, what would you estimate for the waiting period? Can we sign up for housing before we get there? How does this work, I’m new to this whole thing. He is an E5 and will possibley have his 6 by the time we get there. Also have you had any luck applying to jobs there? I think I would go nuts with out a job! Any advice is greatly appreciated 🙂
        Thanks

  • Victoria May 25, 2012, 9:41 am

    I was wondering the same thing. My husband just got stationed to Ft. Lewis next month and I was wondering if you can get on the housing list b4 he reports or do we have to wait? I have 2 children and this is our 1st duty station so we wanted to live on post. If anyone could tell me how it goes please reply back it would help alot to know.

  • edward June 1, 2012, 5:33 am

    He will have to sign on post before getting on the list, (ar 420-1). On the same token do as much research iy.e schools sou can so you have a good idea of where to leave ,

  • Amanda June 28, 2012, 2:50 am

    I’ve lived on base for 1.5 years and regret it everyday, we should have lived off base. My husband has been in the army for 18 years so I’ve lived in my fair share of base housing and I have never dealt with such a horrible property management company such as the one here, Equity. Equity has employees whose sole job is to drive around and look for violations, or so it seems since they have visited me 3 times for petty violations, 2 of these, the Equity employee was incorrect and the 1 time they were right, I assumed responsibility and corrected the issue. Their behavior is borderline harrassement. Equity employees will find the smallest, most asinine things to cite you over and even if they are wrong and you are not violating any rules, they will still hand you the citation AKA “friendly reminder.” The patrols don’t end with the peons driving around in white Equity trucks as the maintenance people are equally as bad…if you have a 45 gallon fish tank and maintenace spots it while unclogging your toilet, you will be reported and will be visited by a manager to receive your reminder as well as have to get rid of it..40 gallons is max allowable size. Don’t believe me??? Ask anyone here what they think about the narcs at Equity, there is absolutely no concern for customers, only for their property. I’ll go so far as to say that I don’t even think Equity is a pro-military business…they are all about the money.

    • Victoria June 30, 2012, 10:20 pm

      What neighborhood are you in? My husband put us on the waiting list for Parkway is that a nice area on base?

  • monique September 4, 2012, 1:39 am

    Im new and going to fort lewis as my first duty station i have no idea what to expect! Can someone tell me what i should expect going and give me tips..

  • Alana laughlin September 25, 2012, 12:27 am

    We PCS’d here, Ft Lewis, in June, and we live in Lacey. It is really nice over here. Dupont, Yelm and Olympia are good too! Just stay away from Tacoma and/or Lakewood. On post, they do not have DOD schools. They would pick them up and drive them to a lakewood school, at least the highschool. Deposits are eq to one months rent for the most part and it is pricey. We got a house right on long lake, 4 bedrroms and we pay $1400. There are several for rent now in our neighborhoos in Lacey. If I can help ANYONE at all with pics of possible houses, areas, post questions, ect. You can find me under Alans sterchi laughlin 🙂 You will like it, there is so much to do. Once you get past the frusterating move part (which is stressful no matter where you go), WA is a beautiful state!

    Alana

    • Katrisha November 20, 2012, 10:16 pm

      Alana- HELP! 🙂 could you please email me!! My husband and I are moving to Lewis sometime in the Spring/summer2013 whenever he gets home from deployment! I have so many questions and could really use your advice!
      Thanks
      Katrisha

      katrisha.davenport@gmail.com

  • Amanda October 3, 2012, 8:02 pm

    My husband and I are headed to Ft Lewis in January 2013.
    I’m nervous about finding a house (we want to either rent or buy). New to the Army, my husband was active Marine Corps before this though, I don’t understand the whole having to stay in a hotel thing??? Does the Army HAVE to approve where you live?
    It seems like everyone likes Olympia, Lacey, and Puyallup… My main concern is safety because we have a 2 1/2 month old. Are those areas good for safety as well? Also what will the commutes be like for the hubby in these areas?
    Thanks!!!

    • nichelle November 17, 2012, 10:02 pm

      Before I was afraid of living in the Tacoma area because I heard a lot of negative feedback. What we decide was to stay inside the military housing then once I got use to the area we decided to move out and rent an apartment outside the base; if your family is planning to buy a house there are places that most of the military family live. I hope your husband is going into a good unit because the people I knew and my husband had issues with their company. Good Luck and Welcome to Ft. Lewis.

  • bridget December 18, 2012, 6:23 am

    I am currently deployed, and my husband just went to Fort Lewis to visit. We have a dog over 35lbs, and we do NOT have children. We haven’t been around each other in a couple years, and we are in our late-twenties, and want to live somewhere fun where we can enjoy ourselves and the times we have missed.He was deployed, I was deployed…we want to live in nicer area of Tacoma, but I have no idea what the commute will be like to JBLM. We liked the idea of Steilacoom. I understand everyone needs great child care and schools, but we are looking for somewhere to live that has some nice pubs, museums, dog parks, with E-5 pay, and a dual income, somehwere in the neighborhood of 700-1000 a month rent. We only need one bedroom. I don’t want to live in a gated community. Somewhere I can walk and get coffee, and not be terrified to walk down the street by myself after dark if I work late. Anyone have any ideas? I heard Olympia is nice, but there is nothing in my price range. Any help would be much appreciated. Please help! Thank you.

  • TM December 21, 2012, 1:33 pm

    We’re 90% sure we are coming to Lewis-McChord between June-Aug 2013. We have both high school and junior high school kids still left in the nest and the quality of schools will dictate our choice of residence. Currently we are stationed in Alabama, schools here are not so great so we have our kids in a pricey private school but the tuition is setting us back. Does anyone have advice on the schools?

  • Lea January 2, 2013, 11:32 am

    My husband just got orders to ft lewis on april 01, we plan on staying on post us and our 2 kids until maybe we find something we’d like off post , id like to do some research on that first. He is E4 and i was wondering can we get on the list for housing now some are available in 60 or 90 days..or do we have to wait until he reports there in april to even get on the list.

  • Jan Doe January 5, 2013, 12:06 pm

    All i hear is spouses complaining about how bad the post is… I’m stationed at Ft. Bliss, TX where this place is pure HELL… Every post is different and not everyone is going to like it..

    • B. Philips May 16, 2013, 8:31 pm

      We are retired Army and retired Civil Service. If my husband was still active duty and got orders for Lewis, I would insist
      that he go AWOL! The Commissary is always filthy, so you have to go to McChord AFB. People in Washington are rude beyond
      anyone’s imagination. They cannot drive. It rains almost every day. Too many people on Lewis, too. Seems like every woman
      you see is preggers. Madigan Hospital is not clean and to get a prescription filled, you can sit and wait for two or three hours
      (at least) just to get to the windows, where they take another hour to type up the bottles. No organization in any office at all.
      If you plan to buy a house, the cost is very high, and the houses are not put together well at all. Walls are crooked; doors do not
      fit properly, etc.; and you will never re-coup what you pay for a house here.

  • Brittany January 21, 2013, 2:38 am

    My husband and I just stationed here for his first duty spot… And we haven’t even been here two months and I hate it! I’m from the south, so I know hospitality and welcome when I see it! Fort Lewis has so many rude people it’s unreal… I mean would it be to hard to smile every now and again! The nicest person I have come in contact with is my hair dresser! Sad.. Right? I’m not even wanting to join FRG because of the horrific feeling I get from this place..
    Housing:
    Housing isn’t as bad as people think… Yeah we live in Lakewood and have no problems here.. No town is going to be absolutely perfect! Especially in a state as free minded as this one! There are nice parts of town than there are bad ones. And spending every waking moment looking for an apartment is unreal.. I would know. But nothing you find will be perfect!
    I’m a very easy person to please, I’m from Oklahoma of course I am. But either way. My husband is only a PFC, and he wanted to live on base, but I refused due to not feeling comfortable around these people.. I feel more comfortable in Lakewook and Tacoma than I do in the PX.. But on the bright side the view is great!

    • sylvia March 8, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Really? i actually feel more comfortable here that in Fort Lee….and i’ve actully met ppl here lol i live in lakewood to n is not that bad… Best of luck 🙂

      • Jade April 15, 2015, 4:05 pm

        I live in fort lee now, we’ve been here three years. Hubby is currently in South Korea and will be home in 6 months. We are considering lewis. I hate fort lee! He is e-5 we have three kids, I keep hearing a lot of bad things, but he’s been dieing to live there.

  • Sam January 30, 2013, 6:28 pm

    My Fiancee and I got this as his FDS in May. We are planning on getting married beforehand, but then having a ceremony back in our hometown… this ceremony and reception has been planned for 8 months now. I’m worried that they wont give him the weekend off to have our “wedding” does anyone have experience with this? Also, we have no children, but we do have 2 dogs, are there any places that are better with pets than others? We have never done this before and are very nervous. Is there a way to get our name on a list for housing before we get there? We were not aware that we would need so much money for deposits, etc and paying for a wedding is not helping that, is there a way for us to get a place off post before we get there so that we have a place to move in to in May? Any and all advice or recommendations would be helpful and appreciated! Thanks!

    • sylvia March 8, 2013, 3:00 pm

      If he talks to his sargents and ask permision with time normaly they dont have a problem with that…. http://jblmc.com/ in this page u can get information for the housing but everything is tru a list but u can always rent a aparment for a few monts and then move i know that were i live is in Lakewood Pacific walk apartments and ppl say is dangerous but i havent have any problems n they let u have small or big dogs at sometimes they have specials for 2 bedroom apartment is 850 but im paying 700 so is not bad

  • Tammie March 1, 2013, 12:18 pm

    My husband is currently stationed in Korea and have received verbal orders to Ft. Lewis. The kids and I are at Ft. Hood. He is due back in June and I’m guessing we will be reporting by the end of summer. He is an E-8, we have 3 kids, and 2 dogs so we need housing as soon as possible. Our 2 oldest will be attending college there so we need information on colleges in the area as well as elementary school info. We also need information on employment opportunities. We have been at Ft. Hood 9 years and are looking forward to the move.

  • sylvia March 8, 2013, 2:44 pm

    I move to lakewood on december 2012 and is not that bad the only thing is that my husband has to wake up early to go to pt and is horrible for gas…because we lived im lakewood the rent is not that bad but everyone says that lakewood is dangerous ppl say that the best place to live is in Dupont….the base is not that bad and i’ve met alot of ppl true fort lewis FB i actually like this base more than fort lee!

  • Kristin June 11, 2013, 6:28 pm

    My husband is stationed to Fort Lewis for our first move….i plan to live on base, but was wondering if anyone could tell me about the neighborhoods within the base??? Hillside, McChord, and Parkway have the shortest waiting list. Are any of these good? Or better than the other? And why? Thank you guys so much 🙂

    • Demi June 29, 2013, 12:24 pm

      people say they are ok but you have to adjust yourself …
      we will be living on Meriwether side that’s a new development but when ever you move in just put your name on the list again for the next 6 month …

  • carrie June 26, 2013, 10:29 pm

    My husband will be stationed there in september. This will be mine n my kids first time going to a duty station with him. Any advice on what to expect or information on how the base is such as kid activities, the community, etc would be grestly appreciated!!

  • Demi June 29, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Hi my name is Demi and I just move here in April SO WE HAVE RENT A4 BDR SINGLE FAMILY HOME IN OLYMPIA FOR $1495.00 DEPOSIT WAS $1000.00 ….we where

    living in Olympia ,but I didn’t like it so I went and put my name on the ,.on post housing list …
    yes they will tell you there is waiting period of 6/1 year ;.they told me on the new houses , so we still place our name on the list and we were call with in 2weeek ,stated that we are approve for one of the new house!!!!! so we will be moving in July …I like the base housing because you will save$$$$$$ you have free pool every thing is there for you and your family .,but just be nice with them ……..
    YES EVERY WERE YOU GO THERE IS DRAMA IF YOU ASSOCIATE YOUR SELF WITH IT ….just be positive be there for your spouse an d your family ,just be YOURSELF…. we are grown people so we should attract that among our self ,because every were we go there are different type of people BLACK WHITE ASAIN FREANCH ARAB YOU NAME IT!! WE JUST HAVE TO BE CIVIL ….people can lived anywhere but they have to adjusts remember we are married to the military and we just have to be supportive to our spouse and be focus for the sake of them …..

  • Tiffani Driver-Carraquillo July 22, 2013, 3:42 pm

    Hello,
    My name is Tiffani, my husband and I are scheduled to report to Ft. Lewis Nov 11th, 2013. I am thankful to be able to read everyone’s comments. I will admit that starting at the top of this comment list scared the BA-JESUS out of me!! We are trying to sell our home in Lawton, OK, and that comes at a price. Reading about the heavy deposits and rental rates caused me to panic. I’m glad I continued to read and found some of you that enjoy living there. The information on the Rainier Inn was great! We already made reservations and have been looking not only at post quarters but also in the communities suggested. Wow, they are pricey but I it’s good to know what you are walking into.

    I am an army brat and truly believe it’s all about what you make of your duty station. Moving from Lawton, which is in the middle of nowhere with even less to do, I am so excited to hear about all the things to do in WA!! I am excited about getting involved on post, the FRG here does it’s best but struggles to get people involved. Women who like drama tend to attract that same type, I steer clear of that, but still hope to make some good friends 😉

    I will definitely put my experience on here as we make our move. Thank you all for sharing your experiences both good and bad 😉

  • Misty White August 15, 2013, 5:56 pm

    My husband has five more weeks in AIT and we were just told we are going to Fort Lewis. My husband and I are both 20 and I have no idea at all what I need to do before we go up there. From all the reviews it sounds terrible but if anyone is willing to help and give me some advise or direction I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

  • Nikki September 19, 2013, 12:37 pm

    I think the state is absolutely beautiful, but I’m not fan of being stationed here. Every duty station we’ve been to it was always easy meeting people and having friendships but a lot of people seem stuck up so I really don’t even try. It’s nice to explore and do different things on the weekends. They have hiking on Mt. Rainer, zoo, gig harbor, children’s museums, free animal farms, inside bounce houses, and a few other really cool things. The out door rec you can rent a boat and hang out on American lake right on post! Its a beautiful state!

  • Karen January 5, 2014, 7:25 pm

    I have a relative who is stationed at Fort Lewis and he never got the Christmas package we went him, despite the US Post Office showing Priority Mail delivery on December 21. This is not the first time this has happened, and I hear from other family members who contacted the USPS at their 98433 zipcode, that mail OFTEN doesn’t get properly picked up or delivered to our soldiers there, once someone from the Base picks it up from the US Postal Service office. Does anyone else know anything about this problem there, with the mail, or have experience with the same ….? Or how to get it fixed? We didn’t send much of a package, but did want him to receive it, especially at Christmastime, to let him know we were thinking of him — and we did pay for Priority Mail so it would reach him for Christmas, but it still is missing (and today is January 5). Thank you. – K

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