Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by dohdean, Dec 14, 2012.
Our daughter will be going to Dover. She will be a Finance Officer. What can you tell us?
You might want to post this under Life After the Academy forum, a larger pool of posters might respond.
I can tell you, that you might want to think about looking into renting a beach house at Rehobeth Beach if you want to do something like a family vacay. It will be very pricey because Rehobeth is akin to going to the Outer Banks in NC or Cape May
The other thing you might want to give her is an EZpass. Delaware might be tiny, but it has a ton of tolls on 95, and I am sure due to the proximity of NYC, AC, Philly,Baltimore, and DC for weekend excursions she will be very thankful for that gift. If she pays for cash during peak weekends it can mean spending 5 minutes in line at each toll booth or 30 seconds slowing down to 5 mph to beam through.
My neck of the woods. I just moved from Delaware after spending a good portion of my life in Delaware. I raised my children there. We went to Dover AFB to get my son's boots before BCT.
There is no state sales tax, I love that. I love going up to the cashier and paying what is marked on the price tag. There are plenty of Wawa's in close proximity to DAFB, there are even a few Super Wawa's. You may not know what a Wawa is, but they are the best. I can describe it in a few words, "clean 7/11", you can get pretty good sandwiches and other take out items. Super Wawa's have gas stations and generally the lowest prices in the area. You also have Royal Farms (gas station/convenience store) in Dover that still make made to order breakfast sandwiches. The bacon, egg, and cheese on a croisant are delicious. Up the road a short distance, you have Helen's Sausage House, worth the drive to Smyrna (10 miles) for a delicious treat. You have to get there early because they close around 2 in the afternoon.
South of Dover are the beaches, most are about 45 minutes or south down Route 1. Rehobeth may be pricey, but Bethany, Lewes, Dewey, and the other beach towns are not too bad. in Delaware you go to the Beach, in Jersey you go to the Shore. There is a difference, and people will correct you if you make the mistake of mixing it up. The beachas are ok, the ocean tends to be a little rough in that area. I am not really a northen beach person, I find the water to be too cold. It generally is more tolerable (at least for me), in August. The only problem with August is that sometimes the jellyfish arrive.
Philadelpia is about 1.5 hours from Dover. There is a lot to do in Phila. It is where our country was born. Although, Delaware was the first state.
Dover is an AF friendly town. A lot of the people I knew from Dover were either retired AF or career AF. I knew people from Dover thru my children's athletic endeavors. My kids were pretty good athletes and played on a few tournament teams with kids from Dover.
Delaware is a pretty friendly place. There really is a 2 degree of separation in the state. I knew one of our Senators to say hello, and I have friends that are friends of the VP. One of my friends lives two doors from him, and another of my buddies was in charge of his guard detail when he was in the state.
I don't think my son would have a problem if he were stationed at Dover, and I think your daughter will be fine there. It is a good place. Compared to the bases I was stationed, 29 Palms, Camp Lajeune, New River, Camp Johnson, Dover is a metropolis.
1. Your comment about beach and shore. I am a Jersey girl, but you are so right. Only in NJ do you say shore, and the fastest way to know you aren't from NJ is to say beach.
~ I know many that go to Bethany because of the cost issue compared to Rehobeth's. Our family went to the Outerbanks the week before peak or the week after. Temps were about the same, but the house rental price dropped alot!
~ I agree the water is much rougher in DE than let's say NC. It is like NJ, and the fact is don't expect to see your feet after a few feet in due to the fact that the currents aren't as warm as they are in NC and lower states.
~ To say it is a clean 7-11 is not even close IMPO. I don't know what you consider a super WAWA, but all of the WAWA's I ever go to have their version/brand of Subway and Starbucks in it. Plus, the cheapest gas. It is the equivalent to Sheets in VA and NC. WAWA is Macy's and 7-11 is WalMart. Not in price, but in quality.
3. Delaware is also a short distance for winter activities too. MD, PA and VA all have skiing resorts.
4. Every other yr the AFA plays at Annapolis, and she can go to the games, making it a weekend with friends that come in.
It is a great 1st assignment. Her FA job will be like any other 2nd Lt. FA around the world, but unlike the 2nd Lt at Eilson, she has a ton of different opportunities after the duty day.
There is so much she can do and see that is 2 hrs or less by car it is insane. You could visit her every 4 months for 3 yrs., and you would still not visit everything within 2 hrs.
A super Wawa is a Wawa with gas pumps. I grew up in Phila, that is where Wawa originated, really just ouside of Phila in Wawa Pa. just south of Media. The Wawa's I grew up with were just convenience stores. Recently Wawa got into the retail gasoline business. I would say within the last 10 years or so. The Wawa stores that have gas are usually a lot bigger than the stores we (Philly people) were accustomed to frequenting. Most of the old Wawa's that were not converted or levelled to create Super Wawa's were sold and are now called No. 1 Pantry market or something like that. They are as dirty as 7/11's or dirtier.
On another note, Wawa makes hoagies, and other types of sandwiches. Being from Phila, I would not even compare what Wawa makes to that slop Subway calls a sub or a hoagie. Wawa hoagies are pretty good. I am not a coffee drinker so I can't compare them to Starbucks, but I am sure their coffee is really good and a lot less expensive. Wawa are the best convenience stores in the country, and believe me, I have been to many. I was considering writing a book about the best convenience store food around the country. Wawa would make it for their hoagies. One thing I do not care for at Wawa is their own brand trail mix and mix nuts. I don't think they have the propoer blend like Planters. If I am in the mood for trail mix or that type of snack, I avoid Wawa unless there is nothing else around. You are definitely right it is like comparing Macy's to Walmart. Another thing I like about Wawa is that they treat their employees well and even give them benefits. It is truly a good company and should be patronized when possible.
I don't know about your WAWA's, but one thing I have found with the ones I have gone to, their ATMs provided by banks don't charge a fee...not talking about at the counter. It might be in our area only they use PNC, but when you are traveling, it is also a nice bennie to the customer. OBTW we only have Super WAWAs
Back on topic, Dover is a great place, and she should be thrilled to get that assignment. As I said, in this area, she could do something every weekend off base and never be bored.
The thing I would suggest is to contact a realtor 60 days out. Also look on MilitaryByOwner.com If she is assigned for a 4 yr., assignment it might be financially wise in this economy to purchase. The rates are very low, lower than her rent. She will get a tax deduction...hopefully. It is a way to start building equity at an early age.
In the 21 yrs Bullet served, only one time did we walk to the table as a seller paying money. It was $17.96 cents, and it was for a 2 yr assignment. Meanwhile for those 2 yrs we got more back in taxes, so really we made more money over the long run compared to renting. We own a 2nd home still today at Seymour. Our mtg is 890 a month, we rent it for 1350. It has never gone 1 day without a renter in 4 yrs.
Something to think about when she takes that loan offered to cadets. It might be wiser to take the 0.9% loan offered by car dealers, and use some to get an 80/10/10 loan, I am pretty sure she is not qual'd for a VA. She can than rent out a room to another officer, and either pay the loan down, or use it for spending money. 1 time we did rent to 3 single officers (it is a 4 bdrm), only saying renting to another officer might be as hard as you may think.
USAA has a program for real estate, as a realtor I don't believe it is the best if the applicant is A paper for credit (700+) regarding rates and funding.
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