Military Monday: Caitlin- JB Lewis-McChord, WA


The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  

If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  

Name and blog site: Caitlin The Gavina Family-

Branch of service:
Air Force

Where currently stationed: Randolph AFB, en route to Columbus AFB (but this is about Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA)

How long have you been there?: 2 1/2 years

Previous duty stations: Laughlin AFB, Altus AFB, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Favorite restaurant in the area: Date Night: Ray's Boathouse.  It's a little pricey, but you can't beat the view or the food and is COMPLETELY worth the drive and price.  Casual: Trapper's Sushi.  Some of the freshest seafood around, made into gorgeous, delicious rolls.  If you're not a fan of sushi, head to Indochine.  It's easily the best Thai food in Tacoma (and we've tried a LOT of them).

3 favorite things to do in your current city:
1) Go to a Mariners game.  They're terrible, but the atmosphere is awesome.  Where else will you find pad Thai at a baseball game?!
2) Go hiking!  There are SO many incredible hikes around here.  Mt. Rainier, Deception Pass, and Mt. St. Helens are three of our favorites, but you can head out to the rain forest, the beach (rocky and cold, but beach), and other mountains as well.
3) Eat seafood.  From Pikes Place Market with all of its little seafood shops/stands to fancy restaurants around the area, there's no shortage of delicious seafood.  It's all SUPER fresh, so you can't really go wrong with any place!
Favorite duty station so far: JBLM by far!  It's absolutely gorgeous when it's not raining, and even when it is, it doesn't keep you from doing anything because it's just a heavy mist.  It rarely really rains!

Who is your hero? My mom is definitely the person I look up to the most.  She was everything a mom should be while we were growing up, and is one of my best friends now that I'm grown and expecting my own baby.  Mama cooked supper every night, took us to all of our practices and rehearsals, helped with homework, and was totally fine with our house being the hang out place anytime our friends wanted to come over.
What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station?  The weather.  It's cloudy or rainy all the time, but like I said, it doesn't keep you from doing anything.  It just makes it gloomy a lot.  Invest in a vitamin D lamp, some good friends, and chocolate and you'll be set!
How strong/ or not is the sense of community in the area? There's definitely a strong sense of community.  We lived off base, and both on base and in our neighborhood, we had incredibly close friends.  The pilots are gone all the time, so it was important to us wives to make sure that we took care of one another and kept each other from losing our minds in the rain.  I still Skype weekly (and text daily) with several of them!

Are there any local festivals you have been to or are planning to attend? I did the Taste of Tacoma the first year we lived there.  It's a bunch of different restaurants and crafty-type businesses that get together and have stands for you to try a bunch of little pieces of Tacoma all at once.  It was super fun and gave us a few different places to try later on!
What is the overall feel of the community/area/base? The Seattle area has a lot of the living clean/organic mindset (down to not using plastic bags in stores in the city limits!) so you'll find a lot of organic fruit and veggies, clean eating restaurants, hemp stores, etc.  It makes it really easy and relatively cheap to buy healthy foods for your family with all the co-ops going on!

Have you joined any groups on base?  I was a Key Spouse, in our squadron spouse club, and was in the Officer Spouses Club as well.  There are tons of groups you can join, though!  I wanted to be in the ones that were most directly linked to our squadron since I was so busy with work and everything else going on.

Find me on twitterfacebook, and instagram (jamiegrace01)!  
If you are a military spouse or military member and want be featured for this post, please send me an email at HandlingWithGrace {at}  Duplicate stations are welcomed!


  1. Awesome! We are being stationed there next year, so it's nice to hear some info from someone who knows!

  2. That's not too far from me! She captured our city so well.

  3. We are hoping for JBLM next! It sounds great!


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