Never in my life did I think the title “Army wife” would refer to small-town me.
Nine years ago, I was a 16-year-old high school girl chasing after love in my free time from school and sports. One afternoon, I walked into study hall and my future was sitting right there—the curly headed, nerdy, soccer player with the piercing blue eyes and goofy laugh. My husband.
Had I known how life would play out the way it had when I was a junior in high school, I would’ve started taking notes a whole lot sooner on how to be an Army wife. This job is hard, guys!
I grew up in the same house in New York with my parents and siblings my whole life. I had never left the country, I had flown on an airplane only once, and had my entire big fat Italian family all within two hours’ driving distance.
Zero preparation for life in the military, friends.
Sure, I discovered my husband would be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point for college shortly after we began dating, but I would be lying if I said I knew we had what it took to survive those years. So, I didn’t worry about learning the ins and outs of the Army just yet. I probably should have.
On a hot and emotional day in June 2010, I sent my boyfriend off to his first day as a cadet at West Point. That August, I started school at Mount Saint Mary College and graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Journalism … and that same boyfriend.
Despite some typical relationship rough patches, we survived. Ten days after my college graduation and just one day before his, Chris proposed to me. And the next day, a rainy and another-type-of-emotional day in May 2014, I watched my fiancé graduate and commission into the United States Army.
I should’ve been figuring out this Army wife thing much earlier because I was not prepared for what would happen in the following months.
We were married in August 2014 in a town hall (I never imagined getting married without my family and friends there), and good thing we did because life got crazy very quickly. When you’ve got a few extra minutes, ask me about the time I had to move our wedding celebration only one month out from the set date because Chris recycled Ranger School one too many times. Or the time he called me and asked if I wanted to move to Italy in ten days when we had orders, a house, and a job lined up at Fort Campbell for the following week.
All typical Army wife situations, right? Talk about really being thrown into this new role!
Fast-forward to today, my husband and I did decide to make that big and unexpected move to Vicenza, Italy with our dog, Tasha. When we aren’t visiting other Italian cities or nearby countries, our ideal days are rather relaxing.
We love to start our mornings in the gym, eat our weight in pizza, wash it down with espresso or cappuccinos and wine, and, more often than not, we end our evenings on the couch with our most recent Netflix binge and snacks.
And as for me, I continue to take notes on how to be a better wife in this crazy Army world. I am proud to be a part of this community that is so often misunderstood. I am grateful for women like you to help guide me through this unpredictable life, answer my many silly and sometimes tough questions, and be an immediate friend when my family shows up to a new base/fort that we now have to call home.