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Arrivederci, Italy?

So my usual Five for Friday will have to turn into a Six for Saturday, because I have something else I need to share today. 

ciao.jpg

Almost
exactly one year ago I announced that we were moving to Italy in the
fall of 2011. For nine months we did nothing but dream about our life
out here and plan our move. 

We’ve
been here for five months and as of a couple weeks ago I finally feel myself getting settled in. It turns out that it really does take
six months before you feel like you belong here. Pictures are finally
getting hung on our huge white, cement walls; I’m discovering more
places around town; I started taking Italian classes so I can have a conversation with locals; and we made a list of all the places we want to visit while we’re out here. Life was good and we were finally in a
good groove.

Only our future got turned upside down. Last night the Department of Defense announced they are closing my husband’s squadron out here in Italy (links take you to news articles and press releases).
His squadron is closing and all 336 airman and their families (and
pets) will have to leave. “Inactivated” is actually the word they’re
using to say that things are shutting down, and apparently this will
happen sometime in the 2013 fiscal year.

We just got here and now we have to leave. 

Here’s the crappy part: that’s literally all we know. That’s not true. We also know that the squadron will still deploy. After that, everything is up in the air.  

Here are the main things we’d like answers to sooner, rather than later:

  • When are we actually leaving?
  • Where we will go?
  • Can we stay in Europe?
  • How much notice will we have?
  • What my husband will do career-wise?  

The
news broke publicly across the world before my husband’s commander even
had a chance to tell his people about it. They had a meeting this
morning and the commander doesn’t know anymore than we know. How’s that for poor
timing? Thanks, military.

Right
now we’re still in shock and a little sad while we deal
with…well…deal with the unknown. We don’t have any answers and we
don’t know when we’ll get those answers. 

What
I do know is that we’re re-prioritizing and evaluating our time out
here. Most people get at least three years (with deployments mixed in)
to travel and enjoy their time at whatever base they’re at—stateside or
overseas. We will most likely have a little more than one year here
(less time for my husband because of the deployment) before we have to
pack up and move somewhere again. I’m thankful for the trips we’ve
already gone on and will definitely take advantage and treasure the rest
of our time here. 

So where do we go from here? We sit and
wait for answers, and in the mean time we enjoy the rest of our time
here. Since we’ll hopefully (cross your fingers and toes!) still be in
Italy for the next year I’m going to try to finish decorating our house.
We’re going to put the rest of our photos up on the walls and complete
our guest room. I’m going to spend more time at the coffee shop next
door, have more conversations with my neighbor, and I want to be
exhausted from traveling too much. We don’t want to get complacent and
throw away the rest of our time here. So that’s the plan. 

Did
you hear that, Air Force? Despite you cutting our time here short, we
have a plan. And instead of getting bummed*, I’m going to try very hard
to get excited for what our future may hold.

*Don’t
let my chipper outlook on this fool you, because right now I’m very,
very bummed, but I’m going to try looking at this in a glass half-full
kind of way. 

 

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28 Comments

  1. OH my goodness Jessica, I am in shock!! I am so sorry this happening. I hope that you are able to make the most of this move to Italy anyways. You have already done so much more than most people have. 🙂 Good luck and keeping you in my thoughts.

  2. What crappy news! I'm so sorry you're getting the rug yanked out from under you like this. I hope you and your husband have the opportunity to make the most of however much time you have left in Italy.

  3. I'm so sorry Jessica. I think it is wonderful that you're taking such a positive outlook even when its such a cloudy mess. I will keep you and the family in my thoughts and prayers during this time. XOXO.

  4. Ugh! I'm so sorry! That's horrible news. I hate when things like that happen. It really makes me wonder about their planning process! ((Hugs)) Enjoy the time you do have! And feel blessed you got to go there at all. 😉

  5. Wow, that just plain sucks! I am sorry, girl! But you're right – travel and enjoy while you can…!
    Judith (sorry, too lazy to log into my blogger account)

  6. Welcome to military life! You have the right outlook though. There is ALWAYS a bright side to every curve ball the AF throws you (I know it's hard to believe that sometimes). The only constant is change…Carpe Diem 🙂

  7. *Hugs* Jess. Keep your chin up. I'm sure there are great things in store for you and as I told you, Germany would be a wonderful assignment! I'm here if you need to talk so don't hesitate to call!

  8. Oh I'm sorry 🙁 I knew this news is going to hurt a lot of plans. We were at a couple of the posts they are planning to eventually close and that makes me sad. It looks like you have a good attitude about it and will make the best of your time left in Italy.

  9. But what a blessing to at least that that warning! Otherwise you could have missed the time entirely and you wouldn't have had the chance to make a plan! I'm excited for your coffee shop excursions and jaunts across Europe. I think it's a blessing in disguise to have the time that you have!!!!

  10. Blah…. It just plain stinks. It makes me so angry that I almost cried for you. I know how excited you were to be out there and this is just mean. But I am glad that you're gonna travel some more and take what time you have left and enjoy Italia. I"m sorry Jess, sometimes we really wonder what God is doing with our lives. Hold strong. And it is great that you've had time out there at all, still hard to see through the yuckiness right now though. Praying for clarity.

  11. Ugh Jess, I'm so sorry 🙁 I hate not knowing and that part would bug me the most. I hope you get some sort of answers on a plan soon. But I love hat you're trying to take advantage of the time you have 🙂 ((HUG))

  12. Wow. just, wow! I can't imagine all the emotions you must be going through, especially as it relates to the future. Hope you are able to experience as much as possible in Europe before your next move! We're with you. *hugs*

  13. Aww that sucks:( hopefully the military can reassign him overseas still. You never know but yes travel and enjoy it as much as possible while you all are there!!!

  14. Jess, this is not great news. I really hope you can travel as much as possible during the rest of your time in Italy! I hope you get real answers soon.

  15. I heard that they were doing this–it's not just in Italy but they are cutting from all over Europe. Stinks 🙁 But look at the bright side! Because of your location, weekend trips are incredibly effective! You'll have a lot of weekends left, go everywhere and anywhere you want! 🙂

  16. When I saw the post on Facebook from http://www.stripes….whatever the web site is, I immediately went looking for your wall to see if this would effect you and Kenny. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this — and all the unknowns that come with it. I'm thankful that God has a plan for you and that (although bummed — maybe a bit pissed) you're looking at it from a perspective of, I'm still going to live it out and enjoy each day! You're more than welcome to come stay with us while Kenny's deployed this summer/fall and see what Germany has to offer. Rob will be gone in July and some of Aug/Sept. — we could do some traveling together (with my kids in tow) if you're interested!

  17. Wow, I'd be so bummed if they did that to us. It never occurred to me that something like this could happen, I pretty much assumed that the 3 years was set in stone. I hope you get to see most of the things you want to see where you are here.

  18. Oh no! What awful news =( I would be absolutely heartbroken if the Navy pulled something like that on us. We've only been in Hawaii for 3 1/2 months so there's still a ton to see! I hope you do get at least a year to enjoy Italy and Europe, though!

  19. Well, isn't that JUST like the military?! Geez!! I hope that you guys still get a chance to get out and explore! I'm sure they'll have more info for you about what's going on in the coming months. It's all a hurry up and wait game.

  20. I thought of you today as I read the press releases on my way to an appointment. Honestly I hope that they do not keep you in the dark and are upfront about it…better than the release of information prior to Airman knowing. Since your husband's an Officer you should be able to move around pretty well but CONUS is more than likely a possibility since they are also cutting the force amounts over there. Best of Luck…ride it out as relaxed and as grateful as you can.

  21. Oh Jess: I am so sorry to hear this! Good grief- time is certainly of the essence now! God as plans for you and your husband and there surely is a silver lining in there somewhere! I will be thinking of you all and praying for answers sooner than later!

    Big hugs!

  22. hey girl i signed up for the postcard swap and never got a email…should i be concerned i dont want to mess things up.
    Lnguinn at live dot com

  23. Oh no! 🙁 This bums me out. I think you guys definitely have a great attitude about the situation though, and I hope you are able to fully enjoy the time you do have in Italy!

  24. Well crap. Gotta love the military right?? Nothing you can do about so I love your outlook. Do as much as you can in the little time you have left.

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