Military Brides

Duty station feedback?

Hey everyone! Quick introduction. I'm a registered nurse and an Army brat, so I know a lot of the family side of the military... Now I have to learn the spouse side, because my FI is an ROTC cadet about to commission in the next few months. We're about to make The List. Yes, the infamous duty station list that is pretty much worthless because the Army will send us wherever it wants to. I've seen a good chunk of the world's Army bases in my 22 years of military life, but this is all new to me. We've been talking about it for a few years now and have narrowed it down to (in order): 1) Vicenza, Italy 2) Schofield Barracks, HI 3) Fort Carson, CO 4) Fort Bliss, TX What I'm wondering is, have any of you been to these places? What did you think from a wife's point of view?

Re: Duty station feedback?

  • edited December 2011
    I cannot speak as to LIVING in Vicenza but I did go and spend a few weeks with my friend who is an Army wife stationed there. All the housing is off post and the post is TINY. The location and sightseeing is amazing though. There is no hospital on post, it's a little drive away. One piece of advice for housing there is to not rely on housing there to get you a great place to live. My friend learned that if they had passed on the house provided they could have found another house for the same money but much bigger. If you get stationed there, let me know and I'll pass her info on to you for any questions you have. Good luck and I hope you get orders to someplace on your list! Corinna neena_lynn at yahoo dot com
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  • hegrigsbyhegrigsby member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I've never lived at Fort Bliss but I have been there to drop my FI off at training. Anyways, he lived there for about a month and HATED it. He said it was ridiculously hot (and we're from Houston TX), there were dust storms almost everyday, plus there is no grass anywhere. And the base itself is pretty small. Which to me, is a good thing but he didn't like it. I hope this helps!
  • edited December 2011
    I was born in El Paso and lived at Bliss for a while, I have friends who went to AIT there and FI recently did some training there... the overwhelming opinion is it's less than pleasant. El Paso is my home town, but it's really not a nice place. It has some good qualities, but I wouldn't want to be stationed there again. I've got friends at Carson who love it and tell me they hope they never PCS. I lived over seas for high school and our school played the Vicenza base basketball team a few times and they all seemed to like it, but they were teenagers so I dunno what their opinion is worth. I don't know much about Schofield but I've never heard complaints.
  • edited December 2011
    My DH is stationed at Pearl Harbor and we love it here so far. Schofield isn't too far from here. Most of the housing is either new or getting renovated here on the island. The weather is great and I beleive most (if not all) base housing has air conditioning. HTH
  • loveandligninloveandlignin member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, ladies! I haven't been looking at on-post housing because we decided to not go with base housing-- the lists are too long and I don't think housing for lieutenants is very nice, anyways. I lived in Fort Polk, LA for a few years and hated it so that's what I pictured when I heard he was considering Bliss. Vicenza is our #1 right now because we thought it would be fun to start married life in Europe and he's excited to work with the guys over there. However, I heard that they're deployed more than the average soldier because they're closer to the action? Not sure how true that is. Doesn't seem fair. And I wouldn't be able to work as an RN since it's not technically an American base... Maybe Schofield would be better. Anyways, thanks for the feedback!
  • edited December 2011
    If you really want Europe consider Germany. We were stationed there when I was little, and I loved it. Then I went to boarding school in Austria and loved that. We played basketball at Bad Aibling in Germany and the post there is REALLY nice. There are several American boarding schools in the area as well where you might be able to get a job as a school nurse ( if you can't find an RN job). It's also just a quick train ride to Italy so you could visit that area.
  • edited December 2011
    I will say my friend's DH stationed in Vicenza is gone ALOT. All of their training is in Germany and they leave almost every other month for a few weeks at a time.
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  • ishatagishatag member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I second the vote for Germany, having grown up there as a kid. My mom absolutely loved it, too, and we all want to go back. If you have an adventurous spirit Italy will be a blast - take advantage of weekend shopping and sightseeing tours.  Even if DH is gone! If you're going to stay on base all the time you'll miss out on the experience.
  • MrsWilson0611MrsWilson0611 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm an Army brat too and have been to Vincenza, Italy and Hawaii.  Vincenza is exciting because you can visit other European countries, the base even organizes sightseeing trips.  Hawaii is obviously amazing and they have the best base housing I've ever seen.
  • edited December 2011
    OK.. I have to ask... Which ROTC? Just curious :-) My FI is ROTC contracted also. He's in his MSIII year.
  • edited December 2011
    I was station in Bliss for trainup. It was pretty decent. There wasn't a lot outside of post, unless you like mountain climbing or exploring the dessert. The base was pretty decent and the PX was ok. It is a MOB station so there are a lot of new soldiers cycling through all of the time.
  • edited December 2011
    I was stationed on Oahu for about 16 months and I LOVED it. The only thing I didn't like about it, is that it was so dang expensive to fly back home to visit family. Oh and cost of living is outrageous out there, but it's also crazy here in Alaska, and most likely will be over in Europe, too. The housing on Oahu is called Red Hill and I agree with pp's, it's some of the best base housing I've ever seen. It's far enough away from downtown Honolulu/Waikiki that you don't get caught in all the traffic. Especially at Schofield, which is right on the highway H2, on the way up to the North Shore (so basically the quiet side of the island). I'd totally go back if I could.
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  • loveandligninloveandlignin member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Wow, I got a lot more advice than I was expecting! Thanks everyone. Next week is the deadline and we are going to be asking for Schofield as our number one. I'm very nervous... He briefly considering going ADSO for it so we could definitely get it, but then we had some major family drama that (to make a loooooong story short) made him re-evaluate choices he's been making in the military so far in order to ensure that he is truly doing what is best for US as a couple, and not what is best for him. He knows I'll always be supportive but told me that if, after the four years he owes, we find that it isn't doing what is best for our marriage, he will be able to leave instead of owing three more years, all because we wanted to live in Hawaii. I'm secretly hoping everything goes well because to be honest, I have NO clue how to live as a civilian! Haha :) Wish us luck! something_nice: I was born in Germany! That was one of our first choices but I don't think the unit he was interested in joining with is stationed in Germany. I'm not sure, though. I'll have to ask why Germany wasn't in the picture! That would be so amazing... I love Europe. joeysgirl2011: FI is an MSIV... Without giving too many identifying details away, we live in NC. Be prepared for your FI's next year... Mine always says he wishes he was a III again because it was "so easy back then" (all five months ago lol). He is so enormously stressed out right now but he handles it so well, I know he'll make a great officer!
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