The beautiful thing about the future is that you never know just what’s coming next. Something life changing might be just around the corner, but you must be willing to take a leap of faith. That’s exactly what counseling student Krystle Talley did the day her boyfriend of only four months, Army Specialist Pettrick Talley, asked her to pack up her home in Nashville and move to Georgia to be with him. They’d met online and communicated mostly over email and telephone. “I wasn’t prepared for the military life at all, but I just packed up my stuff, got in my car with my son and took off,” said Talley, who was a single mom to son Kinady Daniel, 9, at the time. “He was an amazing father figure to my son. I liked him and Kinady liked him.” It was the best impromptu decision she ever made. A few months later, they were happily married and sharing a new home in Georgia. Adjusting to life as a military wife wasn’t easy for Talley, but now that she’s all settled in, she says it’s her “little community within a community” and she wouldn’t change a thing about her new life.
ESSENCE.COM: Exactly how did you and your husband fall in love online?
I was living in Nashville and he was living in Clarksville at Fort Campbell. It was sort of a chance encounter. We’d previously known each other before, but we weren’t close or very familiar. I finally decided to get a MySpace page and we came across each other on there. He sent me a message, I responded back. I was pretty short, and for two or three weeks, I ignored him. He sent me one last message saying, “If you want to talk, let me know, otherwise I won’t respond anymore.” So, I responded and we’ve been talking ever since. We spent time talking on MySpace and then I gave him my phone number. About four months after that he said, “They’re PCSing me to Fort Benning, Georgia, do you want me to come with me?” I took a leap of faith.
ESSENCE.COM: Did your son and your husband get along from day one?
Yes, definitely. That was one of the key points in my decision to move. Prior to him asking us to move, he’d always talk to Kinady on the phone and he was already a father figure to him. Kinady liked that, and he followed the rules Pettrick would give him about his schoolwork and things. Thankfully, God ordered our steps, and we moved down there that June. By December he had proposed to me.
ESSENCE.COM: You had quite the whirlwind romance. How did he propose and what was your wedding like?
It was Christmas time, and we were sitting around the tree getting ready to open presents. He came to me and got down on one knee and gave this big speech about how he’s so glad that I took a leap of faith and moved with him. He told me he’s been a better person since I came into his life. Then, he pulled out this little black box. I looked over and [saw that] my son was video recording the whole thing. It was amazing! Then a few months later, we were in the car driving around Georgia sightseeing and we drove by the courthouse. I asked him if he’d thought any more about when we should get married. He said, “We can do it right now, if they’re open.” He turned around, we went in the courthouse, and the next thing you know, he, my son, and I, were in front of the justice of the peace signing a marriage license.
ESSENCE.COM: Do you still worry about him being deployed?
He has been deployed before. He was in Iraq for a year. That’s something that was very hard on him. That’s something that we still deal with right now. I wasn’t with him when it happened, so I didn’t really experience that, but when he returned and we actually lived together, he was still dealing with a lot of the effects. It will always be an issue. As long as my husband puts on that uniform and leaves out of the house every day, it will always be an issue. I try to avoid watching the news whenever it concerns the military because I always have fears.
ESSENCE.COM: How do you get used to moving around so much?
Thank God he found a wife who loves to travel. He was blessed with someone that doesn’t mind picking up and moving. I’ve raised my son to never be scared of change or something new. My son has always said, “As long as Mommy’s there, I’m there.” Since we’ve been together, we’ve moved twice. Military spouses are always on edge trying to figure out where their life is going to be next year.
ESSENCE.COM: What’s life like living on a military base?
We were able to move onto post because we were married. They have much better housing. My son goes to a military-preferred school, which means a lot of the kids at his school are military-kids, so they get along better because they understand each other. The neighborhood we live in is so close-knit. Everyone watches out for everyone and the kids play with each other. There’s no safety issue because we know the military police are always watching out for us. It’s like our own community within a community. It may seem like it’s more serious because of what people see on TV, but it actually is a lot of fun – we do a lot of different things together. We have different sister functions. We exercise together. Sometimes we even trade off babysitting.
ESSENCE.COM: What’s next for you and your family?
I’m very independent. I want to have my own foundation, so that people know me not just as SPC Talley’s wife. I want them to say, “Oh, that’s Krystle, and she has her own business too.” I’m almost finished with a degree in Christian Counseling, and once I finish I’m going move forward with the certification. I’m really sticking with my Christian Chameleon blogging also because that’s a very good way for me to speak to other people through words that I can’t physically talk to.