FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Christy reluctantly agreed to meet Joshua, the nephew of a co-worker, when he was home on leave from Germany for a second time. She said her coworker's prodding couldn't get her to stop by the first time he was home, but she gave in the second time and agreed to meet him. That quick "meet and greet," as she called it, was all it took.
They talked the entire two weeks he was home in southwest Pennsylvania, and it became a cell phone relationship when he returned to Germany. Her first cell phone bill was $1,200, down to about $800 the second month, and then they finally got the hang of it. He still refuses to tell her how much his first phone bills were, but they both agree "it was worth every penny." Joshua and Christy Garlick have now been married more than seven years and have two children: Camden, 6, and Keegan, 4. They've been stationed in Germany, Fort Lee, Va., Fort Drum., N.Y., and now Fort Knox, where Pfc. Christy Garlick works at Headquarters Company, MEDDAC, and Staff Sgt. Joshua Garlick is a military policeman, or MP, working as the Future Soldier leader in the Elizabethtown Recruiting Center. Despite his current role as a recruiter, it was not Joshua who recruited Christy. He was selected for recruiting duty after she shipped to basic combat training, but it was his love of being a Soldier that had such a great impact on her. "It was something I always wanted to do, both being in the Army and being an MP," Joshua said.
Christy said she didn't really know anything about the Army or Army lifestyle until she met Joshua. After the birth of their son, Christy took a year off from working and during that time decided she couldn't be a stay-at-home mom. She told Joshua, "I want to join the Army, and I want to be just like you." While she had an incredible amount of determination, Christy said becoming a dual military couple was not a decision they rushed into, or took lightly, adding that it took Josh about six months to come around to the idea. They spent a lot of time discussing the options with their families and seeking advice from his unit leadership. At age 34 and running out of time to enlist, Christy said she didn't want any regrets in life; it was something she wanted to do. They are appreciative that their families were supportive of the decision. Though Christy's mother was hesitant, she said her father was incredibly excited -- quickly becoming the proud bumper-sticker displaying, ball-cap and T-shirt wearing dad. "Everybody said we could make it work, and it has," said Christy, who enlisted as a health care specialist. Joshua is proud of his wife's service and uses her experiences when he talks with applicants and Future Soldiers -- especially women -- about Army training and opportunities. Since he's only been on recruiting duty for a few months so far, he doesn't know yet whether he will remain a recruiter longer than one tour. Both, however, plan to make the Army a career. Joshua said his best experience in the Army is not any one thing -- it's a combination of things during his 11 years in uniform.
"I have met great friends, had awesome leadership throughout my career and have gotten to see things I never thought I would," he explained. "Once you get in the Army life, it's amazing," Christy said. "The camaraderie and the family atmosphere make up for your far-away family. This is where I'm meant to be. I love it. I love the structure of the Army. "I've been blessed every step of the way, for as old as I am and as out-of-shape as I was, every place I have been has been a blessing," Christy said. "Though I wish I would have done this 10 to 15 years ago when I was younger, I'm probably in the best shape of my life now."
The February MEDDAC Soldier of the Month, Christy is preparing for the upcoming Soldier of the Quarter board. The tables are turned and now Joshua is helping Christy study for promotion and competitive boards like she helped him when they first met. Christy said she feels like she started everything late in her life -- having children at age 27 and joining the Army at 34 -- but it's been the right time to find happiness.
"I'm so excited I did this," she said. "I feel like this is the second half of my life and I'm living it with true happiness. I'm finally getting everything I wanted. Our kids are still young, but we always try to impress upon them they can do whatever they want to do in life at any time."