Skip to comments.Army service is a family affair for NJ clan [Four Daughters; Officers]
Posted on 12/04/2005 9:58:05 AM PST by Incorrigible
Linda and Al Dellavalle of East Amwell Township should not have been surprised when, one after another, their four daughters -- Ashley, Lindsay, Kate and Paige -- joined the Army.
"We were always very close," said Lindsay Dellavalle. "My sisters were my best friends."
Ashley was initially skeptical, but a visit to the military academy convinced her that if she didn't go, she'd regret it for the rest of her life. Last year, she became one of only five women accepted into an exclusive combat engineering leadership course. Since graduation, 2nd Lt. Ashley Dellavalle has been leading a platoon at Fort Hood, Texas.
Like her sister, soon-to-be Dr. Lindsay Dellavalle will become a second lieutenant upon graduation later this year.
Ashley's experience also led Kate Dellavalle, now 21, to apply to West Point while still a high school junior... Meanwhile, there's the Army-Navy game this weekend, and Kate is a West Point cheerleader.
With three older sisters in the Army, Paige, 18, said she was "really sick of school." Like Kate, she finished high school early, then was recruited as a swimmer, and is now a "plebe," a freshman at West Point. "It's really tough, but I think it's worth it," she said.
The girls' parents are less sanguine. "I'm scared to death," Mr. Delavalle said. "They've had several friends killed there already." The parents are comforted by their daughters' self-possession, though. He said the girls have told him, "We're trained officers. That's our job."
Meanwhile, they tease one another about their military relationships.
"I'm an officer," said Lindsay. "Kate will have to salute me."
"Never!" says Kate, the cadet.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
What a fabulous family.
An Army Family!
The powerpuff girls?
December 2005, no wonder why I couldn't quickly find this article in the NJ section. I just saw the young ladies on the news this evening, it took News4 6 months to find them.
|4 sisters, 1 Army and lots of salutes
EAST AMWELL -- The Dellavalle daughters could be Hunterdon County's poster family for military recruitment. The four daughters of Al and Linda Dellavalle all joined the Army after Ashley, now 24, was recruited when she was an accomplished swimmer at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Raritan Township. Neither Lindsey, Ashley, Kate nor Paige Dellavalle expressed any interest in joining the military until West Point expressed interest in Ashley's swimming prowess, Al Dellavalle said. Ashley and Kate Dellavalle, 22, have since graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York; Paige, 18, is a freshman there; and Lindsey, 25, enlisted while attending medical school.
Ashley Dellavalle was skeptical of West Point at first but decided to give it a try after witnessing the Patriot League Swimming Championships at the school, in Dutchess County, N.Y., Al Dellavalle said.Ashley Dellavalle felt she would regret not going if she didn't give West Point a chance. She went on to become one of the top students at West Point, becoming one of only five women to enroll in an exclusive combat engineering class. Today, she commands a platoon -- a unit of 30 to 40 soldiers -- at Fort Hood, Texas.
Kate Dellavalle had hopes of following in Ashley's footsteps. She completed high school in three years and graduated from West Point on May 27. "My sisters are like my best friends," Kate Dellavalle said, adding that after Ashley attended the school, "all of us fell in love with the idea of giving something back." After a year of prep school, Kate Dellavalle began her journey at West Point, where she participated in cheerleading and a triathlon. She will attend air assault school next month and hopes to make the most of her five-year obligation to the Army. "I want to travel around the world and meet lots of people," said Kate Dellavalle, who will know in October where she will be stationed. She's hoping for Vicenza, Italy.
Paige Dellavalle, 18, also graduated high school in three years and, like Ashley, was recruited by West Point for swimming. Paige Dellavalle, who just finished her freshman year, said it was good to have Kate, who was a senior, at West Point with her."It was definitely good to have someone to talk to; it helped me a lot," Paige Dellavalle said, but she acknowledged there was a downside to having family so close. "It caused problems because people think you're getting off easy. You're not supposed to know anyone there," she said. "So, I got yelled at a lot." Kate and Paige Dellavalle said they did face some challenges as young women at a military academy. "You stick out like a sore thumb because only 15 percent are girls," Kate Dellavalle said. "You're definitely noticed a little more, so you have to keep your nose clean."
Paige Dellavalle added, "There are still guys there who don't want girls in the military. So, that makes it harder."Unlike her younger sisters, Lindsey Dellavalle, 25, did not attend the academy. After graduating from the University of Delaware, she had aspirations of attending medical school. With her younger sisters enrolled at West Point and after talking with a recruiter, Lindsey Dellavalle saw the Army as a great opportunity to help get her through medical school. She enlisted three years ago and is attending the Hawaii Medical School, where she studies at the military hospital. When Ashley Dellavalle was first being recruited for the academy, her father was not worried that her choice could lead her down a potentially dangerous path. "Before 9/11, the military wasn't fighting heavily anywhere," Al Dellavalle said. "We thought it was a great opportunity for her." "After 9/11, everything changed," he said. Since the terrorist attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Al Dellavalle has had to accept that his daughters could encounter real danger, he said.
The concern hit home when the former captain of the West Point swim team, who was one of Ashley Dellavalle's good friends, was killed in Iraq."Reality sets in now," Al Dellavalle said. Despite the potential danger they face, the sisters have retained their sense of humor at the U.S. Military Academy. Lindsey Dellavalle, who could soon become a captain, said that Kate, a cadet, would have to salute her.
"Never!" Kate Dellavalle said.
from the Courier News website www.c-n.com
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