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I am a Hudson Valley Parent: Military Moms

Meet military moms: Chantel Robinson, Katrina Innocenti and Captain Lori Daniels

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The Innocenti family had fun settling into the Hudson Valley from their new home at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Celebrate November’s National Veterans and Military Families with Chantel Robinson, Katrina Innocenti and Captain Lori Daniels. They’re not only Hudson Valley mothers, but also women raising their kids while living on-base at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Chantel Robinson said one of the best things about her family’s move from upstate New York to the military base at West Point five months ago was that the children living in the community were the same age as her boys, 2 and 6. 

“There are lots of boys and 2- and 3-year-olds,” she said. “We meet in the park and play. There’s a lot of social interaction.”

Before coming to the Hudson Valley—which Robinson loves—the family lived near Fort Drum in Jefferson County, where her husband, was posted.

“This is our first time living on base,” said Robinson, 33. “We’ve always lived off-base but I’m enjoying this. We’re in a small community with 20 units. All of them have kids the same age as ours and are going through similar stages.”

The family will live at the military base in West Point for three-and-a-half years and is where their eldest child goes to elementary school. Already, they’re enjoying hiking at the Storm King Art Center in Cornwall and Bear Mountain State Park, plus visiting Hurds Family Farm in Modena and are excited to ski-board in the area, come winter. Robinson also has joined mother and tot groups.

Robinson went to business and cosmetology school, then trained as a dental assistant, which she does at the post. During the holidays her family will split their time between hers in Colorado and her husbands, in Texas. 

Robinson’s secret to moving around? Be open to what’s available, wherever you are.

“I like going place and meeting people,” she said.

Visit the West Point Museum

Katrina Innocenti was an intern at Michael Kors in New York City when she volunteered to be a date for her now husband, who was at the United States Military Academy at West Point. After marrying in 2011, the couple moved to Colorado, Innocenti’s home-state since she was 13, while he did a stint in the state of Washington. Today the couple and their 3-year-old son, Luca, are back in the area, living on base at West Point for the past year-and-a-half.

During the cross-country move, Innocenti, 32, said her son’s iPad was lifesaver. Now he attends St. Philip's Nursery School in Garrison a few days a week.

“We’re settling in, finding new things to do,” she said, and getting involved in activities, like pick-your-own apples and strawberries at area farms, visiting baby goats at Jones Farm I Cornwall and having fun at Hurds Family Farm in Modena. They’re also checking out new restaurants, like Prima Pizza in Cornwall and the great sandwiches at the Thayer Gate Deli in Highland Falls.

Being a military wife takes flexibility and understanding, said Innocenti.

“You have to be independent,” she said. “Be able to do things on your own and explore.”

Captain Lori Daniels loves the academy at West Point and site’s breathtaking views. She and her husband, Mike, a major, and their daughter, Evie, 3, moved to the area from a post in Germany and have been based at West Point for the past year-and-a-half.

Having been inspired by the military’s sense of adventure and call of duty, the couple met at Fort Hood in Texas and have served for 15 years. One of the perks of military life is the travel that comes with it, said Daniels. Together, the couple has lived in 16 countries.

“We were immersed in the cultures,” said Daniels of the opportunity to experience other ways of life.   

For a time, Daniels, 38, worked in human resources but she’s now positioned in West Point’s inspector general’s office, where she files compliance work directly for the superintendent. Her husband, however, is studying communications, marketing and public relations at Columbia University in New York City and will graduate in May.

“It’s lonely,” said Daniels, who is from San Antonio, Texas. “I miss being close to my family, but it’s a blessing to have Mike’s family an hour away.”

And, while she enjoys the Hudson Valley’s changing seasons, telephoning, texting and FaceTime help her keep in touch with distant relatives.

“Technology enables you to keep up relationships,” she said.

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