Duty Station: Fort Carson
Number of Deployments: 5
Number of PCS's: 11
Share your military spouse story:
My military spouse story started almost 15 years ago when I married my high school sweetheart. Even though I knew he was going into the military, nothing could have prepared me for what I was walking into. Our first few years of marriage were spent apart while he was in school or training, and our first year long combat deployment. During his first deployment, I completed my masters in Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family therapy. I saw a need for our military community with the toll the war was taking on many military marriages and families. I was young and inexperienced myself, but knew I could make a difference and I wanted to make a difference. Fast forward a few years, and our first child was born during the same year we completed two PCS moves in less than a year. Little did I know but that was just the beginning of our moving adventures. When you marry into the military you’re aware that deployments and moves will be a part of your life but after 13 years into my husband’s career we had already completed 11 PCS moves, lived in 13 homes, completed four combat deployments and years of TDY and trainings, all the while adding 3 children into the mix. We just completed our fifth deployment this winter. A few of those PCS moves happened with a deployment immediately following, and also within weeks of a redeployment. I moved pregnant three times and moved twice with a new baby and toddlers. Moving frequently isn’t uncommon in the military community but what makes our experience unique is that we have only done full DIT/PPM (do-it- yourself) moves. So far that is 13 full DITY/PPM moves in less than 15 years. I set my career aside and I dove right into being a stay at home mom and being the primary one who packed up our family every year. That’s when I realized my passion for marriages and families wasn’t over, it just was going to look different moving forward and that’s why I started my platform in helping military families move.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
I've taken on traditional leadership roles in the military community such as FRG leader (twice) and other roles within different units. For the past few years, I also helped lead families through PCS moves, mainly DITY/PPM moves. After our 10th full DITY, many families began to ask me for my best tips for getting through DITY moves. At that moment, I realized many military families did not know how to execute a full DITY move. I decided to create a community that not only provided full DITY move packing tips, timelines, resources, etc. but also support and encouragement for families to move well in all areas of their lives. During the moving crisis of 2020 my platform and resources were able to help and assist many families who found themselves unexpectedly conducting a DITY themselves. My hope is to encourage military spouses, provide practical help to ease the different stresses of moving, and help military spouses feel seen in the struggle and recognize the power of community.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
Even with moving almost every year for 15 years, I found ways to be a part of my community and volunteer in different seasons of life. I held traditional roles within the military community such as a key caller, FRG leader twice, care team leader, volunteered within local schools and chapels, and even created fundraising groups within the FRG. I’ve also volunteered outside of the military in our local community as well. Even though I had to put aside my career, I spent time volunteering as a supervised therapist to aid and help the Chaplain Family Life Center on post. Most recently I’ve volunteered as hospitability chair for a chapel organization and teach a children’s class for a program on post. I enjoy attending and hosting events in our unit and neighborhood, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools. I continue to use my experiences in the mental health field and my moving experiences to help those around me and through various social media platforms.
Describe how you support your community:
I’ve done several podcasts to help and encourage military families, I provide relatable content with video interview and guest blog posts. I create moving resources, information, and provide packing tips for our military community through my platforms on social media. I also love supporting and collaborating with military spouse owned businesses. I believe there is purpose in where our family moves even if only for a year. Sometimes it can be as simple loving on our neighbors walking through hard seasons of military life, or welcoming and including new spouses. Being involved in the military community doesn’t necessarily have to be grand positions or titles, it can be creating relationships where you are and supporting individuals across a community.Sometimes, the smallest things can make the biggest collective impact. Community is what makes or breaks this military life and I want to leave my community better than when I found it.
What do you advocate for? Why?
Moving in the military is inevitable and often times the transition can be a big stressor for families. I advocate for military families with resources to help their moving process and hopefully create a smoother, less overwhelming experience and transition, especially while DITY/PPM PCS moving. My blog is and always has been a free, simple way to support military families and children with moving packets, checklists, and even resources that help children bring closure and adventure in transition. It also provides encouragement for families to create community in new life circumstances. I hope to promote the power of community and the power of perspective too. My background in psychology and family therapy, coupled with my own hard experiences as a military spouse created a desire to continue help families through stressful seasons of life.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have an active Instagram account where I share packing videos, tips, moving adventures, relatable content, and I generally spread awareness about military life. I also have a blog where I share moving tips, free resources, FAQ, and DITY/PPM information. I have been a part of a dozen podcasts and live interviews to spread my message of how to DITY/PPM move and encourage, relatable content, video interviews, guest blog posts. I have been a guest writer for several blogs and I’ve been featured in Military Spouse Magazine and Military Families online Magazine.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
I hope to continue to create a place for spouses to feel empowered, confident, and encouraged in the moving process. I hope to create more resources for moving and continue to break down DITY/PPM moves in a relatable and organized way. I would also love to assist spouses in creating and getting involved in their community. Overall I hope to leave spouses more informed, encouraged, organized, loved, and confident in their ability to move their family well.
Mallory is the sweetest and most personable and approachable army spouse I have ever met. She’s always willing to step in and help where needed while raising 3 amazing military kids. She is also known as the “DITY Momma”. She has a huge social media following where she shares her experiences of moving over a dozen times and doing all while DITYing and juggling army life. She is simply amazing and does such a great job of connecting the military community and sharing her stories in an effort to make the PCS process more manageable for everyone. She would not only be a great representative for MSOY she would be a great addition to the MSOY family
- by Yvonne Coombes
Over the last few years, Mallory's blog (@mamas_onthe_move on Instagram), has become one of the most comprehensive PCS resources for military families resources on the internet. Mallory has volunteered countless hours creating downloadable resources, videos, and posts that have encouraged military spouses all over the country to take on the challenge of a DITY move; all while moving her family 13 times in 13 years! She's an amazing example of how we can use our experiences to make things easier for the spouses who come behind us. Her generosity in creating and sharing this resource has made one of the most difficult parts of military family life easier for literally thousands of followers. Thanks, Mallory!
- by Kathleen Kent