PHELPS, N.Y. (WROC) — After four years of military service as an air defense officer, former Army Captain Tony Bianchi is finally at his new home in Phelps; a dwelling he’s never seen. His service finally at an end, and a whole new life ready to begin.
“It’s been amazing. I’ve served with some of the best men and women our country has had to offer,” says former Army Captain Tony Bianchi.
Friday night, he rolled down the driveway with his wife. A vast majority of their courtship, spent thousands of miles apart and spanning years.
“Being that we stayed separate, but I mean it’s been hard, but I’m also really proud of everything he’s done,” says wife Paige Bianchi.
Tony was expecting a quiet night for the two of them. But his family, and News 8, had other plans.
“Very surprising. I didn’t expect to see you guys here,” says Tony.
Tony Bianchi’s in-laws, Jim and Dawn Cheney, say the couple started their relationship long-distance, perhaps helping with all the time apart. Dawn says that makes them stronger than most.
“I think the longest they’ve actually physically been together is maybe three and half weeks to a month. It’s taken a lot of toll, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the two of them,” says Dawn Cheney.
“We don’t always appreciate the sacrifices military families go through. We all talk about it like we know what it is…but we really don’t,” says Jim Cheney.
And the secret to the Tony and Paige’s lasting bond? Something we’ve grown far more accustomed to since Covid-19 hit. FaceTime.
“I always talk to my grandpa about that. He was in the military and says he did not have that, so he tell me we’re a lot luckier than he was back then,” says Paige.
Tony Bianchi will be going to work now as a financial advisor in Rochester.