My Wife is Married to the Military

by Kenny Sutherland

 

(Almost) Together at Last: 

Just over three years ago I told my girlfriend, a girl I had only met three times before—and over a two-year span—that I loved her. After she reciprocated, we only saw each other a half dozen times each year, at most. Our relationship was based on upgrading our cell phone plans to include unlimited texting, late night web-cam “dates,” and taping TV shows so we could watch them “together” over the phone.

When I proposed and we were engaged, she decided to move in with me, which required her to quite literally pick up her entire life and move cross-country from New Mexico to Georgia to be with me.  Shortly after she moved in with me though, she flew back to New Mexico to plan our wedding.  A few months later we were wed in front of our family and friends; we became husband and wife—no more his and hers—and promised to be with each other forever. Life was great.

Living with an awesome (and amazing and beautiful) woman puts your life on a whole new level. It was great having her there all the time. Together, we would cook breakfast and dinner and eat in our backyard under our canopy; we explored our new town and went out on real dates.  We would watch our favorite TV shows while lounging next to each other, instead of over long-distance phone lines. We were in a great groove, and spent our time building a life together. We had a pizza week (where we made pizza from scratch every day for an entire week); we welcomed a puppy into our family, built a garden, and then rebuilt the garden while teaching our pup that it's bad to eat our newly-planted veggies. Again, life was wonderful.

All of this bliss was, of course, short lived. We had spent just over two months together—the longest we’ve spent together in our entire relationship—before I got orders to deploy to Qatar. 

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Married to the Military

by Jessica Lynn

 

Last month I took one of the best trips of my life. It wasn’t to the Amazon or Asia, and I didn’t travel around Europe or Australia. Instead, one arm grasped around my dad’s arm and the other held tight to a fragrant bouquet of light pink carnations and roses as I took my last steps as a single lady.

My journey to wedded bliss began more than four years ago when, thanks to the military, my then boyfriend/now husband and I were living across the country from each other. He was stationed in Georgia and I was living in New Mexico. Not only did people tell me how hard it was to date someone in the military, but they also said a long-distance relationship would never last. After using our hard-earned vacation time to see each other, making sure communication and trust were number one priorities in our relationship, and racking up thousands of frequent flier miles, we made it work.

He proposed on Valentine’s Day in 2009 while I was visiting him, and after a short celebratory weekend, I flew home with an engagement ring sparkling on my left hand and started planning our wedding.

Luckily, my husband didn’t deploy over the course of our engagement, but the military still played a hand in influencing the specifics for the wedding. The date of the wedding was determined by when his best man and groomsman returned from their deployments.

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