Written by Tiffany Wade
Military Spouse Guest Writer
Our Military Love Story started my senior year of High School. I was 17 and getting ready to conquer the world. He was 19, rebellious and so incredibly handsome. I had never met such a caring, thoughtful person as him. He would always go out of his away to plan the best dates and make each so special.
I knew that he could be “the one” on our first Valentines Day together when he gave me the most adorable teddy bear. I still cherish that bear and sleep with it every night when he is away. Our first deployment was probably the toughest. I remember waiting for him to return home at the airport in Phili. I thought I would burst from excitement as I waited for him. Then when I finally saw him, dressed up in his blues, my heart melted as I thought about how difficult the last eight months in Afghanistan must have been for him. My soft and gentle boyfriend with the heart made of gold had now returned a combat veteran. It was then I understood the importance of keeping the doors open for communication by asking how he feels, if he’s upset or if he needs to talk. After deployments and especially combat, communication is essential for keeping the floor open for discussion.
As a couple, we encouraged each other to work towards our dreams. His with the United States Marines. Mine in pursuing my education. By my second year of college, I knew I couldn’t be apart from him anymore. He felt it too. And while home on leave, right after Easter, he proposed, in the Harrisburg airport. It was like a scene from the movies. He insisted I return to Camp Lejeune with him as soon as possible. So within 3 weeks we were married. Our reception and honeymoon were fantastic. That day I knew I had married my best friend and found my true partner in life.
Since we had been together for awhile, I understood what it meant becoming a military spouse; it was a commitment to the military lifestyle. For me to find fulfilling work every three years, I knew that education was the only way to do it. Juggling school and work were a challenge at first. I really felt the pressure at times, especially during deployment. To help balance it all, I made time for me and my two schnauzers to relax a few hours a week. I used a planner to organize my time for school, classes, and homework. I tried not to waste my time worrying about how hard things seemed and instead focused on pushing forward and just doing it. This attitude made it possible for me to graduate college by our second year of marriage.
After earning my bachelor’s degree, I applied to school again to further my education and make my skills more portable. It made sense that I should take the time now, to learn the skills necessary to build a solid career for myself in the future. That way when I want to be able to get those new shoes, or buy my puppies a new toy every week, I can. I want to succeed for me, for my husband and for our future together.
Each marriage is different, but if your heart takes you to a Marine or another branch of service, remember the key to happiness is communication. If my husband and I didn’t talk, we would not have made it or not be as happy as we are. By communicating, we discuss both of our career goals, education, our wants, needs, opinions, and ideas.
We’ve been together for 7 years and married for 4 years. I am 24 and he is 26. High school sweethearts who are living a happily ever after life. I am so proud to call my Marine my husband and my partner in life.
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