Before my husband, I already had a huge appreciation for our men and women in uniform because of my dad, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant. He was the first important man in my life and is undeniably my first hero. After growing up with an Air Force presence, I was honestly nervous to start a relationship with a military man. I had an idea of what would lie ahead and I was scared.
Our service members are amazing and I have the utmost respect in everything that they do. I didn’t know if I, myself, could handle the lifestyle as a military spouse.
Then, I was sent a direct online message.
My husband messaged me on an online dating site and that how our relationship started. We may have not met in a glamorous or unique circumstance, but it’s our story and I’m proud of everything that our relationship has endured from that point on. Thank you, Internet for bringing my husband to my life.
He signed on to the dating website while he was deployed and I was looking to experience a new way to meet men. We talked about anything and everything for months before we were able to meet in person and the rest is history.
Despite being in high-stress environments and situations that I’m not going to even try to comprehend, he was wonderful to me and made the distance work. The military did have a big influence with how we maintained our relationship, but he turned me around on my thoughts about a long-term future with a service member.
He made it easy for me to seal the deal and say yes to a lifelong adventure with him.
Before orders took him overseas, we put together a quick courthouse ceremony in my hometown. I had a childhood friend of mine follow us around the state capital area to take pictures of us. My then-fiance was wearing his ACUs and it was honestly one of the first times I have ever seen him in his uniform in person. When we were dating, it would always be during the off-duty hours, so he would be in his civies.
As we were walking around town, complete strangers were walking up to us and thanking my husband for his service. They recognized him in his uniform and went out of their way to make sure he knew that there were people either thinking of him or supporting him. It made me appreciate the little things that weren’t so upfront before because I never saw him in his uniform. That piece of clothing symbolizes so much more than just my husband, but everyone else that wears it.
When we were walking around town that special day, it made me realize the choice my husband made to serve our country as one that not only myself admired, but people that never even met him. It was a humbling experience and ultimately became the first moment I truly felt like an Army spouse.
We all have different experiences that contribute to the greatness of our military community.