Once upon a time, a 20-year-old female sailor was almost arrested for violating article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What was she doing, you ask? Well, she was conducting in a nature that would bring discredit to the Navy. More specifically? She was drinking under the age of 21. Even more specifically? She was drinking a bottle of Bud Light, with approximately 8-10 other young sailors, in a friend’s barracks room.
This young girl knew she shouldn’t have been drinking underage. But she wasn’t very bright, and was not thinking of the consequences of her actions if she were to be caught, so she did it anyway.
That evening, a young male sailor on duty (he was a master-at-arms in the Navy, in other words-military police) was patrolling the barracks. He’ll tell you now, if you ask him, that he was bored and looking for something to do.
Well, he found something. He found the aforementioned girl and her friends, drinking beer at the barracks, door wide open and music blaring. It didn’t seem she was even trying to hide her drinking (I mentioned already – not so bright.)
Moving along. He told that girl to show her military ID. To prove she was of drinking age, of course. She told him then – “it’s not on me, it’s in my room down the hall, I can go and get it.” She began walking that direction, but thought to herself, as soon as I get it and he reads it he will see that I’m not 21 yet, what am I doing?
She turned back around. “I’m not 21 yet,” she said to him. Then she began to cry. “But I’ve never been in trouble before . . . could you please just let me go?”
The young master-at-arms lectured the girl. He’s kind of a jerk, she thought, as she continued to cry. He lectured her some more. But then, to her pleasant surprise, he actually let her go. WHEW! Lucky break!
Fast forward a couple of months. Base security, the place where that boy worked, needed more females to work with them. The young girl he had almost arrested, she was asked if she would be willing to be temporarily detached from the helicopter squadron she was assigned to for six months to help them out. She thought – why not? And said yes.
Her first day at base security, who would walk by, of course, but the guy who had nearly arrested her? Ah. But this time – he caught her eye differently. Huh. She thought. Turns out he’s kind of cute.
They began to work together. She got to know him, and couldn’t help but be attracted to him. But there were some stumbling blocks. He was dating a girl in the Coast Guard. She herself, she met and dated a Cowboy for a couple of months. During this time they developed somewhat of a friendship. The more she got to know him, the more she developed feelings for him.
Those security shifts – they were 12 hours long. The shifts were divided into four blocks of watches. So you might patrol a certain zone of the base for the first three hours, then move to the North Gate of the base and check ID’s of people coming in for another three, et cetera. That young girl, she looked at her schedule one day and saw that she and that boy who almost arrested her, they were assigned to the same zone for one of those watches. She couldn’t help but smile. She’d be in a car patrolling with him for three straight hours, just the two of them! They could really talk a lot. This excited her more than anything had for a long while. She waited in anticipation that day for that specific watch. And then, when it was finally time, he didn’t show. The security officer had needed him elsewhere, she was told. She’d have the watch alone. She was so disappointed. She had really been looking forward to that time with him, and now she wouldn’t have it.
Time moved forward still. The relationship the girl had with the cowboy, it didn’t work out. And then the relationship the boy had with the Coast Guard girl, that one didn’t work out either.
An opportunity arose then for something more than friendship between those two, and the girl knew she needed to be brave. So, she asked him out on a date. And he said yes.
That was their beginning. That boy and that girl, they would fall in love.
A year into their relationship, the boy would get orders to Cuba and they would be separated for an entire year. They would stay together still. The girl, she would get assigned to El Paso, Texas, and after leaving Cuba and finishing his time in the Navy, he would follow her there, so that they could stay together still.
They would marry the year she would complete her contract with the Navy. That same year they would settle in his hometown. That same year they would buy a home. That same year he would begin the Austin Police Academy. That same year that girl would become pregnant with the first of their SIX children.
This is our story (but you knew that already, I’m sure.)
I want to go back in time and tell that girl who was pouting on watch one night all because she wanted three hours with that boy that – guess what – you’ll get a whole life with him. You’ll get his last name. You’ll carry his children. You’ll create a home with him with six little people who are a beautiful combination of you both. You’ll spend every Sunday wrangling those kids in Mass and thanking Jesus for this incredible life you’ve been given.
Ah. I feel I need to pinch myself sometimes – how amazing is it that I got to marry that boy that I so desperately wanted to spend time with?
It isn’t your average fairy tale. We certainly have a real marriage and it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It can be hard sometimes. We can irritate each other, wrong each other at times too.
But. It’s good. It’s really good.
I’m a blessed woman, in love with her husband.
We started out as this pair of kids – one a young military cop, one a young dumb girl drinking underage at the barracks – who’d have guessed we’d come this far?
|Us, our first year together|
|Our wedding day - April 12, 2008|
|Austin Police Academy Graduation - January 2009|
|Our family today.|
Until next time . . .