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Location: Fletcher, OK
Married: January 17th, 2009
I live in New Braunfels, TX and work as a Marketing and Event Coordinator. My job requires me to travel a ton. eHarmony was my first online dating experience, but with my busy schedule, I thought I would give it a try. Ken and I were matched on 7-7-07. He was deployed in Iraq for 9 months and was not to return until January 2008. We went through all the steps of communication very quickly. Fortunately, he is an officer in the Army which made it easier for us to communicate.
He had his own room, and had an internet line wired so he could talk to me everyday. With the time change, when he was going to bed, it was my lunch break, and when I was going to bed, he was waking up. His work hours were always very long over there, but the timing worked out great. He contacted me twice a day, everyday, until he had to go through his transition period to return home. He would call me whenever he could from a regular telephone, but also from his computer. We also had webcams and I would send him frequent videos to say hello. I sent him and his troops care packages. He even sent me flowers for my birthday and when my dog from my childhood passed. We used every form of communication we could think of to get in touch with each other.
Ken's days were extremely long and tiring over there. He let me know he was in Iraq in his first email, but I continued talking to him knowing that I wouldn't be able to meet him for 6 months. There was just something about his smile in his pictures that drew me in from the beginning. The most interesting thing about our courtship was that it was basically "brain to brain" for 6 months before we even met in person. The only thing we could do was ask questions and more questions and more questions, and really get to know each other. There weren't any fun date nights or physical distractions. Our compatibility was so amazing just through writing. But, of course it didn't hurt that he is cute.
Anyway, I introduced some of my family to him on the computer through messaging and webcam. My grandpa was in the Air Force and in Vietnam, so my grandma found our communication exceptionally amazing. She stood there in awe, thinking how much better it would have been for them during that time while she was home working and raising 5 children.
He asked me if I would meet him at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX when he first returned home. He wanted me to be the only one there. The tension and pressure was insane. We knew that we really liked each other, but agreed that if the chemistry was not there, then at least we had both gained a friend for life. BUT we both HOPED that we had met our match. I got the call that he would return home on January 17, and I took off work to meet him on base.
It was freezing cold outside, and I found some other ladies to stand with in anticipation of their loved ones return home. They were all asking me who I was meeting...and when I told them, their excitement was overwhelming and supportive. This helped ease my nervousness. All the soldiers began unloading from the buses, and then went into formation. I was trying so hard to find him in the group. When they released them, he walked directly to where I was standing at my instructed position, dropped his huge backpack and gave me the biggest hug ever. I didn't want to let go. Then we kissed and just held each other for what seemed like 10 minutes.
From that moment, life has just been absolutely incredible. He is better than I imagined him to be. While he was in Iraq, he was faced with making the decision to stay in or get out of the Army. He chose to re-enlist, however, worked it out so he would be stationed at the closest place possible to me. He is 6 hours away, at Fort Sill in Lawton, OK. Talk about a brave guy...he met my parents and most of my family on his first weekend home. Our immediate and extended families have met each other and have all been extremely supportive. I can give credit to eHarmony for matching me with the ONLY guy my parents ever liked!
Ken proposed to me on May 23 while we were in Breckenridge, CO with my parents for Memorial Day weekend. He did all the right things...asked my dad and then went to my mom for ring help. I thought that we were going to a restaurant to celebrate his birthday (which is May 28). He was hiding the ring in his sock under his jeans. It was the most beautiful setting. The restaurant was surrounded my mountains, a lake and horses. He planned to do it right at sunset, because I am a sunset fanatic. I have framed pictures of sunsets that I have taken all over the world. He hired an acoustic guitar player and gave him a list of songs to play. We were having a drink before dinner and then he asked me if I wanted to go outside to check out the view. He grabbed my hand and was shaking like a leaf. I can't even remember all of his words, but he told me that he was nervous that he forgot what he was going to say. He got down on his knee, and when he did that, the guitar player came outside and started singing "From Here to Eternity." I started bawling, said yes, and then he danced with me and sang me the song. Everyone in the restaurant and bar was watching, including my family, who was taking pictures. When we walked in everyone was cheering and crying at the same time. It was perfect. But it would have been nice if someone told me I needed to wear waterproof mascara.
We have set the wedding date for January 17, the same day we met in person when he returned home. I will be moving to Oklahoma. Ken is truly a man of honor and the love of my life. We could never thank you enough and will always be a walking advertisement for your service.
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