When Doug and I met, I never thought we would someday actually be dating in a serious long distance relationship. We met when we were about ten years old from my cousin. It was at her birthday party, and somehow the whole time he had me laughing. It wasn’t hard to make me laugh, but I knew there was something different. I got my first kiss on the cheek in the pouring rain by him. I will never forget that. Over the years we managed to stay in touch, and we frequently use AIM to talk. I would go to Maine where he is from and we would sometimes meet up. Somehow our friendship got lost in the mix. We went on to middle school, then high school and soon we found both of ourselves graduating. Nevertheless, every time we would talk I still would get a huge smile on my face from ear to ear.
After we both graduated our senior year, I found out he was heading out to basic training for the Army in the beginning of the summer. My cousin had received a letter from him and just seeing his words made me tear up. I never bothered writing him, I had figured he had forgotten who I was by then. I also was dating my ex boyfriend for about two years by then. Throughout that summer, he had finished basic training and I had finished my relationship with my ex boyfriend. Doug had contacted me through Facebook one day, and I could not believe it. I was stunned to receive any acknowledgment from him. He of course being the sweet person he is complimented me and gave me his new number. Soon after I texted him and we began talking a lot.
We talked almost every day and when he was in AIT training, he had leave to come home in December. We had made plans to see each other, and I had never been more excited. Doug came to my house 4 days before Christmas and picked me up. We do not live in the same state, so it was a bit of a drive for just anyone. We had the best moments together and it almost felt like I was falling in love all over again. He showed me that real men do exist, and surprised me completely with the way he acted towards me. I had never met a sweeter, more gentle person than him. He had been there all along, and nine years later I was just figuring this out. He had given me the most beautiful flowers that were hot pink (my favorite color) and green (the color of my eyes) for no reason one time. It might sound corny that he was my “first love”, but truly I believe he is and I want him to be my last. On Christmas Eve, we began “officially” dating. When you’re in a military relationship, things move fast. But a good fast, there’s not enough time for doubts and ifs. The day after New Year’s Eve he went back to Virginia to AIT and I stayed in Massachusetts. I had brought him to the airport that day and that was the first time he had seen me cry, actually ball my eyes out. I knew he would soon return in a few weeks, but letting him go was hard. He came back two more times before deploying in February on Valentine’s Day to South Korea for a year. It was the hardest Valentine’s Day I have ever had. I kissed him goodbye like we always do when he has to leave, and he started crying. I was used to saying goodbye already so I did not. An airplane worker outside asked us to “hurry it along”, if he could only had heard the words I was saying to him in my head..
I cherish and hold on to the moments we had spent together before he left, and think of him coming home every single day. I hold on to our laughs, our smiles, and our true love for each other.
A morning for myself in general is waking up around 7-730 am when I usually can sleep in much later. I choose to most days because I feel lucky enough that my boyfriend can Skype me before he goes to sleep. Korea is 14 hours ahead of Eastern time, which was a struggle to get used to. But like all things, you adjust for the ones you love. After we talk in the morning, he goes to bed and usually wakes up while I’m in class or work. If I rush home quick enough we can usually Skype again before he heads out to PT and then work. Doug is a helicopter mechanic, and wants to change his MOS to Airborne Infantry. Anything with the world Infantry obviously scares the life out of me, but it is his life I am just a big part of it. Usually when we talk he will tell me all about what he is doing and the briefs he is required to go to. He tells me about PT, and sometimes running five miles which as a civilian I truly look up to my boyfriend. I never thought someone like a boyfriend could be my own hero.
During the day he sometimes texts me and says sweet things like “I love you I hope your classes were good today.” At night when I am usually heading to bed, he is usually on lunch break so he will usually walk 20 minutes both ways just to get back to his barracks to Skype me again! I know I am truly lucky for all he does for me. Even if we do not get to Skype once a day, I hold on to every moment we do and never take a second for granted. Dating a man in the military, especially as someone as close as Doug is to me is quite an experience. He has changed my life and has given me more hope in people. Doug comes home in a little more than ten months, and I count the days every day. Waiting a year for someone is not easy. Love makes it easier, and strength. We have each other, maybe not physically but emotionally we are always there for each other which makes us work. I sometimes curse the military from taking my boyfriend away from me, but I think of how if he was not in the military we probably would not be together. I love my hero. I am so grateful for everything he does for this country and I. I love you Doug, stay safe and strong hunny.