He is totally worth it!

I met my boyfriend, Elyne, when I least expected to meet a guy that I could fall in love with.  When I met him, I was at a bad place in my life.  About seven months before, I had been raped by an ex-boyfriend of mine, and was in no mind set to start dating.  And then one night at a dance club in Tacoma, WA, he approached me.  And immediately I noticed something different.  He just had this quality.  He also had the signature military hair cut, which gave him away to being in the military.  It wasn't until our first date that he revealed to me that he had already been deployed to Iraq and was leaving in exactly six months.  I was definitely disappointed, but we both decided that it would be best if we were just friends.  Well....that’s what we planned, it just didn't work out that way.  I ended up going from saying "I definitely can't wait an entire year for this guy", to saying "I don't care if he is going to another planet, I'm waiting for him."  It seemed like a constant battle between us because we knew the distance between us was going to be extremely painful, and at the same time we were falling in love with each other and couldn't stay away from each other.  Eventually we both gave in to a force that was inevitably bigger than the both of us.  Those six months were great and we made the most of them.  What I appreciated the most was that he was there for me whenever I needed him, even during the extensive training he was going through to prepare for his deployment.  He helped me overcome some of my most painful times, in particular, dealing with my rape.  He stuck by me, and I don't know any man who would have done that for me at that point.  Well, six months came and went, and before I knew it, it was deployment day: October 8th, 2004.  It was one of the most difficult days of my life.  I've never felt that much pain all at once.  We cried together, not really knowing what the next year would bring to our relationship.  One of the hardest parts was watching all of the soldiers say goodbye to there wives and kids (he is stationed at Fort Lewis in Lakewood, WA).  I cried for a week after he left.

The first few months were the hardest.  The lack of communication between us was constantly eating away at me.  There were times I actually thought he was ignoring me, but later I would come to realize, fighting a war would make one pretty busy.  I wrote him everyday and we would email each other as much as we could.  Then two months later, it was the week of Christmas when I experienced my first real panic.  By that time, my boyfriend was stationed at F.O.B. Marez in Mosul.  One day, I decided to get on the internet and take a look at the news like I usually did, to see how the conflict in Iraq was going.  That’s when I came across an article of an explosion that occurred in a U.S. Military base mess hall the previous day.  As I read on, I realized that it was my boyfriends military base.  I immediately became hysterical.  I called his father to see if he had heard from him, but he had heard nothing.  He told me he would call me as soon as he heard something.  For two days, I hardly slept or ate anything.  At one point, I got so panicked that I broke out in hives all over my legs.  The thought that he had died in this horrible occurrence horrified me.  Finally the next day, he called me to say that he was safe.  It was these days that I realized that I couldn't live without this man.  He told me that the day that the mess hall attacks occurred, he was deciding whether or not he wanted to eat, and promptly decided against it.  He then went to his sleeping quarters when the explosion hit moments later.  He rushed out with his weapon in hand, and immediately began to help others who were hurt.  I just thanked God that he was okay.  Had he been killed, I really don't know what I would have done.  After that, things ran a little more smoothly.  By the time we had almost approached six months, I had become a little frustrated.  Communication between us was getting less and less, and by the time it was Easter, March 27th 2005, I hadn't heard from him in almost three weeks.  Then Easter night, I got a phone call from him, but it was a local telephone number.  He told me that Fort Lewis had this new program where they put calls through to anyone he wants, that way he could save his phone cards.  I didn't think anything of it at first.  And then he told me he had to go, but he would call me back in ten minutes.  So we hung up and I continued on with what I was doing.  About ten minutes later, my doorbell rang.  I walked to the door and opened it, and to my amazement, there he was standing in front of me.  We embraced each other, and it was like he had never left.

Those two weeks were amazing and we got even closer than before.  I fell in love with him all over again!!!  Then once again after two wonderful weeks, it was time for him to leave me.  It wasn't as hard as the first time but it was hard.  We celebrated our year anniversary on April 20th, 2005.  Though he wasn't here we had celebrated early while he was here, and the day after our anniversary I received a dozen red roses.  Now we are halfway through.  He knows that I love him and that I am waiting patiently and faithfully.  We are planning to live together when he gets back, and I have great hope for the future.  I couldn't have gotten through the last six months without his support and lots of prayer.  My faith in God has helped me tremendously, and it's what I rely on whenever I am in a state of worry.  I am sure that this is the man I want to marry.  I am in love with him and if waiting for him is what I have to endure, then that’s what I've got to do.  He is expected to come back October of this year.  Besides, he is a good man, and he is totally worth it.

Shonna

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