Happy Military Marriage Day to all our military couples! Today is a historic day marking the first annual celebration of military marriages from all around the world.
It’s a Military Life, and Military Marriage Day, have the honor to highlight a very special military married couple that happen to be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary on this very day. Although they are not able to celebrate together, due to deployment, we want to spotlight their journey together as a couple. To have fun and have them reflect on their life together, IML sent them both questions, and each spouse answered them separately, shown below as HIM and HER.
Introducing the happily married couple: Jessica and Malcolm!
Tell us a little bit about you and your spouse! How did you meet and share with us all the fun details on how your relationship grew from there?
HIM: We met in Iraq, she was the new girl, so I messed with her saying my equipment wasn’t working to see if she knew what she was doing (HAHA). We didn’t start dating until we got back from deployment. A bunch of us were going to a festival downtown and she showed up. I took my chance and finally talked to her. It didn’t take long for me to ask her out. We dated until I left for Ft. Bragg and during her visit I decided to propose.
HER: My husband and I met during our first deployment to Iraq. We did not mingle much during our deployment aside from a few conversations here and there. Once we got back to Germany my good friend Rob, who is a mutual friend of ours, invited me to go to a festival downtown with him and several others. I had no idea we were all meeting up at my husband’s apartment. I remember the minute he walked into the living room because I gasped and hoped it was not too obvious (LOL). After that evening, we were basically inseparable.
How has the military been a part of your relationship and family life? What have been the greatest moments, and how have you also overcome the challenging ones?
HIM: The military has been part of our relationship for 7 out of 10 years. Some of the greatest moments have been getting to travel as a family and see new parts of the world together. We have been to Germany, North Carolina, Alaska, and Oklahoma. The most challenging part is probably time away from each other. To try and overcome that we just try and stay positive, do nice things for one another. Since I can’t be there I’ll try and send her flowers or give her a spa day or two. I know it’s stressful for her because she’s alone. I figure it’s the only way I can help.
HER: The military has been part of our family since the beginning. I am from LA and he is from Kentucky so without it, I doubt we would have found each other. The best moments are always being reunited after being months apart. Times get hard, really hard. Training, long hours, deployments, and being apart from family and friends is very difficult. God is the reason why we are still standing strong.
What have you done to grow as a military married couple?
HIM: As a military couple I try to support her in any way I can. She left everything behind to follow me and my career. It’s the least that I can do. We try to take advantage of the opportunities available for married couples like the marriage retreats.
HER: We have become more involved in activities with the FRG and taken advantage of all the programs that the military provides to military couples and families. One of the biggest things that have helped both of us individually is becoming friends with other military couples. It helps just getting involved with people who share the same lifestyle and understand the many difficulties that families have to face.
Deployments involve so much time apart and effort to keep up the relationship long distance. What ways have you worked together on your marriage to keep it strong through such tough times?
HIM: Deployments are very tough. Especially with kids. We both have our rough days and try to understand and respect each other’s needs. Some days she doesn’t feel like talking because she gets stressed out and I do as well. I just try to be understanding and be there for her the best I can.
HER: We try to talk about the little things that happen throughout the day. The time difference can be difficult, but even when the other is sleeping he will text me, “Hey! Remind me to tell you about…” It gives us something to talk about and still feel involved in each others daily lives. We try our best to always say Good Morning/Night and I love you’s even if it’s only through a text message. There’s nothing like a deployment to test your dedication and love for each other. It’s not easy, and you have to get creative. Those mushy names and sayings go a long way when you are thousands of miles apart.
5) You mentioned it’s your 10th wedding anniversary on August 14th, which is the first annual Military Marriage Day! Congratulations!
I know your husband is deployed right now, and that must be very difficult during such an important milestone. We as a military community will do the best we can to make this anniversary a special one for you both! Can you give your husband a special anniversary shoutout?
To Jessica: “Jessica, I hope today is as special for you as it is for me. Thank you for supporting me, loving me, and accepting me for who I am. Thank you for sharing these past 10 years with me. I know they haven’t always been easy, but they sure have given us some sweet memories. I love you honey and Happy 10th Anniversary! Be sure to drink one for me!”
To Malcolm: “Thank you for these crazy but wonderful 10 years of marriage. Thank you for always supporting me and believing in me. For making us laugh through some difficult times in life, and best of all, for giving me our beautiful babies. We have so much more life ahead of us and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. I miss you dearly but as always, this won’t last forever, you’ll be back and then we can take our second honeymoon and celebrate! Happy 10th Anniversary! I’ll drink a glass or two for you, but since I’m on baby sitting duty 24/7 it may not be safe to make it past my first glass (LOL).”
6) What advice would you give a newly married military couple?
HIM: No matter what you go through, just be there for each other. Being married in the military is difficult, so take advantage of the programs the military has to offer for your family.
HER: Never forget to be each other’s best friend and always be there for one another; however, it’s also important to give each other space to grow as individuals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Grab a hold of your faith and let go. The one thing I have learned with being in the military is that planning is really not the best way to go (LOL). Things change at last minute constantly. Learn to go with the flow and accept things for what they are and make the best of it!
Join the celebration on Facebook, and celebrate your marriage with your spouse today and for many more days to come!
Happy Military Marriage Day!