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Meet and Marry In A Month
Dedicated to Our Daughter, Stevie
Submitted by Shirley
I was a bored young adult living in my hometown of Tucson. Sure, I was having fun but it was the same old thing with no real excitement. My oldest sister, Linda, lived in Hawaii with her military husband, Bob and she invited me to go to live with them. Without much thought or fear, it somehow all came together and off I went on that jet plane to Honolulu. I am pretty whimpy so selling my car and personal things and flying off to some strange place is not like me. I still can't believe I did that.
I was there only 2 days before I began working at the hair salon on Scolfield barracks and it was only a week later that a friend of my sisters wanted me to meet Mike, a guy who was also in the army who was going to be on a temporary mission with the army on the island.
Mike came by the salon where I worked and asked me out. I have to say; he was very cute and looked a lot like Magnum PI who was a very popular Hawaiian TV show movie star.
It wasn't love at first sight even though he was the hottest guy I'd ever seen but we somehow kind of fell in a crazy kind of love. Mike would be heading back to his permanent duty station, which was Fort Bragg, N.C., and I'm sure I would eventually head back to Tucson. I guess he thought about that as one night after only 4 weeks he said to me in his Elvis southern voice "I want you to come back to North Carolina with me.. I mean, I want you to marry me. Will you marry me?"
Without any thought as if I had nothing better to do, I said yes.
A week later we were married by the Justice of the Peace downtown Honolulu. It was actually very pretty as we walked across the street and held the ceremony on the Gazebo in front of a very famous Palace. All of the military men and women who were on duty in Hawaii with Mike joined us as well as the gal who introduced my sister and us. We had quite a crowd of tourist watching as well. We didn't have much of a honeymoon as Mike still had duty to pull but he promised we would go back to Hawaii in 10 years.
Mike and I flew back to North Carolina on a military Mac flight. We boarded the plane in our matching Hawaii t-shirts and upon arriving in North Carolina, a military buddy of Mike's drove to a nearby city to pick us up. We stayed with friends of Mike's for a week until we found an apartment.
Three years later we had a daughter, Stevie, who is almost 19 years old now. Mike was gone a lot during our marriage. We did not get to spend our first Christmas together and he was not there for the birth of Stevie. He didn't see her until she was 3 weeks old. He didn't tell me how often a Special Forces soldier traveled and I had no idea that I would learn to be an independent military spouse.
That was 21 year ago. Mike has retired from the army after 26 years of service and we are as happy as anyone can be. We never made it back to Hawaii for our 10-year anniversary but that's okay, one day we will. For now it's all about paying for college.