July 1, 2007
1.5 years into our relationship, Josh left for boot camp. At the time the initial shock of him leaving was hard to take, but I knew it could be worse. In what felt like a blink of an eye the 3 months was up and I was on my way to Parris Island to see him.
As I sat waiting for him I was so nervous. When they finally came in and I spotted him I didn't think it was real. By the time I found him I just burst into tears I was so excited. Prior to this we never spent more than 2 weeks apart. I was more than happy that he was home.
Next stop- SOI. Wasn't the greatest, but better than boot camp. He has his phone most of the time, even though he wasn't supposed to, so we would sneak in phone calls or a few texts. I remember how excited I was to find out he was coming home for Thanksgiving that year. The time we spent together got to be more and more valuable.
December 21, 2007
Josh checked in to 2/9 at Camp Lejeune. I remember that day only because they weren't going to let him come home for Christmas. That was my first encounter with the Marine Corps really making me mad. But 2 days later I was asleep on the couch only to feel someone kiss my forehead. Opened my eyes and there he was. His weasel recruiter pulled through and got him some RA so he came home for 12 days. (Looking back on it I kinda feel bad for giving him such a hard time about coming home, I just wanted him to myself.)
The following months consisted of 96's and deployment work ups. The lifestyle wasn't the greatest, but not as terrible as I thought it would be.
August 2008 - Pre-deployment leave
I dreaded this more than boot camp because it was finally real that a deployment was upon us. At the time I was going to school 1.5 hours away, it was actually my first week there. However, I drove the 3+ hours to and from school each day just so I could see him. It was exhausting, but I wouldn't have done it any other way. It was the longest 21 days and the most amazing ones at the same time.
September 2008- Deployment
Here it was. September 22 was finally upon us. I remember crying in the car most of the way home the day before. I was so sad that I wasn't going to see him again for 7 months. I wasn't scared though. I mean I was, but not like I was this time. I knew things had calmed down in Iraq so it seemed a little easier to deal with. The time passed and it seemed to go fairly fast.
April 22, 2009 - Homecoming
Best. Day. Ever.
Hands down. No explanation there.
Before I knew it, deployment work ups started again. I remember thinking ugh, do I really have to do this again? Then I quickly remembered it was the last time and this life was almost over. We could do it. We did it before so we'll do it again. The two of us made a good pair and we got through anything and everything thrown at us.
July 2 2010 - Pre-deployment leave 2
Here it was. Gearing up for another round. The only thing making me mad about this time was that leave was so short. I was at least thankful that I got to go to North Carolina to spend a few extra days with him before they left.
July 17 2010 - Round 2
It was finally here. He was on his way and there was no looking back. I was bummed out most of the day but more determined than ever to get through it. Nothing sounds worse in my vocabulary than "deployment day." Well, nothing sounded worse at the time.
Things were good. Closest to perfect you could get minus the fact he was 7000 miles away in a war zone. We were fortunate to have good communication the first month, lots of skype dates. Up until the last week of August when he moved to an outpost we talked almost everyday. As much as the situation sucked, we made the most of it and were happy with what we had.
September 1 2010
My phone rang at 5 am. It was such a good conversation and we got to talk for a whole hour. We laughed told stories, the usual. He had more to do that day and said he'd call back later, but never did..
September 2 2010
The dreaded phone call. I never ever ever thought I was going to hear those words. He was gone, and there was nothing I could do about it. Why us? I'll never know.
Septemeber 8-10 2010
The 72 hours I would like to forget in my life. Bringing him home, viewing, funeral. Too much for me. My worst nightmare finally came true and a folded up flag was in my lap. It was the end of the road and far too soon.