Being in a military relationship is not for the faint of heart. It requires strength, loyalty, patience, and independence, among other qualities. It requires appreciation—appreciation for each other and for time. You do not understand the importance of a year, until you experience a year without the love of your life. You do not understand the importance of a month, until you sit by your phone waiting for a text or a phone call saying “I’m okay” after a month-long field operation away from all forms of communication. You do not understand the importance of a week, until you are only given one week in a year to celebrate every birthday and every holiday that your other half will miss while being deployed. You do not appreciate the importance of a day, until you experience the last 24 hours before saying a tear-filled “see you later” to your deploying love. You do not understand the importance of a minute, until your significant other only has a minute to talk on the phone from a world away, and you miss the call.
When talking about our their love story the most common response Megan hears is “I don’t know how you do it,” and she explained “well, to be completely honest, I am not sure how we do it either; we just do. We do it because we love each other.” The separation, distance, lack of communication, goodbyes that leave soaked shoulders, holding onto those last moments before he boards the plane- it is all hard. It is all worth it during those moments we run at each other full speed to embrace after so much time apart.
The Marine Corps has always been a part of their relationship. Josh was already enlisted in the Marine Corps and was only months away from shipping out to bootcamp when they began dating nearly six years ago. The couple spent half of their first year together across the country from one another. Since then, they have had several “see you later, please be safe” moments at the airport. Goodbyes are far too painful to say, so they always leave it at “see you sooner” because each passing minute brings them closer to that hello. Megan explains that she remembers walking out of the airport alone after Josh was leaving for a few months for specialized training, a kind woman looked at Megan and said “you’ll be okay” and Megan said “her words stuck with me, I knew that I would be okay- that we would be okay.”
Josh proposed in May of 2019 in the happiest place on Earth, which for them is of course Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. (Megan is a huge disney fan and their wedding is completely surrounded by subtle disney hints). It was a dream come true for them. However, they knew they would only get to cherish a few days in person together as a newly engaged couple, because Josh was deploying overseas for a whole year. Being a military fiancé on the home front of a deployment was the hardest thing Megan has ever done. She felt like her heart was constantly racing; you never know if you have not heard from your other half because something is wrong, or simply because there is no Wi-Fi connection. “You find comfort in the smallest things, like finding a shirt that still smells like him or checking the Family Deployment page on Facebook and seeing a photo of him posted. You miss the mundane everyday things, like calling each other when driving home from work, and running to the grocery store together. You find hobbies to fill the empty voids.” Megan passed the time by making extravagant care packages themed for each holiday or occasion he was missing.
The countdown to homecoming was long and hard enough without throwing a pandemic into the mix. The couple finally came to the month Josh was supposed to return home, however with uncertainty in the world this homecoming was delayed. Something to note about the military, things are never set-in stone. We did not know if he would return home in another month, or a few. Finally, months later, Megan received the text “I’m coming home.”
I’m Lexi! I am passionate about documenting eloping couples all over the globe, in a place that’s special to you. My approach to your day is as honest as you experience it + less of the stiff stuff. I’d love to hear what you’re dreaming up for your wedding day!