Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thank you for your service!

*WARNING* It's a long one!

I am so grateful for days like today where we can properly thank our veterans for the service they have rendered us! I felt a renewed sense of gratitude to spend a day surrounded by my husband and children. I can't help but think of what JT has gone through to get to this point in his life. He's the man he is today in part because of the sacrifices he has made for his country.
JT entered the Marines Corps on July 19, 2004. Bootcamp was followed shortly by SOI. He had a lot of stories and emotion rolled up into those 8 months. It's something special to have the opportunity to hear him talk about it.
After he graduated from SOI, JT was sent to the FMF 2/1, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. He made some great friends there and happened to start dating a certain girl while with them (ME ME ME!). JT was scheduled to go on his first deployment in July of 2005. It was a float to about 17 different places. He was excited to be putting some of his training to use and to be going with the Marines he had become close with. I can't begin to describe to you what it was like to hear his voice when he called me during class to tell me he would not be going on that deployment. He had randomly been selected along with a few other Marines to join FMF 1/1, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. That very LARGE change in plans meant that he would no longer be deploying until January of 2006. He entered into a new training cycle and started making new friends. I had already left for BYU by this time so he took his good friend to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Didn't he look handsome? A week later he flew out to BYU and dressed up to take me out to dinner.

I came home for the holidays and spent time with JT as he prepared and packed for his upcoming deployment. These 2 pictures were taken the night before he deployed. I wanted him to take me with him.

January 21st, 2006 JT deployed for Iraq. It was a very emotional goodbye. I remember him holding me with an intensity right before he left and telling me that he would come home and marry me.

In Iraq JT was stationed at both CampFallujah and Abu Ghraib. There was a lot of action and firefights. His specialty was demolitions. He was a "grunt" so he spent a lot of time doing the actual fighting, interacting with the locals, breaching buildings, and blowing things up. In between all this serious stuff, JT did find time to keep himself sane with phone calls home and antics with fellow Marines.

this photo was taken by a photographer for an article about Iraq that JT was featured in.

 JT came home from his first deployment the end of August/beginning of September (I'm sorry I don't remember exactly when! He would be able to tell me if he were home). I wasn't there to meet him since the semester at BYU had just started. He came up to Utah to visit me and put on his dress blues for an evening out with me.

November 10th was the Marines Corps Birthday Ball and JT flew me down the California so I could attend as his date (even though we had decided to take a brief break in our relationship at that point. Obviously his sneaky plan worked...).

In the time between then and July of 2007, JT was promoted to a Corporal and attended Squad Leader's Course. He was very busy training and even spent some time up at the base in 29 Palms.

On July 27th, 2007 (just 2 days before his birthday) JT deployed for his second tour of duty in Iraq. I remember being pretty emotionally distraught over it. We had hoped to be married by the time he deployed again but realized it wasn't supposed to happen. The pictures are all smiles though because we were determined to stay (at least visibly) in good spirits.

JT was stationed at Camp Habania in Iraq for pretty much the whole 7 months. It was very boring for him. Supply trucks were few and far inbetween, they dealt with unsavory characters that he hated having to work with, and their living quarters were made up of old Iraqi homes. It was a vastly different deployment from his first. Although I appreciated the relative peace he worked in, it took all his strength not to go mad.

JT made it back to Camp Pendleton February 13th, 2008. The next day was the very FIRST time we ever spent a Valentine's Day together! But the exciting news is that March 28, 2008 that Marine married me in the Newport Beach, California LDS temple!

We got married with about 4 months left before he got out of the Marines Corps. He extended his EAS date by 2 months and got out September 18th, 2008. It was a big day for him and the poor guy spent it driving up to Utah to be reunited with this little BYU student. I'm glad he decided to come up though. :) I was missing him. Oh, and the date on my camera is wrong, I promise.

 So there is Jonathan's history in the United States Marines Corps! I thought it would be nice to see it all in a glance and to have the opportunity to truly appreciate the sacrifice he made on behalf of his country. I will forever be grateful to him and to every other man and woman who ever picks up our nation's uniform. We all owe you a debt of gratitude that could never possibly be fulfilled. On this day, we salute YOU. Thank you.


  1. Thank you for posting that!! Wow! It was very interesting to read all about what you and JT have done. You are so awesome!!! Thank you JT for all you have done for us!

  2. I'm glad you liked it! Thank you! I'll make sure JT sees your comments :)