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.
|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.
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!