“We met online after we’d both graduated from college, before he joined the Navy. We’d been dating for about 9 months, and he thought we should break up before he left for boot camp. He didn’t want either of us to be tied down but I knew we had something special and I couldn’t let that go. I asked him to give things a try and wrote him letters every single day of boot camp.
“My family is from Boston, so after the marathon bombing in 2013, I flew home, not knowing where he and I stood. He wrote me several letters, but I wasn’t home to receive them. I was in a dressing room with my mom a few weeks later, and I missed his call. I cried all day, still unsure of what he wanted from our relationship. When I finally got home, I checked my mail. Multiple letters full of love, appreciation and confirmation were sitting in my mailbox for weeks and I had no idea. He proposed not long after A-school, and we were married a few months later.
“I lived alone in college and after graduation, and have always been able to support myself. I wasn’t worried about how I’d survive deployment because I know how to do things for myself. Emotionally though, it is hard, with limited phone calls, no face to face, and the absence of physical touch. During this last deployment, I pulled out those handwritten letters he wrote me from boot camp, and I knew everything would be OK.”