Venti

Today’s Blog is going to be about me and that special lady in my life, my wife. I’m going to share with you that don’t know how my wife and I met. So here goes…..

PCS’ing (Permanent Change of Station for those that didn’t know) as a single soldier was exciting and also an adventure to me. You don’t know what you are going to encounter from one post to another. I was PCS’ing from the Home of the Airborne, Fort Bragg, North Carolina to the anus of the Army Fort Polk, Louisiana. Once I got there I was on orders to go to 229th Quartermaster Company (which is now disbanded), but I didn’t want to go there. Before I started in-processing, I thought it would be a great idea to drop by the company and introduce myself. As soon as I got there and saw where I was going to be working, I was flabbergasted! The NBC Room was full of old equipment and dust was everywhere. It looked as if no one had been in there in years. At this time 83rd Chemical Battalion was located there, they were previously at Fort Bragg but they were moved to Fort Polk. So I went to 83rd Battalion Staff Duty and asked to speak to someone in S-1 (Personnel). I talked to the NCOIC who then referred me to see the Command Sergeant Major, CSM Baldwin. I introduced myself to him and we hit it off, because we were both Airborne and stationed at Fort Bragg. He said that he had room for me in the Battalion and let me pick which company I wanted to be in. I chose 51st Chemical (Recon) at the time, because I already knew 1SG Morris and he liked my work ethic, even though I was a newly promoted Sergeant.

Once I got my orders changed, I started in-processing the Post. After a week of death by powerpoint I was finally able to go to my company. I was assigned to 4th Platoon as an Assistant Squad Leader in 3rd Squad. Before every company formation, everybody usually just hangs around the front of the company area. I’m the new NCO so other NCO’s and soldiers are introducing themselves. As I was waiting for formation, I saw this girl that looked as if she was mixed or something, all I wanted to do was get to know her. I asked around about her and everybody told me that she’s a hard catch and you will not be able to get that close to her. That was a challenge to me! What I didn’t know until later was that she lived in my wing of the building on the 3rd floor. Once I found out that she lived above me, I made excuses to go on the 3rd floor, but I really did have soldiers that lived on that floor. A couple of weeks go by and an NCO in my platoon was PCS’ing, but needed a ride to the airport in Alexandria, Louisiana. He asked if I could take him and I told him that I didn’t mind.

It’s about 4 in the morning and I go down to my car to turn it on because it was already hot and humid as hell. When I turned the corner to go up the stairs, their she was. She was getting ready to go on leave. As she walked by, I took a glance to check her out. Now I am more determined to get her. She was gone for about 2 weeks. On a Saturday morning, I walked out on the balcony just to see who was out, she on the 3rd floor balcony messing around with her new camcorder. I acted like I needed to go to my soldiers room just so I could see her. I went to his room, stayed about 5 minutes and left. Before I walked down to my room I asked her if that was a new camcorder, she said yes. I then asked if I could hold it because I had never used one before. I made some small talk but that was it. I gave her the camcorder back and went to my room.

Another couple of weeks go by and I say that I’m going to put myself out there and ask her for her phone number. I walked up the stairs to the 3rd floor and knocked on her door. She opened the door, but she was getting ready to go to the movies with some friends. I told her that I was interested in her and I would like to give her a call. She said okay as she’s walking down the stairs, she’s yelling out her phone number. I said okay and I will give you a call later. A few days later I called her, but since she didn’t have the barracks answering service, her personal answering machine picked up the call. As soon as I heard the computerized male voice I hung up. I thought this chick gave me the wrong damn number. The next time I saw her I asked her why she gave me the wrong number and she says I didn’t. I explained to her about the voicemail and she said I have my own answering machine. I then felt like a retard. 

We talked on the phone several times and I built up the nerve to make it official. I asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes, but we had to keep it under wraps, because the Army frowns upon relationships like this. Even though she wasn’t in my Platoon, there could be a time where I would be in charge of her and I might show favoritism towards her. That’s a reason why the Army implemented this policy, but I didn’t care. We kept it hidden for about a month then my Platoon Sergeant tells me that 1SG  Morris wants to see me. I already knew what it was about. I knocked on his door, walked in, reported to the 1SG then he says sit down. He said to me, give it to me straight are you and PFC Rolon a couple? I said yes 1SG. He then read to me the policy on fraternization. He then said to me, I can’t tell you who to fall in love with, but if you ever break her heart or mistreat her, I will ruin your career. 1SG Morris really liked Angie because she was a hard worker and was a PT stud. 

I went back to my room and thought about ending the relationship, because I didn’t want to jeopardize our careers. We talked about it and decided to stay together. A couple of months go by and I am really falling in love with her. I called her to see if she was in her room and told her that I needed to talk to her. I told her my feelings and said I love you and she said that she felt the same way. I was ecstatic! Now we are about a year into our relationship. She calls me and says I need you to come to my room. I said okay. I walked in and she was sitting on the bed,  she then asked me to walk in the bathroom, I walked in and saw a pregnancy test, and I then asked if she was pregnant? She said yes. 

Time is winding down and my Platoon is next on the rotation to Kuwait. The night before we were scheduled to leave, she didn’t sleep at all. I don’t know if this is true, but maybe she thought I wasn’t going to man up and handle mine. One day while chilling in her room, I said to her that I was hungry. She always had left over pizza in her fridge. Before she got to the fridge, I grabbed her by the arm and then asked her to marry me. She replied yes.

Now the time comes for my Platoon to deploy. Every chance I had I would call to check on her. Just like everybody was watching the news about the possible war with Iraq, she asked me if we were going to cross into Iraq. I didn’t know at the time so that’s what I told her. We finally got the secret brief telling us which squad was going to be attached to specific units. I told her that my squad was going to cross on March 19, 2002, with the 1st MEF. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her again until the middle of May. And to make it worse, I only got 5 minutes to talk to her. In June we redeployed to Kuwait. I gave her an approximate date when I should be home. We left the Kuwaiti Airport and straight into Alexandria, Louisiana. Buses were waiting for us. It took an hour to get back to Fort Polk, which seemed like 8. I walked off the bus and she walked right passed me. I was like what the hell. She said she didn’t recognize me because I lost a lot of weight. We hugged and kissed. Awesome moment!!! 

I think it was about 3 days after getting back from a deployment, we went to the Justice of the Peace and got legally married. One of the best moments and feelings in my life. Of course, we’ve had our ups and downs, but this woman has held me down through thick and thin. After 5 different deployments, missing birthdays, holidays, I can say that risking my career was worth it. It doesn’t always work that way, but we were lucky. I’m not condoning lower enlisted/NCO relationships, just letting you guys know how I met my queen.

 

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