I’ve written before about how B and I met, just thinking about it still makes me just smile and lose track of everything around me. But, in partial response to knowing that military life isn’t always rosy and in reminding myself that sometimes what looks like the worst thing ever leads to the best things in life; here is our story as understood through the disappointments and hardships that led us to be. I guess it’s our version of the broken road.
He was still in high school, student-athlete of the week for his local area, and being interviewed on his future plans. Where did he want to go to university? The US Air Force Academy. What did he want to do after? Be a pilot for the USAF. Because that’s what you do. If you want to be a pilot, you go to USAFA. Everyone who graduates has a shot at pilot training. Big, bold dreams for a young man who saw nothing but promise before him.
I’m not sure when he learned that his dream was outside of reality. Due to a minor, minor sight issue, he wasn’t going to be able to be a pilot. And by the time he learned, it was too late to not be a cadet at the Academy. He did what anyone would do in that situation; he adjusted his course and goals. After weighing his options, he chose to go into the Security Forces career field. The AF doesn’t separate its military cops from its military security guards, so he figured he could get the law enforcement experience that he wanted before pursuing something else later on down the road. He was the number two graduate from USAFA in SFS for his class year.
Which takes us to Hundreds Night. The night that graduating seniors have just 100 days left at the Academy. The night that they learn where they will be stationed. They each got to list their top choices, they were supposed to go in order of their rank and get assigned the base of their choice. It’s one of the perks of the Academy. He was excited, even though he knew he’d have a mess of a room to clean up later thanks to the expected prank of Hundreds Night. He was looking forward to leaving the Academy and starting his career at one of his top bases.
That didn’t happen. Instead, he learned that someone, somewhere, had screwed up the list of available bases for the SFS cadets and that both he and the top graduate in their career field were headed to Minot AFB. To say he was angry and disappointed would be a huge understatement. Cadets who were far below him in rank were getting much better bases, because someone else messed up. His first day on station at Minot he walked in to his boss’ office to volunteer for a 365. It didn’t work. His career field is non-deployable out of Minot. Another thing that just wasn’t going right.
The one thing he was looking forward to was going to AFBC in the Fall and tech school in the Spring. Except that Minot couldn’t even get that right and he instead got to head off to tech school in the Fall, making him miss reconnecting with his friends. So off he was sent to San Antonio during the hottest part of the year.
To add one final thing that didn’t go right, not long after he got to Camp Bullis, his girlfriend of 1.5 years, the girl he’d taken to Ring Dance, and who’d been at his graduation, decided she didn’t want to do the long distance thing and broke it off. She’d already bought tickets to see him in November though, so she still came down. He had hopes of convincing her to get back together; but she showed up full of stories about her new boyfriend.
No pilot school. No base of choice. No deployment to help his career. And now, no girlfriend even. Things just couldn’t go right. Which is how he found himself, the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009, the very next weekend after the deal was sealed on his break up, back out at Cowboy’s Dance Hall with the friends he had made in Tech School. Where he met me. The night he met me.
His mother loves to remind him that if he’d never gone to Minot that he’d have never met me. We wouldn’t have met if he’d gone to Pilot Training, wouldn’t have met if he’d gone to the right base that sent him to tech school at the right time. And he’d never have dated me had he still been with his ex, had her trip been one or two weekends later, we would have crossed paths but never connected. All of those things had to go wrong, so that this one thing could go right.
He wasn’t looking for anything but fun that night. I was just looking to have a dating experience that didn’t end in cheating. Three weeks after we met we were a committed, exclusive couple, with plans to make the long distance thing work. So sometimes, when things go wrong, you just have to be looking for that blessing that never could have happened otherwise.
P.S. If you want to see more of our hiking or trip pictures, head over to my other blog: Love Ever After. I pretty much exclusively post the trip pictures there since that’s the blog my family knows about. ;)