“My first trip to Alaska wasn’t that long ago, but it was a long time in the making. I grew up in a super small Montana town and had made my mind up at a young age that I was going to be a teacher in Alaska.
“After graduating in 2004, I went to the University of Montana-Western (I’m wearing a UMW sweatshirt in the picture!) and wound up falling in love with a guy I had met at my local gas station (the popular hangout) when I was a senior in high school. Before we even had a chance to go on a date, he was off to Basic Training in KY and AIT in TX, but our love grew with every hand written letter and rare phone call over the next 7 months.
“We got to see each other for a few days during Christmas Break and again when I flew to Georgia to see him graduate from Airborne school in February. While I was finishing up my sophomore year of college in Montana, guess where he was sent for his first duty station?!?!?!?! ALASKA!!!
“Of course I had to come up to visit in May when school was out which is where this picture (above) comes in. On a walk around Anchorage, Marcus proposed to me with the plastic ring from his water bottle along the bank of Chester Creek. We were married at the small Ft. Richardson chapel with our parents and a couple Army buddies in attendance on September 8, 2006.
“Since then we’ve been through 2 deployments, bought a house in Chugiak, raised 9 chickens & 2 dogs, BECAME A TEACHER IN ALASKA, and are currently on the mend from brain cancer. This picture is when my life truly began and everyday I am so thankful that we stopped to buy that bottle of water.”
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