A pic of Ryan and I while dating. We went on a road trip to California to visit my sister, go to Disneyland, Universal Stuidos Hollywood and Knott's Berry Farm (where this pic was taken)
This evening I was trying to decide what to blog about. I know my posts vary from stuff about my kids to boring daily life, some travels and a few Milspouse Friday Fill-Ins. Perhaps I should help some of my readers get to know me a bit better.
Tonight I thought I’d write about how Ryan and I ended up together. Some people wonder how it happened because, really, we are very different. I’m social, always willing to volunteer to do stuff, loud, and willing to befriend almost anybody. Ryan is much more reserved, quiet, analytical, and is happy to be a homebody and not up for big socializing. But once he opens up, people have actually found him quite funny, though his sense of humor may be over the heads of some people.
To start out, you should realize I wanted the military life. I was born a Navy Brat and my dad is retired now. When I was a junior in high school I began talking with the Air Force recruiter because I was thinking of enlisting and going that route. To be honest, I really didn’t know about the whole officer/enlisted thing and had no idea how to go about becoming an officer (dense, I know).
Anyway, our school had a career day type thing and it was there I met an ROTC recruiter for the University of Washington (UW). I didn’t want to go there, but discovered that Central Washington University, the college I was interested in, also had an ROTC program. Telling my recruiter I was going the officer route kinda dampened his hopes, but whatever.
Fast Forward and I’m a Freshman enrolled in AFROTC and trying to find stuff to get involved in and volunteering for nearly everything. I’m very social and enjoy being busy so it was a good fit in that way. Central had a pretty small detachment so we all became somewhat acquainted, but as a newbie I was still getting to know the older cadets.
Every year the Seniors in the detachment hold a 24-hour vigil in front of the main building on campus for a Veteran’s Day Memorial.
It so happens that Ryan was the Special Projects Officer and had to organize and set up the memorial. He was a junior, by the way. I was one of the several cadets who volunteered to help. We all had to raise a HUGE tent and as it turned out, I was made to hold these big stakes while Ryan had a giant mallet to hammer them into the ground. And through that we began chatting and getting to know one another.
From then on we’d see each other in passing around campus. I would call him “Mr. Tervo” or “Sir” since he outranked me and I had to show respect and salute him, but other than that we really didn’t have contact with each other…. until a few months later…
I attended Chi Alpha regularly. One night another fellow cadet, Chris Stephen (also a Junior), showed up, which wasn’t unusual since he come pretty often… but Ryan was with him. It caught me off guard ‘cause he’d never come before. And then during the meet & greet time Ryan mentioned something about Olympic College and it was then we discovered we were from the same hometown!
After more discussion he told me he was in charge of organizing the Dining-In ceremony for the Detachment and was looking for 2 cadets to help him out and asked if I would do that. I said “yes” and after the meeting Chris and Ryan walked me back to my dorm.
Ryan and I and another cadet, Kelly, then spent time preparing for the dining-in. Ryan and I spent a LOT of time together, hanging out, talking, and discovering we had similar interests, values, and faith. We really enjoyed going to the city pool and sweating it out in the sauna.
Rumors spread at the det that we were dating, which at the time we weren’t. So we avoided each other when doing ROTC related activities and hardly spoke when other cadets were around. Then things at the detachment got changed around (as they do) and Ryan became the Flight Commander for the Freshman --- my commander. Ug.
Our relationship was continuing to grow and Ryan, as already contracted for the military, wanted to be sure he wouldn’t get in trouble for fraternization. We made things official in April and within a few days he made things clear with the commander of the detachment that we were dating and the Lt. Colonel said that as long as we were professional at the det we were fine.
That summer Ryan was off to Field Training. He was supposed to go the summer before, but had an injury so he had to postpone. Anyway, we were getting quite serious and actually had discussed marriage BEFORE we began dating. That was always our intention of being together.
Over the summer I had to decide what I was going to do with my future. Ryan would commission the following year and I would only be a sophomore. If I stayed in ROTC, I would have Field Training the following summer and there was a good chance Ryan would be sent to his first station while I was still in school. If I did stick with it and commission there was no guarantee we could end up at the same place or if we’d even stay together at all.
I talked with the Captain (who was a great Christian and family man) and with his advice, talking with Ryan, and praying about it I decided – 3 days before classes began – to drop ROTC. That was in September.
In mid-January Ryan and I got engaged and then in mid-March we were married. Why so early? We didn’t know WHEN Ryan would be sent to his first station so we married over Spring Break in case he was sent out a few weeks after graduation/commissioning. It worked out pretty well because we got orders for Japan and it was much easier having me as a spouse on his orders from the get-go rather than getting them amended months later if we married over the summer.
Whew… that was longer than I expected. So yeah, that’s how Ryan and I got together. I’m still involved in the military though not how I originally expected.