Semper Fi

‘It can’t be him. My life can’t go on without him.’ It was 10 days before his return from deployment.’: Marine wife mourns fallen hero fiancé on what would’ve been their wedding day, ‘I will stay strong for you, carry on your legacy’

“I remember every text I sent him that day, with no reply. I’ll never forget the terrible gut feeling I had when I found out 3 American soldiers had been killed. It was windy and the trees were blowing, as if Ben was giving me a sign. ‘It can’t be him, it’s finally our turn.’ I remember trying to go to sleep that night, but was tossing and turning. And then came the pounding on the door at 1 a.m.”

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

‘He didn’t show up to work.’ My stomach dropped. I hadn’t spoken to my husband in 48 hours.’: Marine spouse’s husband dies ‘in his sleep,’ urges us to ‘never take a second for granted’

“As my teaching day ended, I heard my phone ding. I read a message offering condolences to my family, referring to my husband in past tense. I burst into tears. ‘What does this mean? He is just missing. He isn’t gone.’ I realized I needed to get home. I needed to be with my daughter. Two men in uniform showed up at my door. I looked at my mom and I said, ‘They’re coming. The Marines are coming.'”

‘Marry that boy. Make him happy.’ I would wear makeup to cover the bruises on my cheek.’: Woman’s husband suffers from PTSD, traumatic brain injury post-military, ‘Never give up on their love’

“I thought he was just angry and stressed out. When he slowed down, his brain would wander. He blacked out while driving us down the highway and started to scream. ‘If you don’t get help, I’m taking the baby and leaving.’ It’s like losing the person you fell in love with and not being able to mourn.”

‘We ran away and married in secret. I fell in love before I knew her name. Right then, I confessed, ‘I’d marry you in a heartbeat.’: Veteran recounts whirlwind romance, ‘We were meant to be’

“It was love at first sight. Every time she entered the room, it felt like the world stopped turning. Life had different plans for us, and it wasn’t quite our time. I was deployed and we lost touch. After returning from Iraq alive, I had a fresh perspective on life. There was an instant bond between us.”

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