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Laurel G.

Jack and I met at my sister's wedding. I like to call him the invited wedding crasher, as he was not on the initial guest list but was added about three weeks before the wedding. I didn't think much of adding an extra place card to a table, until the day of the wedding and I saw a man standing there in the Marine Corps Dress blue uniform. We had been told that he had been wounded in Iraq a few months earlier and had a slight limp. That was all I knew about the Marine.

At some point during the reception, the priest dragged me over to him and introduced us. We danced a few dances, but that was where it ended. About a month later I got a phone call, it was the marine. He was stationed at 29 Palms, two hours from where I lived in California. We started dating and had a weekend relationship which grew very strong. About a year later, Jack's time in the Marines was up and he was moving back home to Texas. So now we had a long distance relationship. We agreed that we would take turns going out to visit one another.

The first time we had planned to go on a cruise with a girlfriend of mine and her boyfriend to the Bahamas. I couldn't wait to see him, it had been two months since I was able to hug him or kiss him. He also told me he had a present for me. I flew from California to Houston where he met me for the next flight to Florida. I asked if I could have my present, but was told that I had to wait.

We land in Florida, can I have it now? He still refused. We then boarded the ship and got situated in our cabin. I was finally allowed to open the present! I began to get very excited. I opened a little purple velvet box with a gorgeous diamond ring inside. He asked the question, and of course I said, "Yes!" He cried. Of course I ran over to tell my friend the exciting news and we were able to celebrate our engagement during the rest of the cruise. It was wonderful and perfect. We continued our long distance relationship for about six more months until I moved out to Texas. I couldn't be happier.

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