Stephen and I were able to get to know each other through letters and brief phone calls while he was deployed in the Marine Corps. Each letter allowed me to express myself and get to know Stephen in a way that I hadn't before. His homecoming was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life; I have never been so overcome with relief and joy. Although Stephen is currently stationed in North Carolina and I am in Massachusetts, we have never been closer. During my last visit to North Carolina, Stephen took me back to a dock that we had been to during my first visit to North Carolina to look over a memory book that I had given him for Christmas. When we flipped to the last page, I saw that he had added a scrap book message with his picture and the text, "Will you marry me? " He handed me a beautiful ring that he had selected himself, while the sun peacefully set over the water behind us. It was a picture perfect proposal!