I have heard few love stories that are more whimsical than those of my military friends. I always thought that my husband Jamie and I had an extraordinarily bizarre journey to the altar (and beyond), but throughout the last few years I’ve heard countless stories from fellow military couples about their unique (and often unbelievable) course of events that led them to where they are today. I’m thrilled to feature a new story every week in a Monday series called We’re Not So Crazy After All: A Military Love Story. If you’re interested in being featured in this series, please email me at WhimsicalSeptember@yahoo.com.
Carrie and Brendan were born in the same Chicago-area hospital, and both of their families ended up moving to neighboring Ohio towns a few years later. Though they lived in the same places nearly their entire lives, they didn’t end up meeting until they’d both moved hundreds of miles away to attend college. Carrie was a senior at The University of Richmond and Brendan was a Firstie (senior) at The United States Military Academy at West Point.
Their worlds collided over Veterans’ Day weekend 2000 when they ended up at a senior social party at Richmond that Carrie’s roommate, the student government president, was putting on. Brendan was there on pass visiting a few high school friends, and Carrie says that her ears immediately perked up that night when she heard some guys from USMA would be arriving shortly. Though her dad got out of the Army before she was born, she grew up with a deep respect for her dad and USMA and the men that it produced.
The next year was a whirlwind. They both graduated from college in 2001, and Brendan quickly moved to Cleveland to begin medical school. Though Carrie had already made plans to move to Chicago with her best friend, she swiftly changed her plans and followed Brendan to Ohio where she began her career as a teacher.
Deciding to get married at West Point’s Cadet Chapel was an easy one. Carrie’s mom had always told her that she fiercely regretted not getting married at the Chapel, and Carrie didn’t want to have the same regrets. On Memorial Day weekend 2002, they were married.
Carrie says that she gets chill bumps when she thinks about the experiences that many of Brendan’s classmates have had since graduation. He graduated just four months before 9/11, and had it not been for many years of medical school and residency, the last 12 years would have looked very different for them.
Carrie calls her experience vastly different than many other military wives due to the career path her husband chose as a physician, but she says that she’s still loved nearly every second of her experience. When asked what her favorite part of being a military spouse has been, she quickly responded with “the people”. During her husband’s deployment to Afghanistan a few years ago, she remarks that she would’ve had a much tougher time had it not been for the incredible people walking along beside her while parenting three children alone.
“The wealth of knowledge I’ve learned from other Army wives has just been incredible,” she explained.
When asked what the most challenging part of being a military wife has been, she joked that she’s just learned to roll with the punches.
“There’s been times that we didn’t get what we wanted or what we planned, but each time everything has worked out really well. This experience has been very good to us.”
Thank you Carrie & Brendan for letting me share your story.
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo