Since Jon is a pretty big part of my life, I thought I’d give a little story about our background, even though he’s still not actually my boyfriend 🙂
Technically we met back in 2007 in Ft Gordon. I was attached to the 345th CSH (I’m in the Army Reserve) out of Jacksonville, but had been drilling out of a unit up in Dahlonega at my college. I went to Ft Gordon as my second training with the unit, which was the start of our pre-deployment training (it was really long and drawn out). Jon claims that he asked to sit by me one morning on the bus to breakfast and he asked me where I was from and we talked the whole way to the DFAC (dining facility). I don’t remember this at all since I was new to the unit and everybody kind of blurred together, but that was probably when he decided I was awesome!
We did our pre-mob training out of Ft Sam Houston. Our unit had a fake hospital set up and I was working in the EMT (or the equivalent of the emergency room) with Jon’s little brother, David. Jon was working in radiology as an x-ray tech. I’m assuming we must have talked at Ft Sam Houston because Jon took an x-ray of me and I remember looking at it; I just don’t remember Jon being part of the equation.
Let me just take a second to say that I was really looking forward to spending a year without worrying about dating anybody. I’d had a somewhat recent breakup from a boyfriend of two years, and I had zero interest in coming home with some deployment love. Jon also had a girlfriend when we were going through our pre-deployment process and they stayed together for a few months into the deployment.
We got into Iraq and started our jobs. I never paid attention to Jon. He said he did pay attention to me, but kept his distance because he had a girlfriend. My first actual memory of Jon was when I was at the DFAC with my friends one night. All the guys in Iraq liked to go through phases of not shaving (but this wasn’t No Shave November… maybe it was Mustache May?) and I remember talking about how uninterested I was in the guys we were deployed with. Means, one of my Army buddies, was like, “Well, what about him?” and pointed to Jon. Then she said something to him about his mustache, and I remember not having any interest.
Jon and his girlfriend broke up in early August, and he was spending a lot of time in the EMT. We worked twelve hour shifts, five days a week, and since we worked nights, we also spent all of our time off at the hospital. One night, Jon and I started talking and we talked for the entire shift. Then it happened again. And again. And again. We started eating breakfast together. Jon and I talked about absolutely everything you could possibly imagine. When you’re in Iraq and the only things you do are work, work out, eat, and sleep, you have a lot of time to talk about your past. We spent some time running together, and I always noticed how he’d make me run on the inside of him from the road. He was just a good ol’ boy, and I’ve never really been interested in somebody like him.
I honestly don’t even know when the interest started, but I was so nervous to kiss him! Since we were in Iraq, it wasn’t really as easy as it would be back in the States. He would walk me “home” from breakfast and we’d stand awkwardly, out in the open but kind of hidden by some walls, and then I’d just go inside and we’d talk later about how we wanted to kiss.
Jon worked by himself at night in a the x-ray department, which was closed off from the rest of the hospital. I was in there all the time when I wasn’t working. One night, I was off work and hanging out with him. I was laying on the cot and there was a trauma coming in so he was radio’d in to go to the EMT so he could do his thing. Before he left, I think he said something to me, and then he finally kissed me! I was so happy and so excited!
I ended up going home on R&R for two weeks shortly after that. He called me every day and I couldn’t wait to get back to Iraq to see him. During that time, on September 24th my time and September 25th his time (2009), we ended up as boyfriend and girlfriend. I can’t recall the conversation, but I’m pretty sure that I was the one who brought it up.
My leave ended, and so I returned to Iraq as a taken woman 🙂
To be continued… Dun dun dun.
Some of our first pictures together in Iraq… He liked me even without any makeup! Haha.