CAMO - Connecting All Military Others
So I have been thinking a lot lately about my past and where I am in life right now. I don't keep a journal or diary of any sort (but I really should) so I never get a chance to write about my day to day life and it all just piles up after a while. So now, finally, I am taking the time to look back at how far I have come and what events got me to where I am now, being part of the military family.
So to start, I met my, what was going to be 10 years later, boyfriend when I was 8. It was the summer of 2001 and I was playing with my (still) best friend Stephanie in her backyard in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. We were just running around in the yard when a boy came from the house next door over to us. His name was Michael. He and Stephanie were already friends so I got introduced. We spent the rest of the day at his house just laughing, messing around and being little kids. I liked Michael from the get go. We constantly picked on each other.
A few years went by and time/ growing up/ being teens led to distance between Michael and I. Stephanie completely stopped talking to him and I basically did too.
So then we get to highschool. I dated a few guys on and off and always running away when I couldn't date anymore because of basic relationship bs. Michael went to MHS but we never hung out or reconnected because our circle of friends was different. I was also on the dance team and constantly busy, leaving not too much time for friends.
Senior year came fast. I was dating this boy named Adam. He and I had been dating for about 2 years and we were getting serious. I honestly thought I was going to marry that boy (though all we did EVER was bicker and fight). After years of not talking, having no classes together, and just being apathetic about each others existence, Michael and I had English together. We sat next to each other.
Instantly everything fell back into place. Michael made me giddy and nervous and happy. I had not ever been so happy to go to a class in my life. All day I looked forward to going(it was last hour). It is kind of sick if you think about it, I would kiss my boyfriend at my locker then run upstairs and flirt with this amazing boy.
He convinced me to do track the last semester of my senior year. Why not? he said, and I had no answer. We were hanging out again and laughing at old memories and trying to catch up on all the craziness that we missed in each others lives in the lost years. I found myself texting him more than my boyfriend. When I was with my boyfriend, all I wanted was to be with Michael.
One day in English we were talking about our plans for the future. I knew I was going to UWM, there was no question or doubt about it and I knew I wanted to do something with education. Michael had plans to go to UWM as well. We joked about him driving me home on weekends(to see my bf who was going to live at home...) and partying together. A few weeks later Michael was home sick and I was talking to me friend Nikki about him (she is my now roomate and one of my closest friends). I told her I was falling for Michael and I didn't know what to do. That was when she dropped the news on me.
"...You know he is joining the marines right?"
WHAT?! I had no clue. I was confused and so upset. I texted Michael after school and confronted him on it all. I remember this like it was yesterday. I was sitting on my knees on my bed in my room holding my phone, staring at the screen, waiting for a response. He said he didn't want to tell me because he thought I would be mad. MAD?! no no no. sad is more like it. After I got over that shock and processed everything, I still wanted him. I knew nothing about the military or USMC. But why did it matter so much? Why was I so curious and interested? I needed to end things with Adam.
Needless to say Adam and I broke up. I still feel bad about it. The heart has no control over who it loves. I have memories with Adam that I wont ever forget. He taught me so much about myself and life in general. But he was not someone who I wanted to Marry. He was not my true love. I still feel bad for breaking his heart because I know he thought I was his forever.
My senior summer was a love story. Summer was Michael. Brewers Baseball games were Michael. The warm sun on my skin was Michael. Going to Milwaukee to take pictures by the art museum was Michael. Everything about it was him and I. I treasure absolutely every moment I had with him. (what I would give to go back to that now)
But all that had to come to an end eventually. Summer started to turn into a new school year. Michael was leaving for USMC bootcamp on August 18th. I was anything but ready. I wanted to keep him here with me. I just wanted to live in that summer forever. The day he left he told me to write him. He promised to think about me everyday. I promised to pray for him at night.
I have 43 letters from Michael. I wrote probably around 70 to him. Bootcamp for the Marines is 88 days. 88 long days of disconnection from the world. I wrote him as often and as much as I could. I fell in love over those 88 days.
If you can fall in love with someone through letters, you are doing something right.
After 3 long months of waiting, the day was finally here. I didn't go to family day or graduation (i'm a little short on cash) so I did the next best thing and met him at the airport.
Nothing can compare to running into your marines arms after a long separation. He was the last one off the plane. I saw his grin and instantly started bawling.
I fell in love with a marine and there is no going back now.