Keeping with our theme of Valentine’s Day and love, today I want to share a sweet military love story with you all! This story is that of a sweet girl named Rachel, who I have the pleasure of knowing, and her boyfriend, Ryan, a firstie at West Point. I love the idea that our stories are so unique to us, but also bring people closer together. That is why I wanted to share a military love story.
Their story is a great, positive example of the way that the military is a community that does not really separate people, but connects them despite distance. Even when you’re forced to move all of the country, you are still connected at heart.
It also shows the way that God’s plan for our life works in pretty incredible ways, even through things like the military, which are often so full of uncertainty and change. There are many aspects of the military that seem scary and unknown to people. And while it is true that there is a great deal of uncertainty, many stories, as special as this one, come out of the unknown. Because, through the military, God puts a lot of different people in your life, and the good ones never really leave.
Anyway, that’s all of the introduction that this story needs… you’ll just have to read the rest for yourself! So, without further delay, this is the military love story of Rachel and Ryan.
My military love story doesn’t start when Ryan joined the Army, but when our Dads were both stationed to Fort Leavenworth KS.
Ryan and I were just 7 years old, two blonde kids in Sunday school together. It came time for both of our families to move, and we were both stationed to Charlottesville VA. Ryan and I both joined an Army soccer league and were placed on the same team. He was my first real crush, and I was his. As 8 year olds we didn’t know what love was but I knew I loved him. The Army moved us away from each other, and we lost touch.
But if it is one thing I have learned about the Army, it is a very small world.
Fast forward to 2009. I was living in Virginia again, and Ryan was in Texas. My Mom’s best friend, who we met through the Army, was substitute teaching at a school in Texas. She was telling her class about a cruise she had just been on. This young man asked Mrs. Schell who she went on the cruise with, she said our family friends the Varley’s. This young man was Ryan and he asked, “Rachel Varley?!” to which she replied YES! Mrs. Schell exchanged numbers for us, and Ryan and I connected again after 5 years of not hearing from each other!
We began talking like nothing had ever changed. We became such a close pair. He confided his hopes to attend the Military Academy and I, being the 15 year old I was, provided incentive only a 15 year old girl could… I promised to go to every military ball with him if he got into West Point, to which is 15 year old self responded “Well now I HAVE to get in”. For one whole summer we fell in love all over again, we dreamed together, and became the closest of friends.
Sadly we lost touch once school started back up, since we lived so far away. I began to date other guys, and Ryan moved on as well. He did get into West Point, and I began college. We would check in occasionally but nothing like before.
Then Fall semester 2013 Ryan randomly texted me wishing me good luck on finals. We again struck up conversation, and just couldn’t stop talking. He came to visit me over Christmas break and, like previous times, all the time spent apart just faded away. Before we said goodbye that Christmas Ryan mentioned he was having his first ball at West Point that spring, and wondered if my promise still stood. Of course I agreed, and have been to every ball he has had since.
He graduates this May and commissions as a 2nd Lieutenant. Our story is crazy, lots of hello and goodbyes. It is just the beginning. I would not trade one piece of it, because it is ours. It has shaped us into who we are today. It hasn’t been perfect, but neither have we. What our story has taught me, is that true love never gives up, even when the situation seems impossible.
The Army brought us into each other’s lives, because our Dads were both stationed together. The Army has helped us reenter each other’s lives, with friends like Mrs. Schell being places I was not. Now the Army holds our future, and some might think that is scary, but I only think it is bright.
I am so thankful for the Army introducing me to the best man I have ever known.
I’m wishing Rachel and Ryan nothing but the best as their military love story continues with Ryan’s graduation from West Point! And I thank them both for sharing their story. I hope you all found it as inspiring as I did! It just goes to show that life is a journey, and each of our stories, even with the many unseen twists and turns, are being written by a God who loves us, and who wants us to love one another.
I have even more love in store for the rest of this Valentine’s week, so stay tuned!
make sure you don’t miss a single, lovely post this week! just enter your email and have the posts sent directly to your mailbox: