SUBMITTED BY: Rachel W.

SUBMITTED BY: Rachel W.

I first met my boyfriend two years ago on Myspace. We talked online for about two months before I finally met him in person. The first time I met him in person I knew that I was going to fall in love with him. He was in the military and had already deployed to Iraq at that time. Although I had a son that was one and a half at the time, Shawn took him in as his own although he had not had a child. He learned very quickly how to be a father, and a really good one.
After being together for a few months Shawn and I found out that we were going to have a baby. We found out on New Year’s Day. Shawn was very excited because he was about to be a father. The bad thing was that Shawn was also about to deploy to Afghanistan. One month after we found out, on February 1, 2010, Shawn was due to deploy to Afghanistan. Before he left Shawn realized that he loved me enough to ask me to marry him. I, of course, said yes and spent my one last night with him before he departed the next day.
The day Shawn left was a very sad day for me and my son, Jackson. I missed him considerably from the second he left. I realized then that he would not be here to help me through all of the hard times in this pregnancy. However, I did know that he would face a lot of hard times overseas. Shawn found out while he was overseas that he had the option to stay there for an extra six months or come home early and get out of the military. He knew that his son was due to be born around the same time he was supposed to be home so he opted to return home.
While he was over there he faced a lot of hardships. His platoon routinely got rocketed by 107mm rockets at least twice a week on the COP where he lived. Although he was out all of the time taking part in extremely hard missions he still made time to call me and see how my son and I were doing, as well as the baby. He also bought a lot of the baby supplies online and had them sent to the house in case the baby came before he got home. One month before he was to be sent home he found out that he would be changing COPs and moving somewhere that was extremely dangerous. When he moved there he was appointed to be the armorer for the company and go out on dangerous missions with the other platoon as well. Every day that he was the new COP he was rocketed and mortared. In the month he was there his COP was attacked 126 times with IDF (indirect fire) and he seen many of his friends get blown up and killed. He aided in a casavac that saved the life of an Afghani soldier and had two insurgents killed for planting IED’s that would have taken the lives of his friends.
When Shawn got back from Afghanistan he surprised me at home where I was waiting so impatiently for him. I was so happy to see him and so was Jackson. For the first couple of days Shawn was not himself and still to this day has problems adjusting and coping. Shortly after he got home our son was born which we named Eli. Shawn immediately became a father and stayed up countless nights with Eli changing his diapers and feeding him so I could sleep. Today Shawn is a full time student studying Criminal Justice so that he can pursue his dream of becoming a homicide detective. He is currently working to get on the Metro Nashville Police Department. Even with all of the pressures of school and kids he manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA in school. He thinks of us and our future every day and that is why I feel that he is trying so hard to do everything that he can to make our lives excellent.

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