When I think of romance, I think of southern love and characters from novels like Gone with the Wind, Cold Mountain and The Notebook. I picture men and women who love completely and kiss hard. I picture couples who hold hands when no one is looking and steal kisses while the other sleeps. There was just something so vibrant and electric about Taylor and Blake. I could feel the longing, the love, the passion these two have for each other. And like a good book, I was pulled in and captivated by their story.
Taylor and Blake's mom flew in from Alabama the day before and I met them in the barracks parking lot that night. It was dark, cold and there would be no fanfare for this homecoming. We waited for just 6 guys who would ultimately be dropped off by a van and suddenly appear from the darkness. As we waited, we could hear the cheers from a larger homecoming around the corner. Taylor waited as patiently as she could. Blake texted her with updates on his location. First from the gate into base, then from the armory, and then asking her if she could hear the honking from the truck carrying their gear. Yes, we could hear the honking, but it was so dark no one had any idea where to look or focus their attention. And then without warning, there they were. A handful of tall men, making their way to their families. Taylor took off in a sprint and in true romantic fashion, jumped into Blake's arms. These two are clearly crazy about each other and as you'll see, they couldn't really keep their hands off one another. It was such a joy to witness that kind of young, fearless love you only read about in books.
I'd like to congratulate these two on their upcoming wedding back in Alabama and wish them a lifetime of smiles. Here is their homecoming story...