And the winners are…
This month, we asked our Kosciusko REMC membership to share their true love stories – stories of Love & Light – with us for Valentine’s Day. The response was incredible. ❤️ Nearly 60 people wrote to us with their true love story submissions. Our Love & Light committee of twelve KREMC employees read your love stories. These stories spanned decades, borders, and languages. They made us laugh. They made us cry. They made us a little more thankful.
To each and every member who took the time to share their story with us: Thank you. You touched our hearts, and we will remember you!
The winners of KREMC’s Love & Light are:
1st place ~ Hanna Hodge
Honorable Mention ~ David Gardonio
Honorable Mention ~ Grace McDillon
Their true love stories are below. We know you will enjoy them as much as we did. Congratulations and THANK YOU for sharing Love & Light with our co-op community!
Happy Valentine’s Day
Although my husband and I may not be the most deserving to win this giveaway, any chance to tell our true love story is such an opportunity. My husband Austin and I got married at 19 and 20 years old, almost 10 years ago. We met online but not on a dating website, and with him being in the Air Force it was a now or never sort of thing. I remember our first FaceTime date I was all done up from the waist up but also had pajama pants on. I was an absolute nervous wreck and soon after that first FaceTime, he drove six hours to meet myself and my parents simultaneously. Talk about courage!
I was just a kid, but I packed up and left everything I knew, my biggest adventure to date. Austin and I have lived in three different states, six different homes, survived two military deployments, and countless far away Air Force trainings. We both would agree that our biggest accomplishment(s) would be our three beautiful baby girls. In almost a decade we have accomplished and conquered so much. We have celebrated together, but we have also grieved together. Austin has taught me so much about life, and about myself. One of my favorite things about him is that he is CONSISTENT. I always know what I’m going to get with him & most importantly I always know he’ll be there. He wears so many hats for his own personal cheerleading squad at home, and us girls would be lost without him. He is our home. Being married to Austin is like not being able to make eye contact with your bestie in class or else you’ll lose it laughing & get in trouble, so you choke back tears instead. 😂 He keeps me laughing, He keeps life real. I’m so proud of us because coming from broken homes, even when the world tried to tear us apart, here we are today still standing, but also happy and healthy.
A military spouse friend of mine once said,
“Life is a battlefield. Love is always worth the fight.”
Thank you for listening to one of my very favorite stories.
On December 18th, 1992, while deployed to Kuwait, I received a letter and a Christmas card from Kandi, addressed to: Any Serviceman. It was one of many I received as part of the letter writing campaign called “Operation Dear Abby.”
I answered the letter, and returned to Ft. Hood, Texas on the 20th. In the meantime, Kandi sent me some of her famous fudge. The fudge went to Kuwait as I was headed back to the states. In January of 1993, my unit was alerted and sent back to Kuwait to deter another invasion by Iraq. The fudge however had been sent back to Ft. Hood! I returned to Ft. Hood in April and the fudge made another trip to Kuwait and back, finally reaching me. I knew that there must be something special about this fudge and the lady sending it! We continued to write each other as pen-pals.
After gathering the courage to call and eventually meet my pen-pal, we met at the Golden Nugget in Laughlin, Nevada. I immediately fell in love and after a year of suffering through a long-distance love affair (I was in Ft. Hood, TX), we were married on January 1, 1995. For our wedding vows, we read our final pen-pal letter to each other. My wife wrote to Dear Abby to tell her our story, and Dear Abby published it and her response in every newspaper in the nation. Twenty-nine years later our love is just as strong, and I still have the response from Dear Abby in my wallet!
It was 2010 at beautiful Grace College in the historic Alpha Dorm. I was a freshman, and my friends and I were playing a game of Dutch Blitz during open dorm time. A few guys were milling around the hall visiting girlfriends and whatnot. Into the dorm room walks a guy friend of mine and a handsome, baby-faced senior after him. I had never seen this particular senior before, and he didn't seem particularly memorable at the time. My guy friend jumped right into the game with gusto, but the baby-faced senior stood by the doorway awkwardly with his hands stuffed into his pockets. I noticed him after a while. He seemed very unsure of what to do…like maybe stepping into the room might give him cooties.
So, casually I said, "Hey, you can be on my team if you want."
Baby-face replied, "Uh...I can't really play this game. I'm color-blind." Knowing one's colors is quite vital in Dutch Blitz.
I shrugged my shoulders. "That's okay! I don't care. You can still play."
Hesitantly, he walked over and kneeled on the floor next to me. "I'm Jon," he said, and then shook my hand awkwardly. We began to play as a team, and we destroyed everyone! Boo-yah!
"How did you do that?" I asked.
"I just tried to match up the shades of gray as best I could," he said.
Fast forward and the next memory I have of him is during intramural volleyball. I was sitting on the sidelines waiting for my turn. I looked up to see Jon standing with his back to me, and he was wearing a lovely green kilt.
I walked over to him and said, "Hey, I like your kilt."
"Thanks," he replied nonchalantly, but he seemed very proud of it.
Fast forward about a year and a half. I’m a sophomore, and we're engaged! When you know, you know. Ha!
We were chatting one day, and I asked, "So, when did you know you wanted to marry me?"
Without hesitation, he replied, "The first time I met you at open dorms! I walked out of that room thinking, 'I want to marry that girl!'"
"What?! Why?!" I asked, a bit shocked. I honestly had forgotten about most of it.
"Because..." he said, "Before that day, no one had ever... never ever... invited me to play a game that involved colors. Candyland, Uno... all of those kid games where you need to know your colors. After I mentioned I was color-blind, the kids would just be like, 'Oh, that's too bad,' leave me out, and just start playing. So, when you invited me to be on your team, I knew you were the one for me. When did you know when you wanted to marry me?" he asked.
I thought and said, "When you wore that kilt."
We’ve been married for eleven years, and we try to remember to play one game of Dutch Blitz every year on October 16th… the day we met.