This email came to me from someone who is a military wife herself, although she did not nominate herself, she nomiated her cousin. Thanks Jennifer, for your amazing email! Here are a few pieces of what she had to say:
"I first wanted to say thank you on behalf of all of the military families out there. My husband served 8 years in the Marine Corps and I know first hand how little gratitude people actually give them. So things like this are such a blessing!
Even though I know tons of military families, there’s one family that I just had to nominate myself. Partly because she’s the type of person who just thinks that everyone else deserves things more than she does, and also because I really can’t think of anyone who I know that would be MORE deserving.
I wanted to nominate my cousin, her husband and their son – Amanda, Jarrid and Jameson. Jarrid has been in the Marine Corps for 6 years now.
Amanda has always been a fun-loving, free bird. She’s full of life and love and having the best time being young and carefree. Her and Jarrid met through some mutual friends in 2007, started dating and really started falling in love. They were having a great time just dating and enjoying each other when….they found out they were pregnant. Oops! :) It was a surprise, to say the least, but they really believe that things happen for a reason. They loved each other and although didn’t know each other too too well, they knew in their hearts that things would work out.
To add to the craziness, Jarrid was set to deploy soon. So, they took a leap of faith and got married. It wasn’t anything fancy – just the two of them at the courthouse. But it was what was right – in their heart and for their future family. As hard as it was, Jarrid left shortly thereafter. He kissed his wife, and her belly, and vowed to see them soon. Jameson was born on March 23, 2008 – a healthy baby boy that looked just like his father. Jarrid was still deployed and didn’t get to see his first child birth. Amanda was able to talk to him from the hospital right after Jameson was born. With Jameson still on her chest, all white and gooey, Amanda told Jarrid how much they resembled each other and how Jameson was clutching Jarrid’s dog tags that hung around her neck. Amanda describes it as the best and worst day of her life. I can’t imagine the emotions going on inside of her. Being so happy for this amazing new miracle, and so sad because the other part of her heart wasn't there.
A couple months later, Jarrid returned and as was to meet his son for the first time. What an exciting reunion! Together, they were finally able to really start their family. As any military wife can tell you – transitioning from deployment can be tough. And when you throw a couple who is still getting to know each other, a new marriage AND a newborn into the mix – it can be pretty challenging. They’ve worked really hard on their marriage over the past year, and are both finally starting to feel like things are going pretty well.
Then….the Marine Corps reminded them who REALLY runs the show. Jarrid’s set to deploy again next month for a 7-9 month deployment. He'll miss the holidays...again, and his son's 2nd birthday. And to add to that – they’re being transferred to Louisiana in May 2010. They'll be there all by themselves - away from any family or friends. Such is the life, right? Hopefully, Jarrid will be home from deployment by then to help move and get everything settled into their new home. However, there’s always the possibility of Amanda having to do it all herself, with a 2 year old!
She’s one of the strongest people I know – and although this is definitely not how she imagined her life, she wouldn’t change it for the world. She supports her husband through anything – and shows that on a daily basis. She inspires me. I think it would be so wonderful for them to be able to take a little bit of time – even if it’s just an afternoon – and just celebrate themselves, their love and how far their family has come. They’ve never had any kind of professional photos done together – not for their wedding, not for their son’s birth. And I think that it would be so deserving for them to be able to have this keepsake right before Jarrid leaves."
Jennifer's email actually made me tear up. And when I heard that this family has never had any professional photos done, I knew that we had to change that. So congratulations Jarrid, Amanda and Jameson... I can't wait to do this shoot!
Here is a photo Jennifer sent me of Jarrid coming home and meeting his son for the first time.
I am so touched by their story and the others that I've heard, that I'd like to offer any military family 50% off of any packages if you book by the end of September. Thank you for your sacrifices! You are truely heros!