Angela and Xavier
How We Met
Xavier and I met in college at Texas A&M Galveston in April of 2011. Xavier was a Sophomore studying Maritime Studies and was a member of the ROTC Program and Maritime Academy. I was a Freshman studying General Academics and in the process of doing a curriculum change to the Texas A&M campus in College Station to study Communication. It was in Fall of 2011, only 5 months after we began dating, that our long-distance journey began. Luckily, Galveston was only a 3-hour drive from College Station, so every weekend for two years Xavier would either drive north up Highway 6 to see me, or I would drive south down I-45 to the gulf coast to see him. We were both born and raised in Houston, actually attending rival high schools and having many mutual friends, so occasionally we would meet in the middle in our hometown. Xavier graduated from Texas A&M and commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy in May of 2013.
After graduation, he was assigned a Flight School spot that would take him to Pensacola, Florida for two years, continuing our long distance journey. I stayed in College Station to finish my last semester and graduated in December of 2013. Following graduation, I was offered a position with A Fare Extraordinaire, a Catering and Event Planning company in Houston. Xavier and I continued to make long distance work all thanks to Southwest Airlines. I would jump on a plane on Friday afternoon after work and take the 5 am flight back to Houston so I could still make it to work by 9 am on Monday morning. In June of 2015, Xavier finished flight school and earned his wings of gold. He was stationed to Virginia Beach, Virginia where he would go through training at NAS Oceanea to fly the F-18 Hornet. We joke that we have always been long distance, but the distance has just gotten longer and farther with each passing year. With this move, we still continued to make long distance work, but it was much more challenging. I was taking on more responsibility at my job, having to work events on most weekends, and Xavier was spending any free moment he had either flying or studying. We still did our best to see each other every two to three months when our schedules aligned. After finishing his training in June of 2016, Xavier was assigned to a combat squadron that was preparing for an eight-month deployment on the aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush. We spent the rest of 2016 preparing for what we knew would be the longest distance and the longest time frame we would have to spend apart.
How He Asked
Xavier was scheduled to deploy on January 21st, 2017. I went to Virginia Beach the week before to help him move onto the aircraft carrier and soak up as much time with him as possible. The night before he was scheduled to leave, we were working on a Texas shaped puzzle with his parents, siblings, and Houston friends who were all in town to see him off. It was cold and rainy outside, so we had cooked dinner at home and had a fire going. We were down to the last couple pieces and I could tell that some were definitely missing. Xavier asked me to look around on the floor to see if any had fallen under the table or couch. I got down on all four to crawl and look around on the floor, but had no luck. When I eventually stood up Xavier was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring and, to my surprise, the puzzle was complete. He had actually hidden the missing pieces in his front shirt pocket to distract me. When I looked a little closer, I noticed the piece where Galveston is located and where we first met was still missing. He then slipped the Galveston piece in my hand and assured me that after nearly 6 years of long distance, 8 months apart would be a piece of cake. I immediately threw my hands up to my face and started to cry and somewhere in there muttered a “Yes”, which Xavier didn’t hear, so I yelled out a little louder, “I said YES”! He then stood up, slipped the ring on my finger, and told me he could not get on that boat without me knowing that at the end of this adventure he planned to end the distance and finally create a life together. Due to the rainy weather, Xavier actually got delayed from leaving and we got four extra days together to soak up being engaged! We called our friends and family and shared the news with them, and got one more date night together before he took me to the airport to say goodbye and he headed to the hangar at NAS Oceana to fly his jet out to meet the USS George H.W. Bush. There were definitely tough days, but thanks to the support of friends and family, August rolled around and before we knew it we were together again. Needless to say, we are both so excited get married in our hometown of Houston, Texas and live the same zip code!