Julia and Chase

How We Met

Chase and I met in April of 2014, in Pensacola, Florida. We were both in our first year of military service, and going through training at NAS Pensacola. I was serving in the United States Navy and Chase was serving in the United States Marine Corps. He had heard about me from some of his friends. They didn’t know my name, but they had seen me walking past their barracks and at the chow hall.

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The first day we ever saw each other, Chase was walking with one of his marine friends when his friend said, “Hey! There’s the girl we’ve been talking about!” As I walked past them, they both greeted me with a smile and a casual ‘hey’. I thought nothing of it because I figured it was just some marines trying to get my attention. After that, Chase did some research and figured out my name.

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The first time we ever talked in person, Chase texted me and told me that he wanted to meet up. I was walking to my barracks and agreed to meet him at the ATM outside the store on base. A handsome uniformed marine with blonde hair, blue eyes and a southern accent came walking up to me. Immediately I knew there was something special about him. We laughed and talked all the way back to our barracks, where we said goodbye. He romanced me, saying, “You have such pretty eyes.” I was hoping to hear from him again soon. Sure enough, every day after that he was inviting me to go to the chow hall with him or to the beach. I was a bit reluctant to fall head over heels for a marine, because I had been warned to stay away from them. But I just couldn’t stay away from Chase.

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We began spending every minute of our free time together, every day! Because of some restrictions that the marines were on, we couldn’t leave base. It was hard trying to make a relationship work in the rigid military atmostphere. From our 9:30 curfew every night to our kisses and hugs given in secret, for fear of getting yelled at… simple aspects about our relationship were a challenge to overcome. I coudn’t kiss him when I wanted to, or hold his hand when we walked together. When we were both out of uniform on Sundays, we were finally allowed to hold hands, but it always felt like we were doing something wrong. We had to break rules and sneak around just to see each other, but I wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world… because it is our love and it made us stronger every day. No matter how many rules the military gave us, we still found time for each other. I love that in a world where they wanted to keep us apart, we found every way to stay together.

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The challenges we faced there, were just the beginning. In August of 2014, Chase found out that he was getting seperated from the military because of a medical condition. We were to be seperated in only a few short weeks. He was going back to his hometown and I was staying in Pensacola to complete training. We knew that our love was too great to give up on it just because of distance. Chase moved away and our love grew deeper and deeper. We planned to see each other every few months. He would fly out to me as I bounced around from Florida to Virginia to California, and I would visit him in Texas when I could. Every time we were reunited, I felt like I was falling in love with him all over again! We Facetimed, texted and called each other every day. Regardless, our relationship stayed strong through the struggles of a long distance relationship! It actually grew stronger and stronger.

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How He Asked

Ever since Chase and I met, we’ve had a knack for adventures. We always shared our dreams of traveling the world and doing crazy stuff together. In the end of December, I decided that I wanted to take a trip to Yosemite National Park for my 21st birthday! I asked Chase to come with me, and he agreed.

He arrived in San Diego where I’m stationed, a few days before we made the drive up to Yosemite. It was so good to see him again!!! When the day came, we drove eight hours through the beautiful California scenery, arriving in Yosemite mid-afternoon. We were astounded with the incredible views as we entered Yosemite Valley! We checked into our lodge and couldn’t wait to hike the next day.

Our first day of hiking was quite the adventure! We hiked all the way to the top of Yosemite Falls, ate lunch and overlooked the valley… while sitting on a 2,425 ft cliff! It was crazier than anything I expected, and I was so happy to be there with him experiencing it all.

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The next day was my 21st birthday, January 26, 2016. That morning we ate a big breakfast, packed up our backpacks, got to the trail head, and began our trek up Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point. We laughed and talked the whole way up, little did I know what awaited me at the top! When we finally thought we were almost there, we turn around a corner only to see a “Trail Closed Due to Rock Fall” sign. We were so disappointed, but we decided to stop, relax and eat lunch.

After that, Chase told me that he had a card for me to read and he wanted to set up the camera to take pictures just like we always do. So we set up the camera and I read the beautiful words that he wrote for me. All I could think was what a perfect birthday! I was about to go turn off the camera, when Chase stopped me. He hugged and kissed me, and he began telling me that he wanted this time to be the last time he ever has to leave me. Then he reached in his pocket, GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE and asked “Julia, will you please marry me?” I burst into tears and answered “Yes, yes, yes!”

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I was so shocked and it all just felt like a dream! Chase had been hiding the ring from me the whole Yosemite Trip, and I was completely caught off guard! Happiest moment of my life, hands down!!!! I love him so much, and I’m still not over this crazy feeling of knowing that we will be husband and wife!!! After all that we’ve been through, all the days spent apart, I can’t wait to live a long and happy life with him! God has truly blessed us, and I could not be more thankful that we were able to make it through all the stuggles and come out on top!

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