I want you guys to meet my friends Josh and Lauren. Josh and Lauren are getting married in July and I am so excited I get to be there to capture their big day.
Immediately when I met them, I knew we would hit it off because their outlook on life was so optimistic and inspiring. This is the first "Free Military Shoot" that I have done as an engagment shoot. It opened my eyes to the reality of all the new challenges and changes they will have to face in a few short months as their relationship grows from dating to marriage. Here is a little of their story...
"It has always been my desire to be in the military. Though I graduated from high school with a 4.22 GPA and scored reasonably high on the SAT’s, it has always been my desire to serve my country. Before I pursued my higher education, I wanted to immerse myself in what it meant to earn the title United States Marine. My grandfather was a 30 year Marine, working his way from E1/Private to O5 Lt. Col. Whenever I visited my grandparent’s house, or they visited ours, I listened to the amazing stories that my grandfather had to tell of his military career. My grandfather landed on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan and earned the Navy Cross as a Platoon Sergeant on Saipan on June 24, 1944. My grandfather’s devotion and passion for the Marine Corps inspired me to want to be a Marine.
My father also had a great deal of influence on my career path. My dad believed that discipline, respect, and hard work were very important aspects in life, and he instilled these virtues in me with sound reasoning and instruction, practical application (attention to detail in my chores), and through observation and debriefing (telling me what I did exceptionally, and what I did wrong). I was raised with a solid set of core values from my Christian beliefs instilled by my parents and church, and through my father’s guidance in my household duties and in school. From everything that I had formally known, the Marine Corps offered the most difficult basic training of all of the military branches; so I thought it would be the best test for the virtues that I had developed."
In all, Josh has served for the Marine Corps (R) for the past 6 years with one, six month tour to Iraq. As a reserve, Josh is in the process of graduating from SDSU and upon completion he willingly will go on to Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA.
Lauren will admit that she isn't fully prepared for what life will be like as a military wife, but at the same time she exudes such an optimism for the road that lies ahead. I feel this speaks so deeply of confidence she has in Josh and their relationship. When I asked them what it was about their love for each other that will help give you strength during the toughest challenges you may face as a military couple Lauren spoke about their friendship that serves as their core foundation.
"Josh and I have known each other since elementary school. When we started dating, we already had such a strong foundation to build on being that we already knew each other. That foundation will help us as we face tough challenges together. Long before we fell in love, we were friends. When Josh was deployed to Iraq, I was there on base the day he left. I still am unsure what led me to go that day, but I know God’s hand was on this decision preparing me for life as a military wife. While Josh was deployed, we exchanged emails and I sent him multiple packages filled with yummy goodies. Josh and I both have a strong faith, both in our religion and each other. We know things will not always be easy, but we trust in each other and know that we have a God that will hold together the love that we have for each other."
Aren't they AMAZING? I have had a great time getting to know them and have been inspired by their relationship. Getting to take their engagement pictures was an added bonus.