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I Dream of a Wedding – Finalists Anita and Jeff

I am so thrilled about our 2013 I Dream of a Wedding! This year we had so many amazing entries, and I can not wait for you to meet them. For now, these are just introductions, and for the next 5 weekdays, I will be letting you get to know our 5 couples. Once they are all introduced, you will have the opportunity to vote to help determine our winning couple … so exciting!

Today, you are meeting Anita and Jeff (as submitted by Anita) … enjoy!

Jeff and I met at Ciano’s Pizza on Balad Airbase, Iraq November 21, 2010. He was a CID agent with the National Guard, and I was a civilian working for an emergency response cleanup company. I didn’t want to go out that night, but I was responsible for two employees waiting at the air terminal to leave – one being our HR director. I decided to drop a couple of pizzas off to them while they waited. When I placed my order at Ciano’s, I was invited by a work acquaintance to sit with her friends at her table. I sat across from Jeff, and though we only exchanged a few words I was quite taken by him – rare for me since I had blinders on after two years in Iraq, but I dismissed the idea guessing he probably had a girl back home. My pizzas came out, and Vanessa invited me out later to play a game called Rock Band.

After I took care of my co-workers, I returned to my quarters and considered going to bed, but begrudgingly decided to make an effort to go. However, I didn’t know exactly where to go and became lost. After asking around, I discovered it was in a gated compound that took a code to get into. I’m not sure why I didn’t give up then. I waited around for someone I could follow inside and ask directions from. When I finally arrived it was dark, and everyone was playing the game. I enjoyed the evening, though few words could be exchanged.

Afterwards, Vanessa offered Jeff and me a ride, though the distance was short. The next day, I had a message from Jeff. He had read my last name from my badge and looked me up that night. He invited me out with everyone again, but I sadly informed him I was transferring bases permanently the next day, which in Iraq may as well have been a thousand miles away. We started emailing, and then started to talk over Skype, and within two weeks our entire evenings were spent on video chat. He started writing me letters, (real letters!), which I eagerly awaited every day.

On December 28th, I became violently ill, and found out I had appendicitis and had to have my appendix removed in the army hospital. We had no contact for three days. The army hospital gave me a laptop to connect with family. Jeff had been worried sick and canceled his plans that evening so he could chat with me until the New Year came. Jeff left Iraq in April 2011, and I quit the month after so we could be together. I moved to Virginia that summer. Jeff proposed to me on December 2 at our favorite winery. We are planning our wedding, though we admit we made that commitment in our hearts to each other within the first six weeks over long distance in Iraq. I’m lucky to have Jeff in my life.


Photo caption: The picture is the very first picture taken of Jeff and I together taken at an outdoor restaurant in Victory Base, Iraq. (He was able to find a reason to get orders for three days to my base so we could spend Valentines day 2011 together, which our first real date.)

I hope you enjoyed meeting our fourth couple, and thank you Anita and Jeff for entering. I wish you the best!