BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Jewelry sales are up, florists are selling out and there are enough boxes of chocolates out there to keep dentists busy until summer. Valentine’s Day has come and gone once again. For some, it was just another commercialized holiday, but for others, it was an opportunity to strengthen relationships and create lasting memories.
Many service members and Department of the Army civilians currently serving overseas strove to lessen the distance between them and loved ones back home as they celebrated this romantic holiday apart. One man in particular aimed to make this Valentine’s Day a day not soon forgotten as he asked his girlfriend one very significant question.
“I planned on taking it to that next level and ask her to be my soul mate – be my wife,” said Larry Buchanan, a former U.S. Army Specialist and a supply technician with the 401st Army Field Support Brigade, 1st Theater Sustainment Command and a San Diego, Calif., native. “It’s the biggest commitment that you can make to another individual.”
A marriage proposal tends to evoke various emotions brought forth by memories of time spent together with that special someone.
“When I first saw her, I noticed there was a glow around her,” said Buchanan. “I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I eventually got her phone number and we met up the next day. When I’m with her, it’s like my heart is on a different beat. I know I want to spend the rest of my life with her.”
Since first meeting, nearly six years ago, Buchanan and his girlfriend have been practically inseparable. Until Buchanan came overseas to work at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, they had spent nearly every day together. Even with a great distance between them, they still find ways to remain close.
“I come to work at 4 a.m. everyday just to talk to her for a few hours just to let her know she’s a very special part of my life,” said Buchanan. “I can close my eyes and it’s like she’s sitting right next to me.”
Buchanan’s commitment and dedication to his relationship hasn’t gone unnoticed by his coworkers.
“She’s everything to him,” said Angela Meeks, also a supply technician with the 401st AFSB, 1st TSC, and Riverside, Calif. native. “What’s out there is only temporary. What he has can last a lifetime.”
A lifetime with the woman he loves is exactly what Buchanan envisioned as he made the fateful video-call to his girlfriend. With more than 7,500 miles and a 12 hour time difference between them, Buchanan rendered this great distance almost nonexistent as he got on bended knee and asked the most important question of his life. “Will you marry me?”
After a yes answer and a few tears had fallen, Buchanan reflected on what he saw for the future.
“The main thing I look forward to is establishing a home,” said Buchanan. “I imagine myself with two or three kids, a couple of dogs running around in the backyard and me going to that nine to five job and getting off on the weekends. Just starting every day with her is something I can’t wait to do. She’s my heart – she’s my everything.”