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On The Cover: Happy Valentines Day! By Sally Kalos“ O ver the years (and centuries), Valentine’s Day has undergone various transformations, serving as a religious celebration, an ancient ritual day, and a commercial holiday. This evolution means that the meaning of Valentine’s Day is truly flexible, allowing you to interpret it in your own way. You have the option to entirelyforgo the celebrations, treat yourself to some chocolate or flowers, or express your love and appreciation for the people in your life, be they co-workers, romantic partners, friends, or family members.The desire to love and be loved is perhaps the universal thread that binds humanity. Physical love is often linked with attraction, while platonic love is rooted inselfless actions.In essence, love doesn’t necessitatebeing in a romantic relationship; it encompasses acting in the best interests of others. This Valentine’s Day, may we all experience the kind of love that prioritizes the well-being of others.”By Janine HarperWe live in a community that often are the first to support our military and are so composed of the military, so our love story may sound familiar.It was 2004. There I was on my first duty station in Camp Humphreys Korea. As a 19-year-old young women I was just looking to spread my wings, but life had something else in mind. I was assigned to my new medical company and cupid shot an arrow at us on day one. One look was all it took. We dated for the next few months (about 6) and then the saddest news came. My husband was assigned new orders. This was the age when things like email and Myspace were just coming online, and I really didn’t use it too much. I felt at that moment our love journey was at an end, but the world wasn’t done with us. A month or so later I too received orders to Fort Carson. Upon my check in and assignment I found myself working right next to him, again. I knew that it was destiny.Many people say dual military marriages don’t last the long haul, but ours was one designed by higher powers. We are now about to celebrate 20 years, two military retirements and two kids and we are still going strong. I guess when you marry your battle buddy, life has a way of making sure you always get through it all. To all ourIt all began 40 years ago in 1983 when they met at Lane Tech High School in Chicago. Melissa was a sophomoreLove Story SubmissionsMilitary Romance Designed ByThey End Up Married After 40 YearsHigher PowersOf Knowing Each OtherBy Melissa & Marian Kupczynskiand Marian was a senior. They got to know each, hang out, and became best friends.Although Marian would have liked to date her, Melissa did not choose to be with him. During that time, Marian moved to Alaska and then joined the service. It was during this time, that Melissa wanted more in their relationship, but sadly, Marian did not choose to be with her at this time. Those decisions sent them on their separate paths in life.Through it all, they always remained the best of friends and wished nothing but happiness for the other. Fast forward 25 years - they have reconnected and havenow been together for 7 years to the day. They never imagined, that after 40 years of knowing each other, and all the twists and turns in life, they would be marrying each other.fellow military romances: The saying was “ If the Army wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one.”Well, I guess the Army did! My SPHLM- You have been with me as I grew into a woman, we traveled the world together, raised a family and you keep giving me more. Life will never be boring with you, and I am so excited for the next 20 years.Thank you to all our community that supports the military, thank you to all military families for their support, and thank you to all the Veterans----We stand on the shoulders of giants.It Started With A Game Of UnoIBy Ana Salinasmet my husband, Jonathan, through a mutual friend of ours while playing Uno at our local university. I had beenplaying for an hour or two when my now- husband showed up and started conversing with our friend, Luis. I felt awkward having him standing, so I asked if he wanted to join us in our next game. He joined in and the rest is history.We have now been together for 9 years and married for 5. We understand each other and are each other’s best friend. It is funny how this world works and I’m glad he came into my life when I was least expecting. Jonathan shows me he loves me every day through acts of service and picks me up when I’m feeling down. We are committed to each other for life!PFlanning Your Valentine’s Day Proposalebruary 14 is a day dedicated to when considering whether or not to pop love. And for couples who are the question on Valentine’s Day. Here are pondering their futures together, some ideas for planning the proposal.Valentine’s Day may seem tailor-made for wedding proposals. According to a survey of 1,000 married adults by James Allen, an online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer, people really love getting engaged on Valentine’s Day. Forty-three percent of Millennials report favoring Valentine’s Day for proposals — whether they’re doing the asking or being asked.There are a few things to keep in mindMake it your ownEven if the proposal is taking place on one of the most popular days of the year to get engaged, interject some personality into the occasion. Include important elements that are dear to the person to whom you are proposing, such as favorite flowers or a preferred restaurant. Restaurant reservations may be hard to come by on Valentine’s Day, so you may want to selecta more private meal at home or something catered unless you want to share your proposal with a crowd.Visit possible locations in advanceThink about where you would like to propose and visit those areas at different times of the day. Timing a proposal during sunset with the rays creating a warm glowProposal - continued on page106www.heloteshighlights.comFebruary 2024

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