From Iraq to Nebraska, love found in a war zone and committed in the heartland.

Hope and Matt were married one day before their 10th anniversary. The two met in 2003 on their first tour to Iraq. They shared a convoy together, during which time Hope said she was drawn to him first because of his “strong jaw line, green eyes, and manly build!” But it was more than his looks that made her fall in love with him, “I could tell he had a kind spirit and was a genuinely nice person.”

Their army experience is what originally brought them together, but back stateside is where they cherish the little moments within their full schedules, “A quick smile, a hug from behind while washing dishes, seeing one another for the first time after working all day…that’s what it’s really about—feeling all that unconditional love amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”

I’ve known Hope since we stood beside each other on the dance kick line in high school. I’m so happy to see her marry someone who makes her so happy. He is the yin to her yang-where she is “outspoken, outgoing, and a little more out there in general.” Matt is a classic stoic figure, reserved and quiet, with shy smile.

Hope lost both her parents, her father when she was still young, and her mother in high school. Hope’s grandma became her sole caretaker-the two have a close relationship and deep bond. It was her grandmother who walked her down the aisle to meet Matt whose tough composure broke when he saw her near. Matt, whose mom also passed away, shares Hope’s appreciation for extending family. As Hope said during her thank you speech, “It takes a village.”

Hope can’t hold the tears back upon seeing the display of her late parents and Matt’s late mother.


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