“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Today is our 32 anniversary. 3 December 1982- 3 December 2014



We were both stationed in Naples, Italy at the Armed Forces South headquarters there. My wife was on the staff of AirSouth, the NATO branch of the U.S. Tactical Air Forces in the Southern NATO region. I was at Comstrikforsouth, the NATO branch of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

We didn't get married in Italy because we were not catholic, and the Italian government made it very difficult to get the necessary permits if you were not catholic.  I had a conference at the Naval Amphib base at Little Creek, Va every year in the last week of November, so we took a few days leave and got married in the base chapel there after the conference ended.

I had it set up for the base chaplain to marry us, and didn't plan on anyone being there but my wife and I. Instead, a whole bunch of family members showed up, which complicated things enormously and made it a lot more stressful than it should have been.


My wife's family insisted on having a wedding dinner the night before the wedding. We went to some restaurant in town. I suppose it's traditional but I could have done without it and my wife felt the same way.

You can't control everything all the time though, no matter how hard you try.

62 comments:

  1. Thirty-two years together is quite an accomplishment - Congratulations for the both of you !

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    1. I have been married so long I have trouble remembering how long. I thought this was our 33rd but my wife said no, only 32.

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  2. Congratulations to you and the Missus! Wish you many more.

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    1. Thanks, Glenn. It's been a good 32 years, everybody has bumps in a relationship, no exceptions I ever heard of, but it's worked out for us.

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  3. Congratulations, hope you two have many more happy anniversaries.

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    1. Thanks. I plan on being around a few more years. Who knows, my parents made it to their 56th anniversary before my dad passed away.

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  4. Congratulations!

    Regards,

    Greer.

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    1. Thanks, Greer. We plan on going out Saturday, for dinner and a movie. Too tiring to do all that on a weeknight, since my wife still works.

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  5. Congratulations to you both. Wishing you many more happy anniversaries.

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    1. Thanks Vicki. I figure I will make it to my eighties, with any luck, so we have a ways to go yet.

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  6. Wasnt there a part of this story where you were fixed up by some officers wife because she thought the Italian women would be a bad idea for you? I think thats how the story went...I'd have to troll through your old posts to find it.

    Congrats! I still refer to my wife as "My first wife".

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    1. That's a true story. It only makes sense in the context of the 1970's and 1980's.

      There used to be a saying in the Marine Corps that Lieutenant's should not have wives, Captains could have wives, Majors and above had to have wives. That reflects the realities of deployments, and the fact that promotion to field grade depended to some extent on how well your wife got on with your commanders wife, who then influenced your commander on your fitness report. Field grade (Major and above) was very hard to make in the small Marine Corps,and the absence of a wife to further your interests in the officers wives club, a sort of shadow of the real unit staff, could do you in at promotion board time.

      When I relieved the Major who had previously filled the billet I was taking over in Naples, his wife , seeing that I was single, set out to facilitate my career by finding a suitable female for me.

      She only considered single female officers of the right age who were American, because , although there were many European female officers there, she personally did not believe in American officers marrying foreign nationals because she knew it sometimes had adverse effects on security clearances.

      There were still twenty something unmarried USAF and USN officers in those staffs, though. The Majors wife picked my wife out , and he set me up with a first date with Miriam. We went to a nice restaurant right down on the water in the bay of Naples, and then on a staff party aboard a big party yacht at the island of Capri. After that I didn't date any of the other women there and we got married four months after we met. So that's the story you are thinking of. You have a good memory.

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  7. Congrats to you and your Missus :D

    You've both set a fine example for your kids - and testament to both your words given to each other 32 years ago.

    Well done. Hope it's a really special day.

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    1. The strange thing , Dani, is that marriage is largely out of style in this country. My kids are imminently practical people, and everybody here is concerned with surviving, not in the survivalist sense but in the area of making it through each day. Very few of their generation have the same view of traditional marriage that my generation had. Instead, they take the tack that they don't need magic words from a Shaman and a tax stamp from some pasty faced clerk at a county officer to be "married."

      Still, there are practical ramifications of complying with traditional marriage, things like tax aspects, that I think will cause them to go the traditional route when they reach that point. I know my daughter is in no hurry to get married because while she remains "single" legally she has much more flexibility in her personal life. Or so she sees it, anyway.

      Lots of things have changed here over the last forty years. Somebody instantly transported from the 1970's or 80's to 2014 would not recognize the society.

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  8. Congratulations to you both!

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    1. Thanks. The years do tend to flash by and just merge into one long stream, it doesn't seem so long.

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  9. What a handsome young couple! Congratulations, especially in an age when most don't stick it out in the long run. Its almost inevitable that all marriages have their bumps along the way, but its only those with the true commitment that see it through. Good for you both. And may you have many more.

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    1. Silvius, it's true that there are bound to be some rough spots over the long haul, because people do change. But that's true of any long term relationship, be it business partners or whatever. We've been lucky in that we've never had any issues we couldn't resolve with a bit of effort.

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  10. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to both of you!

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  11. i like everyone's wishes and words but Dani's above really reflect on you and your wife's accomplishment on 32 years and it IS definitely a testament to the words that you swore to each other! as well as setting such a fine example to your kids and to all of your friends! congratulations to both of you! and Harry, i love seeing old pics of you. you were a handsome devil then, and you still are a handsome devil!!! enjoy your date night! what movie do you plan to see?

    much love always, buddy! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Alas, Kymber. I'm just an old devil now! ;-) But it's been a good run. We've got a ways to go yet though. You and J have been together a good while, when you get to be my age you'll have tacked on quite a few years.

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  12. Happy Anniversary to you and the Mrs.

    Carol and I were also married at the same Chapel at Little Creek three years later in 1985!

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    1. That's quite a coincidence! Great minds think alike, though. My wedding could have been really simple and stress free if we hadn't been overrun with family unexpectedly, all of them hell bent on orchestrating events their own way. I hope your wedding was more sedate.

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    2. Our wedding was that of the first son/first grandchild getting married , so it turned out to be a major grand Irish/German event with the family flying in.

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  13. Happy anniversary!
    Ugh, family does have a way of complicating things sometimes.

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    1. Does it ever. I can think of few times in my life when the involvement of my mom and dad, and siblings, did not result in whatever I was doing being much more difficult.

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  14. She's gorgeous, you're lucky! Happy Anniversary! We ran off to Hawaii to avoid relatives - but we were already middle-aged so it didn't hardly matter much.

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    1. Hawaii would be a great place to get married and honeymoon. I visited there on the U.S.S. Bainbridge, DLGN-25, in the summer of 1972. Stayed almost two and a half months in Pearl Harbor. If I could live anywhere by snapping my fingers and just being there, without logistical considerations, that would be one of my choices. My wife and I are both your typical older people now. She is still beautiful to me, and back when I met her she was really a standout.

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  15. Congratulations! I hope my wife and I can last as long as you guys! We've got to five so far but been together since I was 18.
    I was in a room with my wife and two friends who've just got married the other day and we were saying how unusual it was for four people our age (early 30's) to all come from families that have both parents still together and what a better chance that gives us to stay together as well.
    i hope you have many more years together yet to come.

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    1. Kev, your experience of living together for awhile before getting married is wise. I think you don't really know a person until you actually live with them on a day to day basis. Taking a test run makes sense to me, although it's still a shocking idea to a lot of people here in the South, especially older people.

      It's very rare in this country for people to keep a marriage running for long. I think part of it is due to the women's liberation movement, which denigrated commitment and had a lot to do with rupturing the traditional gender roles that used to define the relationship between husband and wife. But times change and you just have to do the best you can to adjust.
      It would be rare here as well I think, to find a couple who both had parents who were still married.

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    2. We're very traditional and wanted to be married before we had kids but we decided it was best to live together first. I imagine I can be quite difficult to live with!

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    3. Well, it's better to find out you are not compatible before you get married and have children, than after. I think it's wise to try life as a couple before finalizing it.

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  16. Congratulations to both of you and happy anniversary! Always a pleasure to see high-number anniversaries.

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    1. My parents made it to their 56th as I recall, before my dad passed away. I'm hoping I can go that route as well.

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  17. Oh Harry...Happy Anniversary you two! And congrats on that milestone. These days it is getting more and more unheard of. I admire you both for the love you have and the examples you both set.

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    1. Thanks, Glock Mom. We've been lucky in that our personalities compliment each other, and we are stronger as a couple than as individuals. Given the exigencies of life today, that's a good thing.

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    1. Hey, Scooney. Thanks for the sentiments. It'd be awfully lonely living up here on the mountain by myself so I am lucky I got a wife who could put up with me.

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  19. Harry,

    Congratulations and Happy 32nd Anniversary To You Both!

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    1. Sandy, I'm pretty lucky. As a person with a good strong marital relationship yourself you know how important that partner is . Good thing you both like fishing! You have to have some common interests, that's a big part of the married life, enjoying doing the same things.

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  20. Congratulations; you two must be doing something right!

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    1. If so, it's because we just got lucky. It's worked out well for us, and I'm sure happy it has.

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  21. Congrats Harry, hope you enjoy many more years with your bride.

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    1. Me too. Especially after she retires. I don't know what we will wind up doing but I want to do something, like get a good truck camper combination and travel a bit, or live on a houseboat. Something different. Not necessarily living in a condo at Palm Coast, though!

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  22. Congratulations! You are a striking couple.

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    1. Well, today we are your typical mark one, mod five couple but we're still going strong!

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  23. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Yeah' Congradulations.

    I've seen to many divorces in my time. You guys are lucky.

    I never found a woman that could cook Navy style meatloaf so I decided to stay single.

    I was stationed at "Little Creek Amphib' before I was sent to the 'Puget Sound' It was a nice base, much nicer than NOB Norfolk.
    I put in for a Sub Tender in Scotland, I got a Destroyer Tender in Norfolk:(

    Go figure....

    If I could do it all over again, I would put in for a battleship, either the Missouri or Iowa. I could have walked the decks of history and been a battleship sailor.

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    1. Well, about the time you were on the tender, the New Jersey was going strong wasn't she? I never was assigned to the New Jersey but I spent some time aboard her, a few days off the coast of Lebanon in 1983.

      You still might come up on some woman you feel comfortable with. There must be some women surfers out there you would be compatible with, eh?

      Better find one, you don't want to get old alone , that would not be fun.

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  24. Happy Anniversary, Herr Flashman! (and lovely wife!) KB

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    1. My very best wishes to you and your wife Harry on your wedding anniversary, May you have many more to come. You and the misses look quite the couple in your wedding photo. I'm half way to your score, started out a bit later in life than you did.
      Cheers

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    2. Hey, KB, thanks for the kind thoughts. You being a young guy with a young family, let me say enjoy those kids while you can. Soon enough, they'll be grown up and gone. In some ways that's ok because it gives you and your wife more time together, but family life is at it's best when the whole family is still together.

      Sgt, you and your wife are a good match. I can tell by looking at the photos of you two on your great trips you take that yours is a good match. Makes life so much more enjoyable, to have the right person to share it with, doesn't it.

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  25. Happy Anniversary to you both! So glad you survived the relatives at the wedding, LOL. They do tend to want to jump in and "help". May you have many, many more happy years together.

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    1. Thanks, Leigh. Yes, I had everything set up, quiet and simple. Then the thundering herd came roaring in and it got out of hand. I was sure glad to see everybody leave. That's a bad thing to say I guess, I loved them all and they meant well. It put a lot of stress on my wife though, which she didn't need.

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  26. Happy Anniversary!! We've been married for 32 years too and it is unusual these days to be married to the same person for so long. We've been together since I was 14, "going steady" in junior high school, LOL! I hope you have a wonderful anniversary celebration and many more to come!

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    1. I'm trying to think who it is I know from blogging that has been married longer than we have , Kathy. There's one couple that has us beat. Probably more but this one I'm sure of. I just can't remember who it is.

      It's nice to be married to someone you fit with. Makes you feel more secure and comfortable.

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  27. Happy Wedding Anniversary. That's cool you both were in the service. You both look great on that special day.

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    1. Thanks, Alissa. I hadn't planned on a public wedding so I didn't bring my dress blues with me to the states, just my winter service alphas which I wore to the conference. My wife's sister had just married an Army Major a month earlier, and she had the same body build as my wife, so Miriam wore her wedding dress. That was something else we hadn't planned on, but there were lots of ad hoc changes to my plans as the family showed up. It all worked out ok.

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  28. Well done - seriously. You both are a great example.

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    1. We just coast along, taking it one day at a time, Phil. But the days go awfully fast.

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  29. Wow CONGRATULATIONS on your 32 years together!

    Pretty fine looking wedding, it doesn't take long for the years to go does it? Wishing you both many more wonderful years.

    I am easing my way back to blogging. I will be doing some shorter posts for now. I think you will like the kangaroo post I just put up :)

    xTania

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    1. Tania, the years do fly by. I can't believe how fast. I hope we have a good many still to go, though.

      I am glad to see you back. You always have good pictures and interesting posts. I'll go look at the Kangaroo post right now.

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