Related Spouse Articles

Most Popular Spouse Articles

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    Military.com
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Military.com
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military.com
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Military.com
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Military.com
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Military.com
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military.com
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

Until Deployment Do Us Part

Army dual deployed couple.

Military couples find love in a time of war

There was no chapel, no white dress, no rings. For Army soldiers Colleen McNulty and Jorge Villalobos, the wedding was in a Texas courthouse. The bride and groom wore Army fatigues and combat boots, and the couple shared love instead of diamonds and gold.

Their honeymoon was spent in separate his-and-her barracks.

"It was horrible, horrible," Jorge recalled of the May 1 honeymoon, which came a month after the couple finished basic training.

The newlyweds, who head Saturday to their assigned base in Fort Bliss, Texas, have rarely spent a day apart -- except for basic training, which put them four hours away from each other.

The Broward couple met in 2006, began dating a year later and enlisted in November.

But Army love during wartime means one or both spouses will be deployed overseas. Their vow is more like, "Until death or deployment do us part."

"We expect it," said Colleen, 25, formerly of Lauderhill, about the time apart. "When we go over to Iraq, it might be easier to be separated, knowing the other person is safe at home."

Another possibility: deployment at the same time to different parts of Iraq. "It's not something we're really going to enjoy. But it's part of our job, and it's something we're willing to do," Colleen said.

The newlyweds met while working at a Starbucks in Sunrise. (Colleen, 25, worked the 5 a.m. morning shift. Jorge, 22, would close the coffee shop.).

It took Jorge, who lived in Weston, a year to ask her out and a few tries to get a date. When the two finally went out, it was a marathon.

Dinner at a fancy Brazilian steakhouse and conversation that lasted until 4 a.m.

That night, Jorge couldn't sleep. Neither could Colleen because the Sunday school teacher had only a few hours until her class at Pines Baptist Church.

Last November, the couple joined the Army together: first Jorge for two years and then Colleen two weeks later for a six-year deployment.

Although it's rare for couples to enlist at the same time, recruiters say, the Army offers the Married Army Couples Program, which allows couples to share the same stateside base.

More than 20,000 military couples currently serve in the U.S. Army.

The majority of these couples -- 79 percent -- enjoy joint domicile assignments, according to Army records.

The Villaloboses will work as healthcare specialists, like Army emergency medical technicians.

For Jorge, who came to Florida at 14 from Maracaibo, Venezuela, joining the Army was a teenage dream.

Colleen had dreamed of other things: missionary work in Latin America, teaching elementary school.

The Villaloboses say they both wanted to do something they were proud of. Other draws: adventure for Jorge, a college loan repayment program for Colleen.

"Joining the Army and getting married. We'll be able to have a better life together," said Colleen, adding that some family and friends were skeptical about her decision.

Jorge plans to reenlist after he obtains his citizenship, then finish his degree and enroll in a physician's assistant or doctor program. She plans to become an officer and eventually return to teaching through the military.

On their first anniversary, they hope to have a real church wedding.

One with wildflower bouquets, a homemade cake and rings.

Military News App by Military.com

Download the new Military.com News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!

© 2016 Military Advantage