Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am a 50-year-old Spanish woman in love with a military man. I met him in a chat on the internet, and he sent me pictures of himself. We started to chat everyday and began texting by phone. He is in Kabul and has been there for two years.
I asked him when he could come see me for his vacation, but he says that he hasn't got a vacation. He said that service members who are in a war zone don't get a vacation. I'm asking you if you think I should wait for him.
We continue to write and chat every day, but last week he asked me to write a letter to the Afghan transit department to say that I am his fiancée so that they will send him back to the States so he can marry me. I am in love with him. He is so sweet, gentle and handsome.
But I cannot understand how someone who has been in the military for 23 years and who wants to leave and to come to the States, can't get a vacation for two years. He had a bad divorce, and he has custody of his two children, ages 18 and 15. The children live with a caregiver, not with their mother. He has custody because the mother cheated on him.
I love this man, but I cannot believe all the things he is telling me. Please, can you tell me if our brave soldiers get to have a vacation when they are in places like Afghanistan? I love him, but this does not look right to me. How can I know if he us telling me the truth? Is there a web page where I can check to see if is he really in the military?
I have his name and his rank -- he is a captain. And I have pictures of him in the gala uniform in his home. We talk and dream of the day we will hug in the airport.
Signed, Desperate Girlfriend
Dear Desperate Girlfriend,
Cool your burning 50-year-old loins! This reeks of serious trouble for you -- epic proportions of trouble.
I'm sure dating and falling in love at 50 is great, but with age comes wisdom and you appear to be lacking wisdom and good judgment. You don't even know this man! Jeesh! You have never even met him! How do you know he is kind and gentle?
No U.S. Army captain has been deployed to Afghanistan for two straight years, and certainly not without getting approved leave for rest and relaxation. Moreover, he has custody of his two children. Yes, our military will deploy parents, but two years in a war zone without being able to care for his children is just unheard of.
Listen, I don't know who this guy is, but you would do well to cut your losses now, while you are ahead. In the very near future, he will probably start asking you to send money so he can come home for a "vacation." Please don't fall for this.
Lastly, regarding this letter he asked you to send to the "Afghanistan transit department" -- this is not a credible department. He is not going to marry you. There are scams where naïve women send all of their information to these criminals only to have their bank accounts wiped out, their homes vandalized and their lives placed in jeopardy. If I were you, I would cease contact with this man immediately and don't give him any more of your personal information.
Hope this helps, Ms. Vicki