2022 Winners – Isaac + Whitney
May 20, 2022
Whitney and I actually met online while both of us were on break. I was on winter block leave from basic training, and she was on break from classes at Texas A&M University. Our first date was on New Year’s Day (2020), so the vast majority of restaurants were closed. We ended up eating at Whataburger, in the corner booth, and both of us just so happened to love Whataburger; plus we really enjoyed each other’s company.
I had enlisted into the US Army as an infantryman during March of 2019. Looking back on it, I didn’t know much about what I was getting myself into. Either way, it has turned out to be a very humbling and enjoyable experience. So far, I have had opportunities to deploy to Romania, drive tanks, and meet amazing people both in my unit and from different countries. I’m also currently on a rotation in California at a base called Fort Irwin (National Training Center) where we’ve been put through a variety of realistic pre-deployment training scenarios. I’d like to mention that Whitney also serves as an active duty first responder (EMT) and is pursuing a healthcare degree. She loves helping people more than anyone I know.
After our first date, I unfortunately was set to return to basic training on the 3rd of January 2020, and Whitney had to go to a wedding on the 2nd. At the time, it seemed like Whataburger was going to be our only date. But I still managed to talk to her on the weekends, and by some miracle she decided that she wanted to be with me despite the distance and lack of consistent communication. I didn’t even know where I was going to get stationed, but after meeting Whitney, I kept hoping and praying that I’d be given Fort Hood, that way I‘d be able to come home during the weekends.
Thankfully, I did end up getting stationed at Fort Hood once I graduated from basic training in April. However, since COVID had gotten bad, visitors weren’t allowed on base and soldiers were limited by a 30 mile radius. So we continued to communicate strictly over the phone.
We waited a long while before the restrictions were lifted. Once they were, I made a beeline back home. I came home every weekend I could and spent as much time with her as possible. I eventually ended up having a nine month long deployment to Europe from November 2020 to August 2021, which was definitely hard for the both of us, but we got through it.
Every time I had to go back to base each Sunday, we would do what has now become a tradition. We would both drive to the end of my street in Hearne, pull to the side of the road with our hazards on, and kiss each other one more time before parting separate ways towards each of our respective obligations. And this is where I proposed to her, on New Years (2022), before heading over to Whataburger and grabbing that corner booth.
I wouldn’t change a thing about being able to serve my country, however I’ve had to miss birthdays, anniversaries, and valentines days. I’m lucky that she doesn’t hold any of that against me, but she still deserves so much more than I’ve been able to give her. It means the world to me that she will have the ability to make our wedding day as special as she wants it to be at the Inn at Quarry Ridge.
Words From The Bride
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day, everything was perfect! We can’t thank the vendors enough for everything!
It amazes us that there are so many individuals within Brazos Valley who are willing to donate so much of their time and efforts for us. We never would have been able to experience this type of wedding without the help of these amazing people. And every one of these people, especially the Winklers who are responsible for putting this all together, are huge heroes in our lives.”