Jeff & Uli

SHE SAVED ME

Please help me give my fiance Uli a wonderful gift that I never could. We met a little over 2 years ago. I was going through a really rough couple of years prior to that. To say that she saved me sounds cliche but it is true. I have PTSD. I have been on 4 combat tours and on my second one our vehicle was hit by 2 roadside bombs and a rocket on three separate days. I was shot by a sniper on March 18th 2006 and sent home. Eight other soldiers from my unit were shot by the same sniper, including the man I replaced and the kid that replaced me. I am the only one who survived.

I have suffered depression and had trouble finding a job that would make me feel that I mattered. I had pretty much given up on ever getting married. I’ve been engaged twice. The first broke it off while I was deployed to Italy. The second was killed in a car crash. After a lot of prodding from friends and family I signed up for a year of Match.com. In 11 months and 2 weeks I didn’t go on a single date. I had already cancelled my renewal when I came across Uli’s profile. In one picture she was holding an owl and another had her sitting on the floor next to a lab puppy. The look on her beautiful face seemed to be a cry for help and I thought I’m good with dogs I can help.

She responded to my message on the second to last day of my subscription to Match. We met at a mall and walked and talked until it got close to closing time. I was having such a good time I was afraid she would go home and that would be it. When she agreed to go to a nearby restaurant for a drink I couldn’t believe my luck. She had no experience with anyone in the military so there were many surprises that she had to deal with. The biggest came when I was told I would be deploying again. I thought here we go again, she’ll never want to wait a year for someone she’s known for less than a year. She was honest and said that she wasn’t sure she could handle it.

I had already decided that she was the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with so I took her and some close friends to a Karaoke bar and got up to sing “Forever and Ever Amen”. When I was done I told the crowd that I was dedicating that song to the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met and if she will say yes she will make me the happiest man. “Uli, will you marry me?” Now here we are, I’ve been home for a little over 2 weeks and we’ve made it. It wasn’t easy to be sure, but, we can’t wait to start our life together.

Uli has been married before and has 4 boys from 13 to 23. One is autistic. She works as an administrator at a high school. She moved here from Austria about 30 years ago. Her Mother, Father, and Brother’s family are still there. She cooks, cleans, shuttles the kids to assorted practices and still manages to put in several hours at the gym every day. She is amazing. But, I said she saved me. When we met I was at the lowest I have been. I’d just been turned down for a job I thought would help. I was trying to come up with good reasons that I should be here.

Having her in my life has given me a great reason and her positive attitude has helped me to see so many others. I tell her I’ve already written my vow. I’m a movie fan and I could steal some of the great lines like “you complete me” or “you make me want to be a better man” and while both of those are true they don’t go far enough. Uli makes me want to be here.

While she was married before she has never had a wedding, just a visit to the Justice office. I want to give her a magical day, the one she deserves. If you don’t choose us I will do the best I can and she will be happy, but, again I ask you to help me give her the greatest gift I can imagine to show her how grateful I am. Thank You for your consideration -Jeff

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