I met Ed when I joined the Marines for the first time. Her name is Jessica Edwin, but in the Marines she was Corporal Edwin, or Ed. It stuck. She was tough and pretty, smart, driven, and two years older than me. I was nineteen and foolish. Somehow it worked.
We got married when we found out she was pregnant. My parents were very nasty about it. They felt I'd somehow taken advantage of her. Good as raped her. Her parents were wonderful. They hosted the wedding, Ed and I wore our dress blues, and took an oath that meant even more than the one we swore to our nation.
Tiger was born just a few months after that. Ed's four year contract was finished, so she found us a little house near the base. She found a job, and she raised Tiger, almost by herself, while I ran PT, stood firewatch, crawled the obstacle courses, fired my rifle, shipped out on West Pac, and ca