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Valentines Day: For many couples, Valentine’s Day is more than just a lighthearted holiday and a chance to exchange chocolates and flowers — it’s an opportunity to celebrate the joy and sacrifice that are inherent in enduring love.

Military couples understand this perhaps more than most, given that they have to navigate the challenges that training, assignments, and deployments have on relationships. Here, Army.mil highlights three stories from the past year that represent the steadfast bond between Army Soldiers and their loved ones.

COMMISSIONED AND ENGAGED, ALL IN ONE AFTERNOON

It’s easy to underestimate the enormous amount of work and dedication it takes to complete the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at a top-tier university. Cadets have to complete all required Army training to become officers while at the same time meeting the demands of their academic majors. Finishing with a rank and a degree is a huge accomplishment.

Clemson University ROTC cadet Allen Robertson decided he could do one better: He would become a U.S. Army officer and an engaged man on the same day — in fact, within the same hour, May 10, 2017.

As the end of his last semester of college was approaching, Robertson, an accounting major from Mooresville, North Carolina, reveled in the fact he would be leaving Clemson with second lieutenant bars on his shoulders. But if he was going to be the best Soldier he could be, he needed to bring something else with him to his first duty station — or rather, someone else: Chelsea Campbell, a fellow Clemson student and the love of his life.

Mutual friends introduced the two in September 2016, and within a few short months Robertson knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

“It didn’t take too long,” he laughed.

Robertson orchestrated a plan to lure Campbell to her favorite spot at Clemson — a park in the middle of campus covered by a lush green canopy of trees — after the ceremony. He enlisted the help from 15 fellow commissioned officers, and used the ruse that a photographer wanted to get a group photo of them all out of the bright sun, in the shade of the trees. Read more

Read also: Secretary General previews meetings of NATO Defence Ministers

Valentines Day: For many couples, Valentine’s Day is more than just a lighthearted holiday and a chance to exchange chocolates and flowers — it’s an opportunity to celebrate the joy and sacrifice that are inherent in enduring love.

 Valentine’s Day: For many couples, Valentine’s Day is more than just a lighthearted holiday and a chance to exchange chocolates and flowers — it’s an opportunity to celebrate the joy and sacrifice that are inherent in enduring love.