Kimmy Kirkwood met Will Stacey sometime back in high school. She writes on Facebook's Ten Stories page that he was a bad boy and she was a silly goody two-shoes.
They lost touch after graduation. Then, as a sophomore in college, she discovered he was stationed with the Marines 20 miles south of her campus.
They lost touch again when Will headed off on his first deployment in the South Pacific. When he came back, they met again at a party. And well...
They had just gotten into the honeymoon phase of their relationships when Kimmy left for a study abroad program in Italy. At the same time, Will was deployed for three months in Afghanistan. They kept in touch:
The longest (and happiest) time for the couple was a 10-month stretch in 2008. They moved in together, they turned 21 together.
Kimmy told TODAY that when they were apart they stayed in touch with Facebook comments and status updates.
"Will lit up any room he walked into," Kimmy writes on Facebook's anniversary site. "I was a better person when we were together; he brought out a side of me I had no idea existed."
The couple was looking forward to 2012, when they thought they'd finally be able to start their life together uninterrupted. It was the year of Will's last deployment.
They were talking about marriage, but wanted to wait until Will would be home.
Will was killed by an IED while on patrol on January 31st, 2012. He had told a friend that he planned out his entire proposal to Kimmy.
"Sometimes when I’m lonely, I go back and read everything he sent to me," Kimmy writes. "I didn’t think about it much then, but having it all in one place took on a complete new meaning when I lost Will forever."
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