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Dual military family separated by training

Eleven days after reciting their nuptials, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadet Veronika Rodriguez, Alpha Co., 4th Regiment and her newly wedded husband Carlo Rodriguez from nearby Dupont, Wash. parted ways June 17 as Veronika left for the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. and Carlo prepared to leave for basic training at Fort Benning, Ga.

“It was very hard because we only spent 11 days together as a married couple before I had to come out here,” said Veronika, a 21 year-old psychology major at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Wash. “It’s been rough, but I’m writing a journal of my time here and then I’m going to send it to him when I leave LDAC.”

VeronikaRodriquez

U.S. Army photo by Cydney McFarland

Rodriguez and her husband have known each other for seven years, and they dated for three before they said their vows June 6 at the McChord Chapel here. Their ceremony was a small, intimate affair for close family, but the couple plans on having a larger ceremony next year for friends and family once they are done with their training.

For Veronika, Carlo isn’t the only military influence in her life. Her father retired Army 1st Sgt. Luis Rodriguez completed a long illustrious military career in 2008 and now works as a junior ROTC instructor at Veronika’s old high school in Lakewood, Wash. Her father’s service as an infantry first sergeant, along with his dedication to the Army, drove Veronika’s inspiration to become a commissioned officer.

“He’d wear the uniform every day for the rest of his life if he could,” said Veronika. “He’s my hero.”

Veronika feels grateful that she has such a supportive group around her that understands her love of the military and her dream of becoming a commissioned officer. Carlo is her biggest rock to lean on and she can’t wait to be reunited with him in Oct. when he returns from basic training.

“I love you and I’m doing well,” Veronika messaged to her husband, “I’m making you proud of me and I’m almost home.”

Story by Allie Pasdera.

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