They Also Serve, Part 4

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Laura Kennefick had to say good-bye to her fiancé last October. Now she waits patiently for his return as she plans their wedding day.

Laura met Jeff Ulmer at her first day of work in a new town. It didn't take long for the two strangers to become close friends, but Laura knew right away they would be more than just friends.

"Valentine's Day last year we had our first kiss. I actually went home that night and I was speaking to my girlfriend the next morning and I looked at her and I said that's the guy I'm going to marry."

But a couple months later Jeffrey got the call to serve.

"He came home and he looked me in the yes and he said he knew he didn't have to say anything. We both fell to the floor and we started crying. It was the worst and best thing that ever happened for us."

Before he left for Iraq, Jeffrey proposed. His mother, Elaine Ulmer, says his love for Laura is something that helps him get through the day.

"He's in love and he can hardly wait to get his life started with Laura."

Jeffrey left for Iraq last December. He's expected to return this December. He is a combat engineer with the Reserves and patrols between Mosul and Baghdad disarming roadside bombs, a job that his dad, Hal Ulmer, says brings him close to the brink of death each day.

"When he was a kid, he said ‘my brothers would be laying in bed dreaming about being a football star or a baseball star.’ He said, ‘I'd lay in bed and dream of being in the Army.’ So, it's a dream come true for him; at times a nightmare for us."

Jeffrey's mom says the reality is very clear.

"It could happen in a breath. That's what we're going through right now, that breath. We want it to keep on."


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