Hawaii attracts thousands of tourists each year. Some save their entire life for a trip to "Paradise". It is also home to every branch
of the Armed Forces. Oahu is the playground for numerous Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers. This story is how one tourist and one
Soldier found love thousands of miles away from their homes. Given the fugacious stays of tourists and the around the clock schedule of
Military personnel following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, their meeting was more than just a simple chance of
fate; it was destiny.
In the spring of 2002, a plane departed from Detroit, MI and on that plane was a girl celebrating Spring Break with her two closest friends, headed to Oahu, HI. A US Army Sniper, just doing his job and trying to have fun when time would allow, was already on the island. Little to their knowledge, the tourist, Jackie, or the US Army Sniper, Josh, their lives were about to change forever. After just a few days touring the island and soaking up some of the great sights and the sun that Oahu has to offer, the two met and so began the story of their lives.
They were inseparable for the remainder of Jackie's stay and spent every possible moment together, tanning on the beach in the day, taking moon lit walks on the beach at night, and getting to know everything they could about one another. Jackie made such an impression on Josh, that after hanging out for less than a week, Josh called his mother and proclaimed his love for Jackie, assuring her, "Mom, I'm going to marry this girl." Until that point in his life, the thought of marriage had never crossed Josh's mind. There was just something undeniable about the beautiful Italian girl from Detroit that Josh's Floridian heart couldn't resist. Inevitably, they were both heartbroken that Jackie's vacation would soon be over, and then what?
The two kept in touch, writing letters, the real letters; LOVE LETTERS. They spoke every night on the phone and were so sure that they couldn't go on without one another. Most of you know the feeling that I am describing. That yearning, desire, can't sleep, incomplete feeling. So Jackie convinced her two friends (not that it's hard to get friends to go to Hawaii) to go back to Hawaii for the entire summer. Jackie and Josh fell deeper in love and talked about everything from how many children they would have one day, to what they dreamed about doing in life. They watched the fireworks on the base at the 4th of July celebration and felt as though life couldn't get any better. It would be great for the story to continue on such a positive path, but this is real life and not a fairytale. The summer ended and Jackie and Josh were once again separated.
Jackie went off to college and Josh went off to the war in Iraq. Given the strenuous situation and their completely different lives, they decided to try the only thing they could think of, allow one another to be "set free". Josh was a million miles away fighting for his country, but alone in Iraq, thoughts of Jackie consumed his thoughts and back home at college, Jackie tried dating, but no one could compare to Josh. Over the next couple of years, he visited Jackie and met her family and Jackie visited Josh in Jacksonville to meet his family. The two tried over and over to keep their love alive. Josh's dedication to his country was strong, and he re-enlisted in the Army and was transferred to Fort Benning, GA. where he became a Drill Sergeant, training the next great patriots of the country to continue the fight. It wasn't long after moving to Georgia that Josh rekindled the forever burning flame with Jackie and they spent New Year's Eve together. Shortly after the two spent that one night together, they made plans of making a big decision and move. Jackie just finished college and gladly agreed to move to Georgia to live with Josh. The hours of a Drill Sergeant average from 16-18 hours a day, which made the move very difficult for Jackie. Not only was she away from her family and friends, she rarely had Josh either. But they were determined to make it work. After living together for only 8 short months, Josh was ordered to transfer to Germany and by the time he got home, he would be out of the military and the two could start their lives together.
Jackie reluctantly moved back to Michigan to pursue her Masters Degree and Josh went off to Germany. Upon landing in Germany, he discovered his new fate; he would be going back to the war, this time in Afghanistan. Josh visited home once more before heading overseas to the war torn country, splitting his time between his own family and the love of his life, Jackie. A very tearful departure ensued as Josh once again had to leave her and head off to tour. They just couldn't take being separated anymore. They were getting older and were ready to get married and start a family.
Then on December 24, 2010, Josh left on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany bound for Detroit, MI, not his hometown of Jacksonville, FL to see his family, who also missed him terribly. He wanted nothing more than to be with the love of his life, Jacquelyn Monastero. No better Christmas present could be given or received than to FINALLY be together. The two were as happy as could be, nothing separating them, nothing standing in their way. Toughened by the last eight and a half years of their love story, the two were finally reunited and could face whatever challenges came their way, TOGETHER. Then on the anniversary of Jackie and Josh's favorite holiday of all, Independence Day, Josh nervously, on bended knee, proposed his love for Jackie and asked for her hand in marriage. She fumbled for the words and questioned how it was even possible, as they could barely make rent from month to month, but, somehow Josh purchased a beautiful ring, just like the one she had always wished for.
On to the present day, Jackie and I live with her best friend and husband, yes the same friends that were on that fateful trip to Hawaii. We are currently working hard to save for our wedding and doing our best to make our lives together. We have been through many trials and tribulations along the way. After nine years time, Jackie and I have finally been able to start our lives together. After catching the announcement of this opportunity on Live! With Kelly, Jackie told me about the contest. I agreed that we should try and tell our story and explain to you how this would be the ultimate addition to our own fairytale. There is no more perfect setting than the place it all started to vow our undying love for one another and to begin our new married life together. It would be the perfect place for us to be married and given our current financial situation and the struggle (which we are all too familiar with) of trying to make wedding plans, as well as save for a down payment on our house, it would be more than a dream come true. This would finally give Jackie and I the freedom to simply enjoy one another's love without worry and be given the opportunity to revisit those unforgettable memories on the island and create some great new memories on the first days of the rest of our lives together.
I am sure that you have plenty of contestants that have amazing stories and good reasons as to why they think they should be married on Live! with Kelly. However, I doubt that any couple submitting an entry, has endured or sacrificed, truly sacrificed, with the best of intentions for one another and has selflessly given up so much, as Jackie and I. Please look deep into your heart and confirm the time old cliche that good things come to those who wait.