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Home : News : Features : Display
NEWS | Feb. 11, 2014

Valentine's 'vignettes': Snapshots of love from JBLE

By Public Affairs 633rd Air Base Wing

Editor's note: Below are short features higlighting special relationships shared by Joint Base Langley-Eustis Service members, families and veterans in celebration of Valentine's Day.

Puppy love
by Staff Sgt. Katie Gar Ward

"He's my partner - my family."

Having only been in the U.S. Army for a year and a half, Spc. Roxanne Cavezuela, 3rd Military Police Detachment military working dog handler, has already experienced the concept of having a true "Battle Buddy" - and in this case, hers is four-legged.

That 4-year-old buddy's name is MWD Chek, a patrol explosives detector dog also assigned to the 3rd MP Det. Their relationship is something Cavezuela, a Morton, Texas native, is very grateful for, because building a rapport with a MWD doesn't always come easy, she said.

"When I first got Chek, he was still 'attached' to his previous handler," she said. "The day we became certified as a team, they said we had performed more cohesively that day than any other time before. I knew he was the dog for me."

Because of Chek's deployment experience in Afghanistan, Cavezuela said he already taught her critical lessons of what it means to be a handler. Whether responding to a call, participating in group training or conducting obedience lessons one-on-one, Cavezuela said all moments spent together have solidified a special bond and made them an effective team.

"Coming to work and seeing him every day doesn't even feel like work, because when I get to play with him, I get so much joy out of seeing him happy," she said. "Everything I do, I do with Chek. I love him, and can't imagine having another dog as my partner."

Cross-continental communication
by Airman 1st Class Austin Harvill

Vonda Peagler, 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron transportation assistant, picks up her phone the second the clock hits 11 a.m. She retreats to her office break room, flicks open the small stand to keep her phone upright, puts in her headphones and waits.

"He might be having connection problems," said Vonda, twiddling her thumbs. "Over there, you never know what can happen. It is always mission first, so I don't mind waiting."

After more than 25 years as a U.S. Army spouse, Vonda knows the ins-and-outs of a deployment: all the waiting, dropped calls and "maybe next time" speeches. Regardless, she looks anxious.

After a short while, a tiny, pixilated image appears on the screen, and the seemingly countless days of separation in her 31-year relationship fade away behind two ear-to-ear smiles across the globe.

Vonda married Capt. Kenneth Peagler, 271st Movement Control Team commander stationed out of Fort Eustis, almost 27 years ago. They both grew up in Georgiana, Ala., and started dating the moment they entered high school. They married after graduating, and a couple years later, Kenneth enlisted in the Army. Since then, Vonda has learned what it really means to love, no matter what challenges her marriage and family life faces.

"Because I appreciate and understand what Kenneth does for our family and country, I have strength when it is time for him to go," said Vonda. "I took the time to learn more about his job, and that leads to better communication when he has the chance to talk."

Through those long talks and the support of the Army family, Vonda believes all spouses are stronger than they think.

"If I could talk to a younger me, I would tell her to be patient, forgiving and open to communication," said Vonda. "Don't be afraid to talk about the unknown, because you will withstand all of the time apart through learning about this life you have decided to share with your spouse."
Exchange encounter leads to exchanging vows
by Senior Airman Teresa Aber

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Andrew Ganshorn, 508th Transportation Company detachment officer, and his wife, Sgt. Stephanie Ganshorn, 155th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 53rd Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) load planner, spotted each other across the Exchange at Fort Eustis in 2006.

Ever since exchanging vows June 22, 2006, the Ganshorns have worked together to raise their three children and spend as much time together as possible by having designated family days, as well as date nights.

Andrew and Stephanie keep their relationship alive by reminding each other of the little things they like about each other; she loves his intelligence and he loves how caring she is.
They both agree communication is the most important way to keep their relationship strong.

"Whether we're both at home or one of us is deployed, we try to communicate as much as possible," said Stephanie. "We love being able to tell each other about our day, and just hear each other's voice."
Forever love
by Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth

As she walked into the high school library with books in hand, he was taken by her beauty and knew at that moment, she was "the one."

This is a love story viewers may find in their favorite romantic movie, but it is also the real life scenario of Ralph and Leonor Roberts.

"I worked at a library and she would always come in to study," Ralph said. "It was love at first sight."

However, the feeling was not completely mutual for Leonor.

"I was interested in him, but never really let him know I was interested," she said.

After six months of Ralph pursuing Leonor, he achieved the date he desired. Two years later they were married.

After seven kids, a 26-year Air Force career as a logistician and 56 years of marriage, they are celebrating Valentine's Day at Langley Air Force Base, where the family retired.
"Our faith in God and each other kept us together," Ralph said. "We had rough times but we always stayed together."

Today, Ralph and Leonor encourage couples to not let the little things bother them, and to remember marriage is a lifelong commitment.


New love for their new child
by Staff Sgt. Stephanie R. Plichta

While many couples may celebrate Valentine's Day in a romantic way, some parents will experience a different kind of love by expanding their families.
Anita Dwyer, wife of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Dwyer, 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron inspector general self-assessment program manager, gave birth to their first child on Feb. 7.

The Dwyers have been married for ten years, and were delighted when they found out they were going to be parents of a baby girl.
"After nine years of marriage, it seemed like it was going to be just be the two of us," said Anita. "Constantina changed us from a couple to a family."

Another couple will celebrate their newborn this Valentine's Day, as U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kareem Castle, Pre-commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford operation specialist, and his wife, Faryn Castle celebrate the birth of their second daughter.

Elizabeth was born on Feb. 8, at 9:50 p.m. She is the Castles second daughter.
'From tech. school with love'
by Airman 1st Class Devin Scott Michaels

U.S. Air Force Airmen 1st Class Lindsay McEachron, 83rd Network Operations Squadron cyber systems operations specialist, and Timothy Nadaskay, Air Combat Command Cyber Support Squadron cyber systems operations specialist, met in technical training at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., in May 2012.

Five days after meeting, Nadaskay graduated and moved to Langley Air Force Base, Va., but remained in contact with McEachron for the remaining months of her training. McEachron swapped orders to be with Nadaskay at Langley.

"Eventually, I moved to Langley by trading bases with a friend, and Timothy and I continued spending time together," said McEachron. "We would talk for hours, laughing and focusing on strengthening our relationship."

Together, McEachron and Nadaskay play video games, watch movies and volunteer at a local animal shelter. Although each Airman's work schedule is different, they arrange their personal schedules to see each other often. Sometimes Nadaskay, who works a night shift, goes to bed early and wakes up halfway through his sleep to eat dinner with McEachron.

"She is one of the most important people in my life," said Nadaskay, "So spending time with her is more valuable than my own hobbies. I will stop in the middle of whatever I'm doing just to go to the Dinning Facility and have a meal with her."

The couple has been together for a year and a half and they often talk about the growth of their relationship and Air Force careers. They look forward to their future together in the Air Force.