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Keesler | Love goes the distance

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenten Walters
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Many people celebrate love and affection on Valentine’s day by spending time with their partner, but in some cases the military life style can limit the celebration.

Tech. Sgt. Alan Anderson, 81st Operational Readiness Medical Squadron mental health flight chief and Leeann Bledsoe, 81st Operational Readiness Medical Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment administrative support, prove that with solid communication, love knows no distance nor time.

Both Anderson and Bledsoe were stationed at McCord Air Force Base, Washington, where the worked in offices close to each other.

After getting to know Bledsoe through office work, exercises and squadron events, Anderson already knew he loved her personality.

In December 2011, Bledsoe was selected to be an Airman Leadership School instructor in Hawaii and would be leaving McChord AFB.

“I remember thinking ‘this is do or die now,’ so I got her number and left a voicemail rambling on, ‘I am interested in going on a date with you if you want, give me a call back here's my number,’” said Anderson.

Bledsoe remembers getting the voicemail and laughing. She called back and they scheduled their first date.

For their first date, Anderson had plans to take Bledsoe to the zoo lights, but she wasn't able to find a babysitter for her daughter.

Eager to hang out with Bledsoe, Anderson suggested she bring her daughter along.

“I just remember sitting in the apartment, my daughter playing Mario Kart, Alan ordering pizza and I was sitting on the couch, and it was the most calm feeling I’d had in years. Everything just felt peaceful,” said Bledsoe. “I looked over at him and thought, ‘Yeah he’s it.’”

Anderson and Bledsoe had children from previous relationships, making parenting a very important factor for them.

For the first four or five years of their relationship Anderson and Bledsoe were geographically separated, which helped them foster a deeper bond over time.

“We maintained a long-distance relationship throughout her time in Hawaii for about four years. We got married at the tail end of that assignment, then she shipped off to Turkey for 18 months before we joint spoused together here to Keesler,” said Anderson. “Being geographically separated in that first part of our relationship was hard but it forced us to communicate better.”