Theresa was working as a business reporter in Naples, Florida when she met her future husband, a Marine officer who had recently returned from a deployment to Iraq and was spending time in his hometown. They traveled between Florida and California, where Luke was based, and logged many hours on the phone and seven months after their first meeting, Luke proposed on a beach in Naples.
Three months later Luke deployed again, leaving Theresa to plan the wedding (some of Luke’s friends commended him on his timing). During that time Theresa: learned how to budget a wedding under $10,000, wrote a newspaper column about life with her fiancée at war, and read Job often. Two weeks before the big day, he returned home unharmed.
The wedding went smoothly and was beautiful; the groom looked handsome in his uniform. They began their new life together in Northern Virginia. Luke went to work in acquisitions for tanks at Quantico and Theresa finished her master’s degree and worked at a local crisis pregnancy center. In early 2008 they found out they were expecting a child, and on November 10th their son Clayton was born.
While he was still in the womb, doctors found a hole in Clayton’s heart. It caused his heart to pump extra blood and for him to tire out quickly when he nursed, so when he was 12 weeks old he underwent open heart surgery to have a patch sewn on the hole. He recovered well and today is in perfect health.
In 2010, the family was relocated to Camp LeJeune on the the western coast of North Carolina. They lived on base and loved every minute of being in the close-knit Marine Corps community. In 2011, when Theresa was a few months pregnant with their second child, Luke deployed to Afghanistan. He was only gone a few weeks when Luke and Theresa both started feeling that Luke’s time might be up in the military, so he began to explore options for civilian life.
In late October of that year, Luke once again returned home safely, and a few weeks later Knox Matthew was born.
The following summer, in 2012, Luke was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps after 10 years of service. The family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Luke spent the next two years earning his MBA at the Darden School of Business. Attending graduate school with two young children would not amount to their easiest years, however, Luke and Theresa fell in love with the town of Charlottesville – the culture, mountains, and the wineries – and would leave with some incredible friends and memories.
Upon graduation, Luke took a position as a business consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, a place they’d hoped to land to be close to Theresa’s sister, Michelle. They’ve bought a house, settled in, and the story continues.