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Tom Sileo's op-ed column on The Unknown Soldiers: Someday
David Warsen and fiancee Karlyn Deveau.
Courtesy of Karlyn Deveau
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ATLANTA--For Karlyn Deveau, Dec. 8, 2012, wasn't just another date on the calendar. It was the day she would marry her fiance, who would finally be home from Afghanistan.
"He was helping plan everything from over there," Karlyn told The Unknown Soldiers. "He was so excited about it."
As a Navy SEAL, special warfare operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David Warsen was often in harm's way. But when night fell in Afghanistan, the SEAL would always make time for a Skype call with Karlyn, who had usually wrapped up her night shift as a labor and delivery nurse in San Diego.
"There were maybe only three days I didn't talk to him during the entire deployment," Karlyn said. "We always found a way."
Karlyn and David found each other through an unlikely series of meetings in San Diego. After two chance encounters, David left for several months of training in Virginia. But in July 2011, once again in downtown San Diego, the future couple met a third time.
"We both knew at this point that we needed to hang out since we kept randomly running into each other," Karlyn, 26, wrote. "We went on our first date the following week and the rest is history."
Karlyn knew SEALs are some of the world's toughest men, yet was immediately struck by the genuine warmth of David's heart.
"He just loved everyone and made you feel so important," she said. "He had so much love and passion about life."
When David and Karlyn decided to get married, they understood the challenges they would later face. Like thousands of military couples, they would spend many months apart during an overseas deployment. But David always managed to stay positive, even when Karlyn could tell he wanted to come home.
"Every time we talked, he tried to be in a cheerful mood," the SEAL's fiancee said.
Almost every night, Karlyn would keep her computer screen close as she fell asleep while looking into her future husband's eyes.