Sailor Thomas Alan White II knows the rules of engagement all to well - when you have the chance to marry the girl of your dreams, don't hesitate.
Thomas Alan White II, who returned from Iraq two weeks ago, married Adara Story on Saturday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Grovetown native White, 20, and his longtime fiance Adara Story, 18, of Evans, married Saturday at Wisteria Hills Plantation in Appling.
White returned two weeks ago from a six-month tour in the Middle East - two months in Kuwait and four months in Baghdad.
Although he was a construction mechanic for the Navy Seabees, an engineering unit, White spent his time in the desert on guard duty.
"We were running security for a (project management office) company at the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was Saddam's Presidential Palace," he said. "We ran tactical convey security for the civilians in charge of rebuilding Iraq. We took them out for site surveys."
White said he couldn't wait to marry the girl that won his heart at age 15.
"We met (at Evans High School)," he said. "She was a freshman, and I was a sophomore. We've been together ever since."
After so much time together, Story, a recent Evans graduate, admits that the more than a yearlong separation strained the relationship between her and her fiance.
"I was in school, and at my age most people are more concerned with going out on the weekend and having fun and dating different people every few months," she said. "I was already committed. The environment I was in and the life I was leading didn't mesh very well."
The couple didn't have much time for a honeymoon. They departed for White's new duty station on Monday to Port Huemae, a naval base in California.
In April, White will say goodbye to Story again to serve a yearlong deployment in either Guam or Iraq.
Once he leaves, Story will return to Evans to continue her collegiate career. In fact, she said school helps her pass the time while waiting for White to return.
"I've spent a lot of time looking forward to him coming home," she said. "You try not to count down the days, but it can get hard.
"I tried to focus more on my senior year of school and stay busy that way. I suppose that's what I'll do again."
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