Between the birth of her first child, graduation from college and her wedding, 2018 is set to be a significant year for Jennifer McCoy.
The Army veteran is giving birth to a baby girl in January and then moves to Washington to be with her fiancé, Tony Miguel, who is currently still serving in the Army.
The two met in 2011 when they were deployed together in Afghanistan. Miguel, whose job was to encourage morale, walked into a room where McCoy had her feet on up on the table and was wearing a sombrero and margarita glasses that were sent to her in a care package.
Upon seeing her, Miguel said her spirits looked to be high already.
It is this initial silliness that has been at the core of their relationship since.
“He’s a little goofy but so was I,” McCoy said.
Soon after their meeting, McCoy was transferred to another base and did not see Miguel again until they returned to the U.S.
When the two reconnected years later, Miguel asked McCoy on a date every day for two weeks before she agreed to go to Olive Garden with him, where she realized they had a connection beyond their friendship.
Miguel’s persistent means of communication has proven effective while he is at Fort Lewis and McCoy is home in Santa Clarita.
Though being in a long-distance relationship is difficult, McCoy said they talk on the phone and FaceTime regularly and visit one another as often as they can.
“It’s not fun, nobody likes distance,” McCoy said. “We’re looking forward to me moving to Washington in January.”
The couple last saw one another at the end of October where they spent time finishing their registry, watching movies and eating breakfast in bed.
Miguel will be in Santa Clarita for a visit in mid-November.
“When we see each other, it’s more special,” she said. “We count the days until we see each other.”
McCoy looks forward to starting their lives as a family of three next year.
In the spring, she will earn her bachelor of arts in business management from University of Phoenix.
The couple has their wedding set for August after Miguel is discharged.
“It’s going to be a lot of change, but for the better,” McCoy said.