East Texas Army specialists share love story - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas Army specialists share love story

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Fate brought them together, and faith is keeping them together.

East Texas Army Specialists Nicole and Laurence McGowan met a year and a half ago at an Army base in El Paso. They got hitched. Then, just five months later, both were deployed to Iraq.

Friday, after a year overseas, they returned home to East Texas, and they were greeted the way all of our veterans should be...like heroes.

Hawkins native, Specialist Nicole McGowan's family and members of 'Welcome Home Soldiers' draped Tyler Pounds Airport with waving flags.

"I was not expecting this at all," said Nicole McGowan. "It was awesome."

"It's the second surprise since we've been home," said Laurence McGowan. "My parents actually came and saw as when we got off the plane from Iraq."

Both were deployed for a year. It was tough. But, they say Iraq is turning over a new leaf, and their hard work is paying off.

"I wouldn't say it's not as dangerous, but it's definitely getting better over there," said Nicole McGowan. "You can see people are different."

Serving together made the situation easier.

"But, also, there were instances where it was hard as well because we'd be separated at different areas of the country," said Laurence McGowan.

Spending days without one another, for both, was mentally taxing.

"[With] both of us being in a dangerous combat zone [we were] always worrying about the other person," said Laurence McGowan.

The McGowans are in East Texas on emergency leave, visiting Nicole's ailing brother. Soon, they will return to their base in El Paso. And, hopefully, their first deployment to Iraq will be their last.

"I'm going to school and then, you never know, Afghanistan might be next," said Nicole McGowan.

For now, they're looking enjoying the moment, enjoying spending time with family, mom's good cooking and married life back in the states.

Nicole McGowan is an Army Communications Specialist, having served in the U.S. Army for three years. Her husband Laurence is a Specialist in mechanics. Both plan on re-enlisting.

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