Jessica was a senior at UC-Davis as the first semester of her final year in undergraduate school began to wrap up in December 2008. Her mother wanted her to get more involved in the dating scene and encouraged her to try CatholicMatch.
Jessica figured it couldn’t hurt.
Josh was in the U.S. Army and stationed in Fort Sill, Okla., at the time and he created a profile for similar reasons—he was bored and figured it was something to do. So both Josh and Jessica arrived at CatholicMatch with neither a pessimistic nor an optimistic outlook. It simply was it was—a tool to meet people and if it panned out, so much the better.
Over Christmas Josh noticed Jessica’s profile and found the similarity in their values and personalities to be interesting. He also thought she was cute so he sent her a “smile” emotigram.
With Jessica’s mom and sisters wanting to her use the site more, she decided to smile back. From there it went to messages to chats and then to a phone conversation. Any relationship would be long-distance, but both sensed they had something special.
They had special motivation to make a face-to-face meeting happen quickly—Josh was being sent to Germany in March, so there was no time to lose. They put a friendly bet on the Super Bowl that February with the result determining who would travel. So when fans around the world saw Santonio Holmes make a spectacular catch in the corner of the end zone to secure a championship for the Steelers, a lesser-known fact was that it meant Josh was on his way to California.
After some initial awkwardness, their weekend together got a good flow going to it. On Valentine’s Day, they went skiing with Jessica’s family by day and shared their first kiss by night. They spent a day at Yosemite Park to complete a special weekend together.
Before Josh had to go overseas, Jessica made a visit to Wisconsin, where Josh’s family is originally from. They decided a long-distance relationship was worth it
While in Germany, Josh was deployed to Iraq for a few months, a circumstance that made both of them realize just how much they meant to each other. He was able to return home for a two-week period in the summer of 2009 and she traveled to Germany for several weeks in the fall. Marriage was in the cards.
In the summer of 2010, Josh was stateside again. The couple attended a Milwaukee Brewers game and a Tim McGraw concert one night…and in between the two events, Josh gave her an engagement ring.
The wedding is still over a year off. Josh is scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan, and Jessica is going graduate work in Microbiology at Nebraska. They communicate daily through Facebook, e-mail and Skype.
This is a couple that has truly learned what it means to sacrifice for each other, right from day one.