Guest Post — Nov. 27, 2013
Note from Dan: The happy couple on the left are Kaylin and Corey Tolbert. She’s from Roanoke, he’s from Craig County, and they got married on Thanksgiving Day 2012, in Germany. No way was she going to be a stay-in-the-states wife while hubby was stationed halfway around the world. So she joined, too. And now they’re stationed in the same place — Kandahar, Afghanistan.What follows is by his proud mom.
By Lisa Tolbert
PFC J. Corey Tolbert – graduated from Craig County High School in 2009. He played sports throughout school but was especially passionate about football. He is very serious about physical fitness and an avid weight lifter.
Prior to leaving for his basic training Corey began varying and intensifying his training with a long term goal of being Special Forces for the military. In fact, when he graduated from basic and advanced infantry training, his level of physical fitness had actually diminished! His current goal in the Army is Special Forces. He has been seriously working out, literally for years, to achieve this goal.
Corey turned 21 on April 7, 2012 and left for basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., on April 9, 2012.
Corey graduated from training at Fort Benning during the summer 2012 and was granted a brief leave before departing for Germany, his permanent duty station. His parents are Bobby and Lisa Tolbert of New Castle.
PFC Kaylin Stickney Tolbert, a U.S. Army Reservist, is the daughter of Bill and Nila Stickney of Roanoke. She and Corey met at Virginia Western Community College several years ago and dated until they were married. During the summer 2012, Kaylin was in basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. at the same time Corey was completing the latter part of his training.
Kaylin’s graduation occurred during Corey’s brief leave between graduation and departure to Germany. He took the opportunity to attend her graduation and propose.
Because Corey had to immediately leave for Germany, they did not get to see one another after she graduated and returned home to Roanoke. During Thanksgiving week last year, Kaylin bought a wedding dress then flew to Germany and they married (notice the tank in the background!). They married on Thanksgiving Day. Neither sets of parents were able to attend the ceremony so Corey and Kaylin utilized the video calling method “Facetime” to talk with their parents that morning.
Kaylin stayed in Germany for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Corey took a short leave and they both returned to the U.S. for Christmas. After leave, Corey returned to Germany and Kaylin stayed in the U.S.
Corey deployed to Afghanistan in the first week of July 2013. Kaylin’s unit was called for deployment a few months later. They left the Roanoke area and went to other Army bases for additional training before deployment. She deployed to Afghanistan in October.
Although not planned, Kaylin and Corey both ended up in Kandahar and close enough to see one another. They will now be able to spend Thanksgiving and their first anniversary, at least in the same city, versus continents away. As of today, we don’t know whether they will actually be “together” on their actual anniversary date or Thanksgiving. It is our hope they will. However, surely they will have time to celebrate and be together at some point during that time.
These two young adults have put their own personal lives on hold to serve our great country. The picture of them at the top in their ACUs (Advanced Combat Uniforms) was originally posted to Facebook with a title “my home is where you are.” Talk about love for country and one another!
Note from Dan: Below is a portrait shot by photographer (and proud grandad of Corey) Jim Bullington, who in another life used to sling beans for a living.