OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — They’re the kind of young couple who can still relish the chance to stand around their kitchen and talk over their plans for the day.
They might feed the dogs a few treats while they’re at it.
But for Arlann Erskine and her husband Ryan, small talk is something that’s still new, unlike most other couples after four years of marriage.
Home since June from deployment to Quatar, Ryan says, “I got back and, once I got settled in, it’s like we haven’t missed a beat.”
“Yeah,” agrees Arlann. “It’s like whenever you see your best friend.”
They met as teenagers in a Civil Air Patrol summer camp.
“I thought he was cute,” giggles Arlann.
Both came from families where service to country was honored above almost everything else.
“My grandfather was drafted to Vietnam,” says Ryan.
Arlann says of her service, “It was something like I felt good doing. I felt like I was good at it.”
Ryan joined the Air Force, Arlann the Army, becoming one of the first female tank platoon leaders in an integrated 7th Cavalry.
He says of his wife, “She was an armor officer, so she can shoot from and drive tanks, and run over cars and stuff.”
Ryan became an officer and an aeronautical engineer.
They both managed to make it work, marrying in May of 2016 and continuing their separate military careers.
Ryan admits, “It sucks to be separated from someone you love.”
Arlann continues, “We knew that was a real possibility when we got married.”
It wasn’t until June of 2020 that they managed to move to the same mailing address.
“My deployment,” says Ryan, “Kind of got extended because of coronavirus.”
If you’re looking for a family picture of modern military service, this might be it.
Ryan, when he’s not messing around with building bikes, is still on active duty in the Air Force.
Arlann is pursuing a Master’s degree at a local college.
“We’re still trying to integrate two households,” says Ryan.
They fly their flag proudly in a rental house in Oklahoma City, proud to be serving and to have served, devoted to country, a continuing close marriage and a couple of dogs who appreciate them almost as much as their fellow Americans on Veterans Day.
Ryan is currently stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Okla.
He’s already been accepted into the new United States Space Force.
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