MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -
Tevin Speight and Catherine Oliva-Speight are not the typical Marine
Corps couple. They were together for two and a half years before
Catherine became a Marine. Catherine graduated from boot camp on
February 28, 2012. Once Catherine started her career, she married
Tevin. They got married on January 4, 2013.
Tevin Speight and Catherine Oliva-Speight are not the typical
Marine Corps couple. They were together for two and a half years
before Catherine became a Marine. Once Catherine started her Marine
Corps career, she married Tevin on January 4, 2013. (USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya,
April 12, 2013)
Catherine: When I joined, I honestly thought we were
going to break up. You see the commercials and where the
Marine Corps can take you but I was afraid of where my
relationship would end up.
Tevin: I didn't know
whether I wanted to put any effort in the relationship or
not at first but I am glad I did. It's working out in my
Catherine: It is funny because I'll say Marine
Corps jargon and he won't understand anything I am saying.
Tevin: I was worried because
the day I terminated my lease, I found out there was a
chance she was going to deploy in April and I was getting
here in March.
I didn't want her to leave but she was
saying she wanted to and it's what she trains for, she was
giving me the whole nine on why she wanted to go.
Catherine: I was really lucky because I had my car at school
and he had family that lived right outside the gates in
Augusta, Ga., so I could see him on the regular.
one wanted us together at first so we had to hide it for
awhile but eventually everyone accepted it and we saw each
other the time while I was at MOS school.
is the longest time we spent together, at one time, in the
four years we have been together. I want to experience more
of my marriage before she deploys.
I don't want her
to deploy, but at the same time, this is her career and she
has to do what she has to do. I'm not going to distract her.
Catherine: My first opportunity to deploy, I was all for
it. I looked at it as an opportunity to learn my job.
I told myself in my head that I was ready to go but I
wasn't sure if I wanted to leave him.
I was crying,
telling him this is what I have to do.
I did have a
lot of worries about leaving him because he was just getting
He's getting the hang of it and starting to
use words that I use. I'll catch him saying things like
‘MOS' and at first he didn't even know what that meant.
I'll come home and talk to him like he is a Marine and
he's not used to that.
Tevin: When it comes to her
being a Marine, I'm glad she is able to turn it on and off.
I'm just worried about something happening to her. I
don't want anything to happen to her at all.
enjoyed the (Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1)
Jayne Wayne Day activities. I feel like I would be a good
Marine and doing those things let me get a taste of it.
As far as everything I see Marines doing, it seems to be
pretty cool. I consider everything to be an experience.
The simulator opened my eyes. I could tell that if you
were in that situation, you can't just go out firing your
weapon, you have to be aware of your surroundings.
She came home saying I was going to be mad at her because
she signed me up for Jayne Wayne Day. Once she said I get a
chance to shoot guns, I was all about it.
When I went
to a shooting range in North Carolina, I missed every shot
with a pistol and that's when I knew I needed to work on my
accuracy. The first time I ever fired a rifle was at Jayne
It was cool getting to be in her shoes. I
respect everything she does.
Catherine: Before I got
married, I talked to the only other female I know who is
married to a male who has nothing to do with the military
and she said she loves it.
To balance it out, I'm
going to let him start making choices like where our next
duty station is going to be.
The good thing is, no
matter where I end up, I know he will be by my side.
Tevin: It's different being a male dependent but I have no
doubts, I am very happy.
Before I came out here, I
had never flown on a plane before. I was leaving everything
I wanted to better our relationship. That's
why I am here.
All my stuff was sent to our new house
before I got out here so there was no turning back even if I
I left my job, my apartment but it was all
She would try to convince with me benefits
and stuff but all I wanted was to be with her.
she first left (for boot camp), I was really emotional. That
last phone call when she was at the hotel made me realize
that there was no turning back. She was gone.
even sounded different on the phone after I heard her on the
phone for the first time in three months. Seeing her in
uniform made me proud.
I was excited to come out here
to California. The drive from North Carolina was an
experience in itself. I consider all of this an experience.
Catherine: Even when we first started dating, I felt
like I knew him for a long time.
Tevin: I never tell
someone I love them unless I mean it. I love her.
Catherine: After we are separated for a while, I feel like
we are closer once we get a chance to see each other.
Tevin: When she was at boot camp, it was frustrating
because I couldn't talk to her. I was standing by the mail
box every day.
Catherine: Sometimes I wouldn't have
time to write a long letter so I would send a letter that
just said I love you. I would do anything just to write him.
Tevin: It felt good getting letters from her. That's all
I had when it came to me and her at that time.
handwriting even changed over time. I felt like I was seeing
her change through letters.
I would watch videos on
the internet of what she was doing. Her sloppy handwriting
always had me wondering what was going on over there.
I'm here to support her. I always tell her not to stress
and that everything is going to be alright.
By USMC Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya
Comment on this article