By Sgt. Ryan TatumFebruary 14, 2018
FORT STEWART - From high school sweethearts to Army Soldiers - Sgt. Karrington Austin and Spc. Dominique Austin, both assigned to 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, have been dedicated to each other for six years with no end in sight. Although married life is tough for any couple, dual-military romances face unique obstacles but can withstand the test of time with love.
The Austin's started off as best friends during their junior year at Ross Sterling High School in Houston, Texas.
"It was the last three months of our junior year when we started dating," said Dominique. "It was then over the summer I knew she was the one I wanted to spend my life with. I formulated a plan to propose and marry the love of my life."
The stage was set for Dominique to propose at the biggest social event for teenagers - Prom Night.
"It was right after the announcement of the prom king and queen when my friend went up to the disc jockey's booth, explained to the DJ what I wanted to do and without hesitation he handed me the mic," said Dominique.
"She said yes," said Dominique. "Didn't skip a beat."
"I said yes," said Karrington. "And nothing has changed from the first time he proposed."
The Austin's relationship came to a crossroad as their time in high school was coming to an end and life as adults was beginning. Pomp and circumstance played, speeches were made and cap tassels were moved from left to right in anticipation caps being thrown in the air May 29, 2015.
Dominique felt the incessant urge to serve his nation and made the decision to enlist into the U.S. Army.
"He felt the Army was the best thing for him," said Karrington. "At the time, I wasn't completely sold on going to college either so, when he told me he wanted to join the Army my reaction was - me too!"
Fearless of the perils they were destined to face together, Dominique and Karrington wed in September of 2015 and soon afterwards began their journey as Soldiers - with Dominique as a cavalry scout and Karrington as a culinary specialist.
Enrolled in the Army's Married Couples Program, they were able to both be assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. And while being in the same location lessened the stress of a potential long-distance relationship, time apart was still a huge factor in their marriage.
"The first year of marriage was difficult because our time together never quit synced," said Karrington. "When he would come home from the field, five days later I would go out to the field it was hard but we maximized the time we had together."
Karrington said her unit was eventually deactivated and she was then reassigned to her husband's unit, which then put them on relatively the same schedule.
Making the most of their time together, Dominique and Karrington kept their flame going for those years at Fort Bliss and continued to do so as they transitioned to be Marne Soldiers.
"As soon as we got to Fort Stewart we were told then that we are getting ready to deploy, Karrington said. "It was what we signed up for and we did it together."
Dominique and Karrington went on two rotations to Europe with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. The Raider brigade is slated to deploy to Korea, but only Karrington will be going forward.
"My Soldier will soon be honorably discharged from the Army and this will be my first deployment without him," Karrington said. "Even though it will be tough, I am more focus on my contributions to my unit and my Soldiers because for most of them it will be their first deployment."
With Karrington's mind focused on the task at hand to deploy to Korea, her heart is filled with the love of her Soldier and was reminded of two things.
"The true love we share for each other transcends the boundaries of space and time," said Karrington. "And no matter how far away I may be from him; he is with me in spirit."