18 and Married

Shelby Ledford, Journalist

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   The process of becoming a member of the U.S. Military takes a great deal of maturity, and forces young troops to grow up quickly in many ways, including marriage.

   Almost 43% of active duty members are 25 years old or younger. According to studies, male military members are more likely to get married at a young age than the civilian population. More than half are married in their early 20s.

   Numerous amounts of recruits decide to marry young with good reasons that are often misunderstood; many people tend to believe that young marriage is only going to result in an unhappy relationship and/or divorce.

   However, there are many “young love” stories involving military members that turned out to be successful, such as Michael and Tiffany Hildebrand, who are both PVHS Alumni.

   The Hildebrands met during their sophomore and junior years and maintained a strong and healthy relationship all throughout high school. Michael was recruited into the U.S. Air Force after graduating from PVHS.

   Tiffany spent the majority of her senior year apart from Michael, who at this time was away at BMT (Basic Military Training) in Texas.

   For almost 3 months, their only way of communicating was through handwritten letters or occasional phone calls.

   What several people don’t understand about military couples is how much time they have to spend away from each other, especially in the beginning. They are also unable to live together, unless they are married. These were major attributes that influenced the Hildebrands’ young marriage, aside from their strong love.

   The time spent apart can either ruin or strengthen a couple’s relationship; in Michael and Tiffany’s case, the distance somehow brought them even closer.

   Michael had the chance to return home last Christmas to be with his family, which he also used as an opportunity to surprise his high school sweetheart and propose to her.

   The two were one step closer to finally being together after so much time apart; however, it wasn’t over yet.

   Michael was still finishing up his military training, while Tiffany ended her senior year at PVHS. Unfortunately, her high school graduation was one of the many events he had to miss, but luckily their wedding was scheduled soon after.

   Throughout their entire journey, as well as a wedding and about 5 months of marriage, the Hildebrands learned many things about their lives, and each other.

   Even though their situation is misunderstood and often frowned upon, the amount of maturity, emotionally and mentally, it took the Hildebrands to overcome all of the struggles and stick together through it all at such a young age is admirable.

   They both can agree that after all the time and distance, it was totally worth it in the end.

16 Comments

16 Responses to “18 and Married”

  1. Alyssa Greenway on January 19th, 2018 8:11 am

    I love this article. It was very well written, and i like the way you added statistics to prove your claim. I know many young military men that have gotten married at a very young age that have both succeed or failed. I believe that it’s a good thing for some to have the motivation to get their work done so they can come home safe.

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  2. Bobbie Benbo on January 19th, 2018 8:11 am

    You have a really good headline, it immediately grabs peoples attention and makes them want to read your article. Good Job 🙂

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  3. Jazmine Cook on January 19th, 2018 8:12 am

    I think that the article is very well written. You can tell the love that they had for each other was strong and real. Yes not everyone may understand their reasoning’s or support their choice but in the end all that matters is that they are happy.

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  4. Jazmyne Turner on January 19th, 2018 8:14 am

    That’s cute that she stayed with him through the training. Hopefully they last through their marriage and I hope they both do great in life .

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  5. Avi Huling on January 19th, 2018 8:16 am

    This is a very interesting story but I wish that more pictures were included on your story. You are a superb writer and have informed me of something that I didn’t even think was possible.

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  6. Ana on January 19th, 2018 8:21 am

    You did really good; it grabs the readers attention from the start! Also, I’m super happy that they have a happy, and healthy relationship.

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  7. Darcy on January 19th, 2018 1:42 pm

    This was a very sweet article! It’s strange to think about getting married so young, but when considering the benefits of it (financially and for the relationship), it appears to be a good idea. It can be incredibly difficult for young couples in the military to be apart for so long, but being able to live together on a base is a vital factor. Very well written, to the point, and informative article. Good job!

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  8. Alexis Norman on January 19th, 2018 1:43 pm

    This story was very interesting . I enjoyed reading it, and was surprised about the happily ever after, considering the fact that most marriages don’t work for most military people.

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  9. Emma Deroque on January 19th, 2018 1:44 pm

    Your article was very well written and relatable to multiple students currently attending PVHS.

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  10. Jonny Hooker on January 19th, 2018 1:52 pm

    The article was a good one but consider more pictures; for example, a picture from their marriage and or Michael’s process at the Air Force. Other than the pictures needed, it’s a marvelous article.

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  11. Torrie Martin on February 12th, 2018 10:05 am

    I think this article is super cute! A lot of people disagree with young marriage but do not really understand the circumstances. Having to be long distance makes the relationship grow stronger and fonder. I like how you used collective information/data.

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  12. Chris Geer on February 12th, 2018 10:12 am

    I enjoyed this article very much. I do understand why people think it’s bad to get married at such an early age, but with the right choices & mentality; things will workout with no problem.

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  13. Xander on February 12th, 2018 10:39 am

    Happy to see them stay together despite him going off to basic training, I’ve seen firsthand how being in the military can make a couple split.

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  14. Mary on February 12th, 2018 10:52 am

    This article is so adorable!!! It was really well written. I learned a few things about the military that I didn’t know before . Their love for each other is real and authentic, kind of like an old fashioned kind of love.

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  15. Laura Rodriguez on February 12th, 2018 11:55 am

    Many may disagree that it may be impossible to maintain a long distance relationship. A long distance relationship may require more effort and such to keep the abundance of love at a high level. If one is really in love with their significant other they are willing to commit to anything as long as they do not lose that special person. The Hildebrands are an example, proving that relationships can work even if one isn’t with their partner twenty-four/seven. It is knowledgeable that relationships involve time investment, yet the married couple mention “it was worth it in the end.” Anything can be possible if one sets their mind to it and work hard for it.

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  16. Brynn Lynch on February 16th, 2018 10:04 am

    I like the way you wrote this article. It really opens up the mind about marriage at a young age and going through so much to be able to make it work and these people did make it work. He is in the Army and he hardly got to see her because he was always gone but somehow they made it work and it brought them closer. Distance is not always a bad thing if it’s for the right person. They have a happy ending.

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