Jodie and Adam with Izzy

From Afghanistan to Aldershot – an Army love story

It took Adam being deployed to Afghanistan for Jodie to realise she liked him. For Valentine’s Day, we find out how they went from being friends to being a happy young family.

When Adam opens the door, the first thing we see is an excited red blur which turns out to be Isabella  Adam and Jodie’s daughter. Izzy is the star of the show and their lives revolve around her. But this wasn’t always the case.

Jodie and Adam with daughter Izzy

Jodie and Adam met in the Army through their mutual interest in swimming. Jodie was an Inter Corps swimming champion and had been picked for a training camp in Gibraltar. Adam had also been offered the chance to go to the camp. "They said: ‘Do you fancy going to Gibraltar for ten days for £50?'”, he recalls.

Jodie remembers how they first met: “We’re opposite. He’s shy and quiet, while I'll speak to anyone. I’d not been in the Army long and I’d never been on a trip like this, so I went to find him and was like: 'Are you going? What are you taking? It says this, this and this'. I was just checking I was taking the right stuff.”

Adam: “It started from there. We got talking and I liked her. I thought she was nice.”

Jodie: “We clicked, but I was blind to it all.”

Adam: “We both were, to be fair. We were both in our own little worlds, not realising.”

Jodie and Adam sitting on bed

It was a standing joke with Adam’s mates that he and Jodie were together and were keeping it a secret. Even Jodie’s mother could see that there was more to their relationship than them just being friends. It took Adam being deployed to Afghanistan for Jodie to see how much he meant to her.

“It wasn’t until Adam was in Afghanistan that I realised I liked him” Jodie

Jodie was sending Adam parcels twice a month. “I liked to use my imagination and put some thought into it. The European Swimming Championships and the Olympics were on so I sent chocolate gold medals from the Olympics, athletics stuff, a mini football", she remembers.

“I was getting really, really excited about putting this parcel together, and I remember being in Tesco’s and I was like: ‘He’ll like that, he’ll like this’. And then I was like: 'Why am I getting excited about getting a parcel together? This isn’t normal'.”

Belongings of Jodie and Adam including concert tickets, stuffed toy monkey and teddy bear

Jodie even sent Adam her treasured Liverpool teddy bear (pictured above) knowing full well that Adam, a Chesterfield fan, didn’t share her love of Liverpool. Jodie remembers: “I was like: ‘You’ve got to promise to look after him and he’ll need to come back in one piece’.” Adam took good care of the bear, returning him safe and sound, and he is now part of Izzy's collection.

Once Jodie had realised that she liked Adam, she had a choice  to wait until he came back from Afghanistan or to tell him immediately. She decided to screw up her courage and tell him immediately. Adam was delighted when he heard the news.

“I couldn’t wait to get back – I was just looking forward to getting back and seeing her” Adam

They spoke daily, with both of them looking forward to seeing each other but there were some niggling doubts. Had they made the right choice or had they just ruined their friendship?

When Adam came back from Afghanistan on his R&R, instead of seeing his family he went straight to see Jodie. They hadn’t seen each other for nearly a year. Jodie had been returning from Cyprus the day Adam left for Afghanistan, and had missed him. She was now waiting for him in Aldershot.

Jodie: “He was delayed by bad traffic. I'd cleaned my room and done everything to keep myself busy and then I was just waiting there. So I cracked open a bottle of wine because I was nervous. I was thinking: ‘I hope this is the right thing. I hope we’re not disappointed’.”

Luckily they weren't. When Adam came back from Afghanistan and whisked Jodie off to London for a romantic weekend it was the start of something special. Their relationship has gone from strength to strength and they were married just before Christmas in 2014. Adam proposed to Jodie after discussing the future with her and realising that “it felt right and it felt comfortable”.

Just seeing Adam and Jodie together makes you realise how strong their relationship is. Their easy manner with each other shows that they're not just married, but they're also best friends. When asked what the secret is to their successful relationship, Jodie says: "Always making sure you've got time for each other". They make a point of always kissing each other goodnight whether one goes to bed before the other, or if they go to bed together.

The arrival of Isabella has increased their small family by one and they're looking to the future. Adam, a keen cook who learnt from his grandmother, is looking forward to passing on his love of cooking to Izzy. According to Adam, food is already something she is passionate about: "She has hollow legs. Even at the childminder's she'll eat her own food and then go for everyone else's".

Adam and Jodie are starting to think about what they’ll do once they leave the Army, but it’s clear that family is the most important to thing them. As Adam says: “As long as Jodie and Izzy are happy that’s it really. We don’t want much just to be able to look after ourselves.”

“As long as Jodie and Izzy are happy that’s it really" Adam

In October 2015, Jodie and Adam (with Izzy) joined fellow military serving personnel, veterans and their families to take part in our inaugural Poppy Parade – taking the first official poppy of the 2015 Poppy Appeal from The Royal British Legion’s headquarters to Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street.

Read our Poppy Parade news story.

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