Brian and Kaci Were Stationed Overseas Together—But They Met on Bumble

Brian and Kaci at their wedding on a beach together. Kaci is wearing a strapless dress and Brian is wearing a tux.

By Sara Gaynes Levy and Ashley Edwards Walker

Kaci, a medic with the U.S. Air Force, downloaded Bumble while stationed in Guam in 2018. “It’s such a tiny island, and I wasn’t meeting anyone,” she says. She liked the concept behind Bumble, and decided to try the app as her first foray into online dating. Almost immediately, she noticed Brian’s profile. He was water skiing in one of his photos—one of her hobbies, as well— and also served in the military. She swiped right. 

Brian, an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, was stationed on the other end of Guam. When he saw Kaci, he swiped right too, struck by her standout beauty and the charm evident from her profile. And thus began Kaci’s first, and only, Bumble conversation. Kaci loved that Brian had a sarcastic sense of humor, and that their chats were full of comfortable banter. (Brian remembers that Kaci was only intermittently responsive in their initial messages— something Kaci chalks up to a typhoon that rendered her internet access spotty and made it hard to reply!)

On their first date—about two weeks after they first matched, thanks to Kaci’s WiFi crisis—they each picked an activity: Brian, an avid golfer, chose to hit the putting green, and Kaci brought them to some scenic tide pools to drink beer and chat. “We sat on a rock in the middle of a tide pool for six hours, just talking and getting to know each other,” says Kaci. “I remember talking about how close he is with his family, how adventurous he is, and learning about our respective branches of the military,” she says. Brian felt totally at ease. “The conversation flowed so smoothly,” he says. “There was no awkwardness.” 

Brian and Kaci are taking a selfie together on holiday. Both are wearing sunglasses.

Kaci left the date wanting to see Brian again, but she didn’t have any expectations. Because of the transient nature of military life, she wasn’t imagining a long-term relationship. But Brian came to see her at her dorm, the Air Force-supplied housing where Kaci lived, the next weekend. And the weekend after that. And every weekend. For the next five months. They would explore the local beaches, play cards, and go to parties. “It was absolute paradise,” says Kaci. “We never really went out to dinner or to the movies or other traditional dates,” says Brian. “It was just about being with each other.”

Then, after five months, Brian’s deployment in Guam ended and he had to return to San Diego, Calif. Kaci thought she wasn’t interested in dating long-distance, so she assumed their relationship had run its course. Still, “towards the end,” says Kaci, “I knew this was real.” The two tried to avoid the topic of what would happen after Brian left—even at the airport, before he took off. “We were hugging and kissing, but never even talked about what was next,” says Kaci. They stayed in touch, though, and eventually, during one of their chats after Brian left, she told him that she didn’t want to date long-distance: it never works, she said. “But he said: ‘Well, how do you know if you’ve never tried it?’ And I was like, well, that’s a really good point. Because I hadn’t.” Brian may have played it cool, but inside he was incredibly relieved that Kaci wanted to give long-distance a shot. “We both knew it wasn’t over,” says Kaci. In fact, they were in love. “I hadn’t said it, but before I left, I knew that I loved her,” he says. Kaci felt the same way: “We had to see where this could go.” 

Their time apart was only supposed to be about seven months—which seemed manageable— but two weeks before Brian was supposed to return to Guam, he was deployed again. This time, he was heading to Bahrain, an island country in the Middle East. It was a setback, but it didn’t deter them. “I would keep thinking: we’ve made it this far, we can keep doing it,” says Brian. Kaci chalks their endurance up to their excellent communication: “We talked so well, and so often, that I didn’t feel the distance all the time,” she says. They both felt like two puzzle pieces that just fit together. Kaci describes herself as anxious, Brian as relaxed. Kaci lights a fire under Brian when he needs it, whereas Brian grounds Kaci. This symbiosis kept them going until Brian was finally able to return to Guam, a full one-and-a-half years after they’d last seen each other. 

Brian and Kaci are taking a selfie together. Brian is wearing a blue shirt and Kaci is wearing a strapless dress.

When they finally reunited, after all that time apart, they knew they wanted to be together forever. “My entire adult life, I loved my independence and thought that I was never going to get married or have kids,” says Kaci. “None of that was ever on my mind until this man came along. Being around him all the time suddenly felt natural.” Brian felt the same way. A few months after their reunion, he asked Kaci to marry him. They got married in a civil ceremony two months after he popped the question, so they could be stationed together, but they later had a larger family wedding where they could celebrate with all their loved ones.

At the reception, Brian surprised Kaci by serenading her with a song he wrote about their love story, which he describes as “a love song sprinkled with a little comedy, thanking Bumble for putting her in my life.”(Kaci says there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.) It was Brian’s first attempt at songwriting, but for Kaci, the love of his life, he would do anything. “When you meet that right person,” he says, “it just feels different.”

Main photo credit: Kayla Hunter Photography