This Valentines many couples will have to spend it apart,as their other half will be away on tour. Here Kelly, who is currently based at RAF Lossiemouth, tells us about her first Valentine's without her hubby...
I met my husband David in August 2002 in a pub despite living in the same small village in Wales and having actually been at the same school! He joined the Royal Air Force in October 2002 and we got married the following August.
Exactly a year to the day after we met I fell pregnant with my oldest Katie and we've been happily married ever since and now have three wonderful children.
This year will be both our 10th wedding anniversary and my 30th birthday so David and I have planned a cruise to the Western Mediterranean, which will also be our very belated honeymoon, as we’ve never had a holiday without the children.
The best thing about David being in the RAF is being able to meet new friends and live in places we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to explore. We loved our time stationed in RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, for three years although the most recent move to the north of Scotland has been quite a challenge, especially the weather!
The worst thing is the increasing number of deployments we experience. David is an SAC Tech within MTMS/GEF and they are getting hit more and more frequently for OOA tours. All the worrying and not being together as a family for between four to six months can take its toll and make 'normal' living difficult.
He deployed before Christmas last year and we’ve just found out his tour has been extended for another month.
Whilst we had our own family Christmas before he left, it has been a difficult time of year to get through especially for the children but we’ve plodded along and celebrated Christmas and New Year with family in Wales.
I am not looking forward to Valentine's Day this year as this is the first year we’ve been apart since we started dating and we normally make a big effort.
It's a horrible time of the year to be on your own when you see love hearts and flower everywhere and you know you are not going to be beside your loved one.
But we have both sent each other gifts and I wish I could see his face when he opens mine! Amongst his surprises are his favourite treat – Welsh Cakes – which I have baked into heart shapes. Hopefully they'll survive the BFPO treatment.
I think I might just hide away from the world and spend it curled up on the sofa with the three little people in my life, a good movie and lots of popcorn.
Even though we have to experience these special dates apart I am so very proud of David for serving his country. It makes me proud every day to be a RAF WAG (as we call ourselves!) and we do get lots of support from the Unit which always helps. My children (who also suffer when daddy is away) have a fantastic support network, namely Airplay Lossie which is funded by the RAF Benevolent Fund.
It makes such a difference to them all as they receive so much support from the staff and volunteers, and also have their minds taken off daddy being away by having so much fun. This is one area of military life I cannot praise enough. Airplay is a godsend.