This Valentine's Day we continue to celebrate RAF couples. For Alan and Pat Parker, Valentine's Day was the day they got together and this year the couple will celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary. Alan tells us more.
In October 1966 I joined the RAF School of Music where I learnt how to play a BBb tuba. There were approximately 40 trainees at the school and it was a great atmosphere with a good mix of young men and women all striving to become fully fledged musicians.
As a tuba player, I sat in front of the percussion instruments and I was always having a laugh with one of the girls, Pat, who was training to become a percussionist. We became friends and during our breaks we often chatted and helped each other with whatever problems arose.
My Valentine's card to Pat
On Valentine's Day 1967 I was in the rehearsal room when Gwenda, who also played the tuba and was Pat's roommate, asked me if I'd sent Pat a Valentine's card. I said no and she told me that Pat really fancied me.
I was absolutely thrilled and told Gwenda that I felt the same way about Pat. When lunchtime arrived I ran off into town, bought a card and put it on Pat's drum kit.
Pat told me that she had always loved my sense of humour and had found me easy to talk to. It was so nice to hear that she felt the same way as I felt about her. That night I took Pat to the station dance and our relationship blossomed from there.
I proposed to Pat on 3 June 1967 and we were married on 7 October that year.
Moving to Germany
Pat and I moved to Germany where I served with the Band of the Royal Air Force Germany until 1971. During this tour Pat and I had two sons, Lee and Garfield. We returned to the UK in October 1971 and I remained in the Royal Air Force until 1989.
As a 67-year-old, I'm able to look back on what has been a brilliant life which I've enjoyed to the full and thanks to Pat, I'm still enjoying.
Pat and I celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary this year and we'll be spending it in Barcelona, a city we both love. We have two wonderful sons, lovely daughter-in-laws and three smashing grandchildren.
Valentine's Day will always be a special day for me and Pat as it was the day when we began our lives together.
By Alan Parker