We spent the next 15 hours together trying to get the San Diego, our flights were delayed or rerouted so we got to know each other pretty well. This is us in Texas.
When we finally arrived at our destination, yet another airport, we realized our luggage was gone. So I had everything sent to my hotel room and the next morning I drove to Oceanside and picked Eddie up at Angela and John's apartment. My mom, Edwin and I spent the next 3 days together.
I left California to come home to Minnesota. Edwin had my cell phone number and mailing address so we could write to each other while he was in Iraq. From June 2004-January 2005 we talked on the phone, wrote letters, and spent hours online chatting. While in Iraq, Edwin sent lots of pictures...
I guess he didn't want me to forget about him. He asked me to marry him in November 2004 and we started making plans for me to move to California when he returned. In the beginning of December I got a special package in the mail. It was my engagement ring. Enclosed in it was a note that said "I can't wait to start our life together, I love you". I still have that note.
On December 3, 2005 Edwin and I were married at the Ranch House Chapel at Camp Pendleton. He was so nervous, everyone thought he was going to get sick. We had a ton of family and friends there and had a nice get together afterwards at the beach cottages.
January 17, 2006, our son Thomas was born. Edwin was so excited. He stayed everyday in the hospital with me. As you can see, Thomas was a "daddy's boy" right from the beginning.
In May 2006 I found out I was pregnant again and Edwin and I decided that we could save more money if I moved back to Minnesota until the baby was born. We talked and e-mailed everyday. He called to see how I was feeling and made a few visits to be with us for the holidays.
On January 17, 2007 our daughter Danni Marie was born and Edwin fell in love with her at first sight.
In August 2007, Edwin stood trial for allegedly sexually assaulting his ex-wife Gloria's, best friend Stacey's daughter. The allegations were reported in June 2004 at NCIS Parris Island. Edwin was convicted of the crimes based on no evidence, physical or otherwise.
H, the alleged victim, alleges that these crimes took place when she was 3 years old, yet her parents both said that they did not notice anything different about her behavior and no bleeding, unlike what she told her father in June 2004.
Since his conviction it has been discovered that the father of the child, Paul LIED about taking her to the Beaufort Naval Hospital, NCIS fabricated a false confession that does not match what the "victim", H alleges, State and Federal reporting requirements were violated and then H recanted her story about Edwin's ex-wife, Gloria witnessing this alleged event-even though in June 2004 H told NCIS on video that there were witnesses and Gloria was one of them.
Edwin's ex-wife's daughter Randi, was spending time with the family of the alleged victim, when these allegations were brought forward. Stacey, the mother of the alleged victim told Randi, a 13 yr old child to talk to her daughter H about being sexually assaulted. When H said that something had happened to her, she refused to give a name. H would only state that "her mommy would be mad at her". When Stacey was told that H said something had happened, the Randi stated to NCIS that Hannah was told to say it was Edwin by her mother Stacey.
When interviewed by NCIS in June 2004, Gloria was not informed or questioned as to whether she witnessed this child being sexually assaulted. Gloria did not know about the allegations against her until the defense questioned her the first day of trial. Gloria's response was that H lied.
Randi, the witness to the original allegations, now 17, was flown to California to testify against Edwin but never took the stand because she would not change her story to match that of the family of the alleged victim. Randi stands by her original statement that Stacey, H's mother planted Edwin's name in H's mind. This is confirmed by an e-mail sent from Gloria to me in January 2009. Randi was just the beginning of the reasonable doubt in this case and that is why the prosecution refused to put her on the stand.
Edwin took 3 polygraphs conducted by a San Diego Police Department Polygraph Administrator who, after all 3 tests were completed found Edwin was being truthful when he said that he did not do anything to H. These tests were also quality check by 3 other qualified examiners who all concurred with the administrator, Edwin was telling the truth when he said that he did not sexually assault H.My husband is a proud Marine and we both understood the sacrifices that would have to be made for the Marine Corps and our country when we started our family. I stood behind Edwin's decision 100% to continue his career in the Marine Corps. But asking Edwin, myself and our children, Thomas and Danni to sacrifice never knowing their dad and him missing from our lives for 19 years for the conviction of a crime based on false allegations, lies, and fabricated evidence, is asking too much.
This is our only family portrait taken when Thomas was 12 months old and Danni Marie was 9 days old. Edwin has not seen our children since they were 19 months and 7 months, they are now 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old.