Mac and Karyn have been chosen as the winning couple in the Military Wedding To Remember Contest. Learn more about the couple below:
(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Love may have snuck up on Karyn Sampson, but she's now fully embracing it.
"I get excited, but at the same time, I get emotional because I'm really excited," says Karyn.
Karyn is set to marry a man everyone told her was "the one" even if she didn't realize it. But who can blame her? Few, if anyone, suspects they'll meet their future spouse on the very first day of college.
"I remember thinking he was really cute, but I didn't want to be the first one to go up and say anything," said Karyn.
He thought the same, but it was her T-shirt that caught his eye first.
"I thought she was cute," said Mac. "It was funny because she was the only girl with a Red Sox T-shirt while all the other girls were looking cute and she was sweating with a bandana around her head."
"Literally, like the first week of school, everyone was like you're gonna marry that boy, and I'm like shy, like no, I'm not. Like, we weren't even dating and my best friend from home also went to school with me and she was like, yes you are. You guys are perfect for each other, you're getting married, and now she's one of my bridesmaids and she's like told ya, I knew it!"
But it hasn't always been simple. In the process of their friendship growing into a dating relationship, Mac decided to enlist with the Army National Guard.
"I just felt like I needed to do it," said Mac. "I felt like I just had to go over, instead of just watching on TV."
For many couples, it might be a strain, but Mac says over the course of their relationship, he began to realize Karyn was "the one."
"It was like a million times, but I'd say the most definite was when I first went away to boot camp."
Mac says her letters during that time, and through a deployment to Afghanistan, solidified their love.
It was then that Mac met the other girl in his life, a street puppy he rescued while on his tour of duty. He named her Gemma, and with the help of charitable organizations, he sent her back home to Karyn to care for her.
Their family of three was complete and Mac began to plot how he'd propose.
"I found out five months before when our leave was going to be, and all of our friends were studying in Australia."
After talking with her parents, Mac encouraged Karyn to visit her friends abroad. She had no idea he'd be there, too. The surprise worked, but it was nothing compared to what came next.
"I went to turn around, he was down on one knee – it was awesome," said Karyn.
Funny, because that is exactly what he thinks about her.
"She's never ever negative … it's a rare day when she's in a bad mood," said Mac. "She's helpful to everyone and always upbeat. I always love being with her."
And as for their future?
"I look forward to living with her, and in a couple of years, when we have enough money, to have a couple kids," said Mac.