COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Circleville couple is thanking the military for bringing them together after 66 years of marriage.
Robert and Marylin “Cookie” Johnson were both serving in the U.S. Air Force when they met while stationed in Georgia.
"I was thunderstruck the first time I saw her. She was so cute and vivacious and I thought, 'I could marry her.' And I was lucky enough that we did," said Robert.
That marriage grew into a big family of five kids, 12 grandkids and 11 great-grandkids.
“He was a good looking guy, a good looking young guy and, um, smart... very smart. I liked him,” said Marylin, recalling the first time they met.
The two eventually returned to Robert’s hometown of Circleville, where Robert started a construction and industrial supply business and Marylin worked nights as a nurse.
In their 66 years together, the two kept busy doing things they enjoyed, like boating and, at one point, traveling across the country in an RV.
After all these years, they still thank the military for bringing them together.
“When you get older, you get a little discouraged as you see the wrinkles coming, but I just reach over and he’ll give me a squeeze,” said Marylin.
The Johnson’s flew to the nation’s capital on Nov. 4 for the last Honor Flight Columbus of the year. While there, they accepted an award to show appreciation for their service to the country.
“We’ve had way more recognition than I think we deserve, but we have - I think - the respect of the community,” said Robert.
You can learn more about Honor Flight Columbus here.