Local resident finds his wife in Germany

By Glenda Rae Davis
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, June 21, 2012

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(Courtesy photo)

Army Sgt. Everett Guerito met his wife, Ann Christin Guerito, in May of 2010 in Heidelberg, Germany.

F or Sgt. Everett Guerito, 33, going to a bar on a Thursday night was out of the ordinary, but he wasn't one to say no to a friend.

So he set out with his friend at the end of May 2010 in search for a place that was still open late that night.

"I don't drink much," said Guerito, who is Táchii'nii, born for Tsenabahilnii.

Guerito, who is originally from Yah-Ta-Hey, N.M., is a career officer in the Army and has been based in Heidelberg, Germany, since 2010.

Little did he know that in a local bar in Heidelberg he would meet his future wife.

"We went to this bar called The Devil," he said, as he laughed at the name. "It was my second time in there. He went to get a drink and I just walked around."

"He just looked bored," said his wife, Ann Christin Guerito, 25. "I usually don't go there neither. It had only been my second time too."

A native to Heidelberg, Ann said she went to the bar because her friend liked the band playing that night.

"She began stalking me," Everett said, smiling. "My friend and I were standing together at the bar and her and her friend got the table right behind us. Then, even though her drink was half full, she came up to order another."

"I went up and had forgotten my money," Ann said. "So I asked him to watch my drink."

"She came back and started talking to me in German," he said. "I was like, 'English please.'"

Thanks to Ann having spent a year as a nanny in Toronto, Canada, she was able to switch to English to continue her conversation with her future husband.

"Toronto was where I really improved my English," she said. "Otherwise I don't think we would have been able to talk to one another."

The following three weeks after that first night, Everett and Ann spent every minute they could together knowing that he was to be shipped out to Afghanistan at the end of the third week.

"The day I was leaving for Afghanistan she was with me," said Everett, "and that look in her eyes. I could tell that she was really, really sad. The entire time I was in Afghanistan it was all I could think about."

He spent seven months in Afghanistan but he kept in touch, trying to not let the distance between them bother either of them too much.

"We kept in touch through Facebook and Skype," he said, "pretty much the whole time I was in Afghanistan."

After returning to Heidelberg, Everett said the first thing he did was called Ann.

"We basically just picked up where we left off seven months before," he said.

The wedding

"Our engagement wasn't really elaborate," said Everett.

"We went out to eat one night," said Ann, "and he asked me and pulled out the ring. Then we were engaged."

They said their vows on Aug. 13, 2011, in Heidelberg with only Ann's parents and a few friends present.

"It wasn't a big wedding," said Everett.

Although it wasn't big the wedding included German traditions to make sure the couple got off on the right foot.

One tradition was log sawing, which they did after their ceremony. The couple cut a four-foot log in half using what Everett called "a very old, dull saw."

"We couldn't cut it," said Ann. "Then he went at it using an axe."

The tradition symbolized that they would help each other through obstacles in the future.

Since the wedding was in Germany, Everett's family was unable to attend. After being married for five months, Everett received 23 days furlough to take his new wife home to Gallup to meet his family.

"I was really nervous about meeting his family," said Ann. "I didn't know how they would feel about me. I mean, he's Navajo and I'm not. I wasn't sure if they wanted him to marry a Navajo woman and honestly, I was nervous for no reason."

Everett said he tried his best to prepare his wife for his large family.

"He told me that he had a big family," she said. "I didn't really think anything about it. But he wasn't kidding!"

"I have my adoptive mother, who is actually my grandmother, her husband and their three kids, who I call my brother and sisters," said Everett. "I also have my biological mother and her three kids. Also, you know, traditionally our cousins are our brothers and sisters."

"He tried explaining it to me," said Ann, as she laughed. "I couldn't believe it when I saw them. He tells me I haven't met all of them and I already think he has a really big family."

Ann's family consists of her parents and two sisters.

The future

For the Guerito's moving back to the U.S. is definite.

"I'm looking into continuing my education at the University of Maryland," said Ann, who is studying to be an elementary school teacher.

"I've still got seven more years in the Army," said Everett, who wants to continue until he is eligible for retirement.

As they looked into each other's eyes with a smile, their love for each other was obvious.

"I'm just glad I found her," he said. "She's made a huge difference in my life. I'm very happy."

"He has made a huge difference in mine," she said. "I'm glad we met up that night. Everything has changed since that night, but it's all good change. He makes me happy every day. I'm glad to be with him."

The couple returned to Germany on June 14 where they will reside until Everett is reassigned in two years.

Everett has served 12 years in the military.