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U.S. Sailor takes top prize in fight for marriage, family

“Max” and “Abby” during happier times.

A U.S. Navyman stationed in Okinawa won first place in an international contest for exemplifying commitment to marriage and family throughout separation due to military service.

While the Sailor has chosen to remain anonymous, his efforts to stay connected and fight for his marriage and family while separated by nearly 8,000 miles got the attention of PAIRS Foundation, a Florida nonprofit that has developed and researched evidence-based skills for strengthening interpersonal relationships since 1983.

“Max,” not his real name, uses an exercise taught to him by a Navy Chaplain called the PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading to proactively connect with his wife (“Abby”) and family stateside nearly every day.

Max agreed to allow his almost daily posts to be shared publicly, offering an intimate, deeply personal look at the challenges shared by many other military men and women through months or more of service assignments that leave them far from the families they love.

As first place winner, Max won a $750 Amazon gift card that he immediately chose to give his wife.

To learn more about Max and Abby’s struggle to keep their 15-year marriage alive through the challenges of service, sacrifice and separation, visit


Seven Thousand Miles Away, U.S. Navy Couple Struggles to Protect Own Marriage, Family

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