Lucky in Love

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kari Degraffenreed
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Sixteen years ago, two security forces Airmen arrived at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, setting the stage for the two young defenders to meet and start building a relationship together.

Little did they know, the lucky couple would one day become the Lucky couple. “For me, it was love at first sight,” Master Sgt. Kelvin Lucky, 97th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent said with a smirk. “For her, not so much.”

“I couldn’t stand him,” said Master Sgt. JaNiece Lucky, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron first sergeant. “He just talked so much. Every time he’d come around, I’d go in another room.”  

Kelvin and JaNiece first met during phase one of their training. After a few interactions, Kelvin decided it was finally time to get JaNiece’s attention.

“I had seen her in training and I thought she was attractive,” Kelvin said. “But this day, I was driving home from my buddy’s house. I turned the corner and I saw her driving with the windows down. So, I followed her home.”

Kelvin could barely contain his laughter as JaNiece nodded her head along to his retelling, peppering in the phrase, “true story,” and sneaking in a smile every so often.

“I don’t know what I was thinking that day!” Kelvin said. “I followed her all the way into her driveway.”

“He pulled up in my driveway,” JaNiece cut in. “And I said, ‘What are you doing? You can’t follow me home!’”

As impulsive as that move was, it didn’t ruin Kelvin’s chances with JaNiece forever. She continued to run into him at parties and other hangouts with their friends. Then, a fateful event gave Kelvin and JaNiece the chance to start getting to know each other.

“We had a mutual friend who told me, ‘Oh JaNiece, we’re all going to hang out’ and I agreed to go. Then I asked where we were going and she said, ‘We’re going to Luck’s house.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God, why did I say yes to this?’ But I ended up going and I got there before anyone else did.”  

Kelvin and JaNiece smiled at each other, thinking back on the memory.

“It’s been us ever since,” she said.

After three years of dating, Kelvin and JaNiece tied the knot on July 3, 2009.

At the time, they were both still defenders. This made for some challenging moments, especially when kids came along.

“We had kids and we were on opposite shifts,” JaNiece said. “So, we were only seeing each other on our two days of break or sometimes, on the weekends, we would have to do changeover with the boys in a parking lot. It was a tough time.”

Kelvin nodded and made an important distinction. “People think you get married and it will be perfect forever, but that’s not really how it is. And it’s the same way with the Air Force; people think you join and then your life is going to be perfect. There are going to be peaks and valleys. But what people call a valley, I say you’re learning and the peaks are you mastering things. Sometimes you’re going to be the one learning and the other person might be the one mastering. Eventually it will even out in the end.”

Overall, the Luckys say the highs of married life outweigh the lows. Plus, being in the same career field has helped them overcome challenges.

“I know what he has to go through and he knows what I have to go through,” JaNiece said. “So, there’s never any arguments about work or staying late. We just know what each other has to deal with.”

JaNiece added a major benefit of being married comes when their family has to move.

“It’s hard going to a new base by yourself. You don’t know anybody. At least when I [move] now, I’ve got [Kelvin], my wingman.” she said, smiling. “So, I’m not out there on my own.”