Episode 190: Marine Love, Loss and Life After with Kelsie of itskelsiemarie

Kelsie Hancock is a photographer, travel blogger and resident of San Diego, CA and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps in 2015. She was sent to a few different states, but ultimately found herself on Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. Kelsie was a communications officer and served on active duty for 4 years. While stationed on Pendelton, she reconnected with a guy she knew from college (Norwich University in Vermont) Nicholas Losapio, also a Captain in the Marine Corps, and an MV-22 Osprey pilot. Nick was the love of Kelsie's life. They dated for several months and then moved into their first apartment together in September 2020, and got engaged on January 16, 2021, in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Their wedding date was set for August 4, 2022 in San Diego.

On June 8, 2022, Nick was flying a routine training flight near El Centro, CA with his co-pilot and 3 other crew members. It was a typical day at the office for him. A Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI), which can easily be described as the equivalent of Top Gun, and one of the most experienced and well-versed Osprey pilots on the West Coast, if not the entire Marine Corps, Nick’s plane went down due to reasons still under investigation. He and the 4 other Marines on the plane perished in the mishap.

Kelsie's whole world was turned upside down as she lost her best friend and love of her life. Today Kelsie and I talk all about her story of meeting and falling in love with Nick, what happened on June 8 when Nick passed away, and what life has been like for her since. We also talk about the personal mission she feels called to be on to help other people who are in similar circumstances as she was when Nick passed, as a loved one but not yet a spouse of someone who passed away in active duty. Kelsie is working hard to keep her home and keep her life together, and her story really touched my heart. The gofundme that her friends created has been “the biggest blessing of all” since Nick's passing, and if you'd like to donate you can do that through the link in today's show notes.

Time Stamps:

[02:18] – Kelsie Hancock talks about growing up in Southern Maryland.

[04:18] – How did Kelsie end up in San Diego?

[06:54] – Kelsie recalls the camping trip where she bonded with Nick.

[09:05] – Why does Kelsie say her date with Nick was the best date ever?

[11:20] – Kelsie talks about starting a blog and other life milestones after fulfilling her service.

[13:42] – What is it like to be in a relationship with someone who is deployed?

[16:18] – What does Kelsie remember about her engagement to Nick?

[18:48] – Did the engagement go as planned? Kelsie tells the story of tacos, guacamole, and a missing ring.

[21:44] – Kelsie shares her memory of June 8, 2022.

[24:43] – A partner who motivates you to be a better version of yourself.

[26:47] – Does Kelsie blame God?

[29:45] – God sees the big picture. Kelsie explains her thoughts on trusting the larger plan God has.

[31:19] – Kelsie shares what sign she repeatedly sees that reminds her everything will be okay.

[34:14] – Kelsie plans to start a foundation to support spouses of service members.

[37:14] – Which resources would Kelsie like to offer at her future foundation?

[39:15] – What are the immediate needs of grieving spouses?

[42:14] – Don’t forget to spend quality time with the people you love.


Supporting Resources:

Instagram @its.kelsiemarie

Kelsie’s photography page

Donate to the Gofundme account setup for Kelsie


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