After a seven-month stint in Iraq, Sgt. Kyle Marigoni had a feeling his wife may not look exactly the way he remembered. He had no idea how different.
Alisha Marigoni surprised her husband by losing over 100 pounds while he was away at war. He was surprised when they were finally reunited this past weekend.
It all started before Kyle went off for his second tour, as Alisha had already lost 40 pounds.
The couple was in contact via e-mail during Kyle's deployment, but he told The Early Show's Hannah Storm that getting progress reports from Alisha was tough.
"I was trying," he said. "The photos I got were of my daughter and our dog."
So what made Alisha decide to make a change?
"I had enough of being large," she said. "I had enough. Alicia said she wanted to get back to size she was when the couple married.
She has exceeded that. Now a women's size 8, Alicia was wearing men's jeans with a 42-inch waist.
Seeing his newly-slim wife for the first time, what went through Kyle's mind?
"First, I had to pick my jaw up," he said.
"And your tongue," said Alicia.
"Yeah," said Kyle. "I first reunited with my daughter. She came running up to me and I said 'Let's go meet the rest of the family.' [Alicia] was hiding behind a vehicle and they swooped around the vehicle. As I came around, they took the initial photo and I was just in awe of seeing her after seven months," he said.
Along with all the stress of a deployment, what made Alicia take on this responsibility and try to change her life?
"I wanted to make my husband proud of me. I wanted him to be as proud of me as I am of him. He's an awesome Marine. I wanted him to have a piece of arm candy," she said.
Kyle says he "loves every minute of it."
While committed to his job, he admits deployments are never easy.
"She's an outstanding woman," Kyle said. "I'm very proud of her."
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