Lesbian couple thank Navy training for saving them during Las Vegas shooting
| Gardner and Lopez married in 2014
This lesbian couple thank military training for helping them survive the recent Las Vegas shooting.
50 were shot dead and more than 400 injured during the incident on 2 October.
Jacqulyn Lopez and Allison Gardner met in high school through mutual friends but then fell out of touch.
In 2007, they were both stationed in Italy with the Navy and were reunited.
They got married in 2014.
Lopez and Gardner explained their experience to American broadcaster NBC.
The couple were in Las Vegas to celebrate Lopez’s 30th birthday.
The morning of the concert she had woken up with a pain in her right ear.
She had a severe ear infection and needed medication and to rest.
The couple had talked about not going to the concert.
Lopez explained: ‘I knew we spent lots of money, and Jason Aldean was the reason I wanted to go.’
Aldean was singing one of Lopez’s favorite songs, Take A Little Ride, when the first gun shots were heard.
Lopez recalled heard the first ‘pop, pop, pop’ sounds and thinking they were fireworks.
She continued: ‘I looked behind me, and saw no fireworks. Aldean was still singing. It wasn’t until the second round of bullets showered down on us that me and Ally realized these weren’t fireworks.
‘Before I could try and say anything at all, Ally was pulling me. We needed to run fast.’
‘I look behind me and saw a girl face plant to the floor.’Gardner explained the active shooter training she had received in the Navy kicked in once she realized what was happening.
The couple served seven and a half years in the United States Navy.
The couple have two children. Gardner gave birth to baby Maxton in March. They adopted baby Liam in July.
Lopez fell as Gardner pulled her through the crowds and chaos.
Gardner remembers shouting to her wife: ‘We have babies! We have babies to come home to! Let’s go!’
Lopez still remembers the ‘smell of the air was alcohol, gun powder and BBQ’ and seeing a girl ‘face plant to the floor.’
The couple managed to make their way to an SUV.
They begged the driver to let them in, explaining they had a 6-month-old and a 2-month-old.
Eventually, they arrived at a nearby hotel and spent $96 (€81) on a room for the night. This allowed them to briefly text all their loved ones to let them know they were safe.
‘We are forever changed’Lopez’s grandfather met them the next morning to drive them to Nevada.
She said in her time in the Navy, she had never experienced something like this.
‘My wife and I served four years and seven and a half years in the United States Navy, and not once experienced something as traumatic as that evening.
‘I am thankful for the readiness and training we were taught that has been instilled in us,’ Lopez said.
Lopez and Gardner thank their baby boys for getting them through the healing process.
Gardner explained: ‘Our friends and family have been supportive, and we have also sought mental health services.
‘Talking about it with people and with each other and with all of our friends who also survived and went through this tragic incident has been helping us cope.’
Lopez continued: ‘For us, it was our baby boys leading the way, it was flashes of faces of the ones we love, and it was survival mode that kept us alive.
‘We are forever changed from the incident, and may never have the answers we are looking for. But for now, one day at a time works for us.’
Tags: lesbian couple