WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - This is the unlikely love story of Dr. Robert Bowles and the former Joyce Johnson, now Dr. Joyce Bowles. They are two decorated Army veterans who prove sometimes love can be right in front of you, but you just don't see it.
She's chatty. He's quiet. She's outgoing, he's, well, let's ask Joyce: "He was a nerd. No, I shouldn't say that. But he was a nerd."
To be clear, they are night and day. But like night and day, they always meet in the middle. But the meeting didn't happen the way you might think.
Joyce explains, "We were in Vietnam at the same time. Even though he would visit the hospital, I never saw him and he never saw me."
This is a love story between two veterans whose paths crossed in Vietnam time and time again, but they never knew.
The former Joyce Johnson was an Army nurse in the 85Th "evac" in Vietnam. Robert Bowles was an Officer with the 101st Airborne Division. His task was to rescue the guys on the front lines. The two lived parallel lives. Both studied for their doctorates. He got divorced. She never married.
Years later, in 1980, friends told them they should meet. The phone call didn't go so well. Again, Joyce explains, "He starts telling me how busy he is, how this is important and this and that......"
That's when Robert chimes in, while laughing. "She's making it dramatic!"
"But that's the way it was," Joyce counters good-naturedly.
They married six months later. That was more than 30 years ago. They added a son to their family, and later, three grandchildren.
These doctors may have different traits, but they share something similar that their memories will never erase: their time serving our country.
Robert says, "We are very proud veterans and very proud Americans."
At the end of the day, she's still light-hearted, and he's still serious. They are an unlikely duo, who's love is more likely than even they thought from that very first phone call.
As Joyce is explaining, Robert interrupts. "She needed to meet me, she needed to meet me, I'm probably the best thing that ever happened to her!"
Joyce interrupts, "My mother said that!" I asked her if she agreed. Her answer: "Absolutely."