From virtual to real romance, a true war love story

News Shopper: Lisa and Alex Askew. Lisa and Alex Askew.

It's a story which seems more like a plot for a cheesy chick but for Lisa and Alex Askew it could not be more real. MELISSA HILLS reports.

When Lisa joined social networking site Myspace in June 2007 she had no idea she would meet the love of her life.

She started chatting to a man called Alex who attracted her attention because of his army uniform.

But what she didn't know at that point was that he was an infantry gunner in the RAF and was in Afghanistan.

After a few weeks of chatting Lisa plucked up the courage to ask if Alex's army uniform was 'real or just a fancy dress?'.

Alex, 31, replied by saying 'it's real Lisa. I am in Afghanistan' and the relationship between them got more serious as the weeks went by.

Lisa, 32, told News Shopper: "Straight away I thought to myself, wow what a brave guy.

"It wasn't just Alex's uniform which attracted me to him. He had the most friendliest smile and caring mannerism, he listened to everything about me, without moaning or complaining about the dangerous war-zone he was living in.

"We started chatting on webcam and the romance went from there.

"Everyday for three months we would talk and he would call me from a call-box in Afghanistan.

"We both knew from the first moment we spoke on the phone that we loved each other. You could feel the tension from the sound of our voices."

Lisa would spray her letters with Chanel perfume and a pink kiss.

When Alex arrived back into the UK from Afghanistan he was deployed to RAF Lossiemouth.

Lisa, was studying a Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Therapy & Massage, but packed her life into a suitcase and booked a 15 hour coach journey to meet Alex for the first time.

Lisa said: "When Alex appeared from around the corner it was better than any movie you have ever seen, or story you have read, this was real.

"We ran towards each other, crying with joy, kissed and Alex squeezed me so tight and didn't let me go for a long time."

The couple lived in the barracks for a few months before marrying in September 2008 and Alex left the RAF in 2009.

They soon found themselves homeless and depending on help from charities, but found themselves living out of a car.

Lisa, who now works as a bands promoter, said: "Alex had a lot of pride and didn't want anyone to know, we should have gone straight to our families."

The couple went to Bexley Council and were given their current home in Darenth Road, Welling, 11 months ago.

The charity SSAFA, which helps people in the forces, gave them £5,000 worth of furniture.

Lisa and Alex have organised a big event to raise money called the SSAFA Bandfest Charity event at the Old Mill pub in Plumstead Common on May 4 from noon to 9pm to say thank you.

Five bands will be entertaining the crowds and an auction will also be held. Alex and Lisa's dad will also be playing.

Entry is free.

For more information, visit SSAFA Band Festival on Facebook.

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