William and Peggy Kirkland

William and Peggy Kirkland

William and Peggy Kirkland will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on June 16. The two met in 1955 when they were in 5th grade in Fallbrook, Calif., where Bill’s father was stationed at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. They grew up with the same teachers and same neighbors.

“We had and still have the greatest friendship ever, which turned into love,” said Peggy.

After graduating from high school in 1963, Bill joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He proposed to Peggy in 1965, and when he got home from Vietnam in March 1967 he asked her to come to Georgia with him.

She said that began the first of many moves and new adventures, starting with her first ride on a train to get to Georgia. They married in Brunswick. Bill joined the U.S. Air Force and continued his military career as an instructor working on airplanes. He and Peggy went to Wichita Falls, Texas; George AFB, Calif.; Moody AFB, GA; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; back to Moody AFB and Wichita Falls AFB and then to Alconbury AFB in England, where they were stationed during during the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

After retiring from 23 years of military service, Bill worked on aircrafts as a civilian in California until 1990 when he and Peggy moved to Forsyth where they have made their home since. Bill worked for D.O.T. law enforcement and lab tech for 18 years before retiring in 2010.

“It was great to be a part of this with this special person I fell in love with when we first met,” said Peggy.

The Kirklands have two children, three grandchildren, one great grandchild and have had many foster children over the years. Bill is pastor of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church on Spear Road in Forsyth.