Army couple surprised by media attention

An Army soldier surprised on live television with wife 100 pounds lighter is overwhelmed with all of the media attention. His wife is loving it.
An Army soldier surprised on live television with wife 100 pounds lighter is overwhelmed with all of the media attention. His wife is loving it.

LELAND, NC (WECT) - One week after a soldier returning home from Afghanistan is surprised by his wife 100 pounds lighter, the unexpected continues.

The couple has been bombarded with phone calls from media sources across the world.

"It's stressful," Specialist Larry Shaffer said from his home in Leland. "Its made it a little bit harder to adjust because I can't really relax like I want to without the phone going off ten million times a day and there have been times I wanted to pull the phone out the wall and have it unplugged," Shaffer says with a smile.

Specialist Shaffer was greeted last week by a throng of family and friends at the Wilmington International Airport. The Army soldier was returning home after a one year deployment in Afghanistan. In the midst of the all the pomp and circumstance his wife, Misty, emerged half the size she was when he last saw her a year ago.

"Wow," said Shaeffer after seeing his wife. "I'm speechless."

WECT covered the homecoming live during the 5:00 p.m. newscast. The story was posted on, Facebook, and twitter and within days, it went viral. All the major television networks phoned the Shaffer home. Radio and newspaper outlets from across the country have called. It's been the top story on Yahoo!Shine and television stations from Japan and Germany have expressed interest.

"I mean being home six days and my face is pretty much all over the internet---I'm like I don't want---didn't really want this," Shaffer said laughing.

While Larry wonders if they've bitten off more than they can chew, Misty is eating it up.

" I like it," Misty says. " I never really got any attention other than being picked on in school."

Misty says she dropped her weight by cutting down on her portions---eating fewer than 2000 calories a day. She also eats lots of protein and drinks lots of water.

"I probably used to eat six thousand calories a day," Misty says. "It was insane."

Larry and Misty have been together for six years---married for four. The high school sweethearts met in band class in high school. Larry played the drums. Misty played the flute. He says while he was surprised with her new figure, her weight was never an issue.

"She was a human being inside---she wasn't superficial," Shaffer said. She didn't base everything she did off of her looks or what everybody else would think. It's never really ever bothered me."

Her determination to lose the weight could end up being the big surprise for this couple.

The army wife, who once weighed a whopping 315 pounds, has been approached by a new weight loss company in California about being a spokesperson.

"It touches my heart," Misty said. "I never thought I could be an inspiration to somebody. It's pretty remarkable---this whole experience."

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