Here to Stay
updated 06/11/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/11/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT
The past 18 months haven't been easy. Johnson, 26, who was busted from lance corporal to private for using forged papers to help his bride-to-be escape, says some Marines "really treated me like crap" before his honorable discharge in October. Al-Khalifa had to contend with homesickness, deportation proceedings, even death threats from Muslim fundamentalists. "I was very afraid," she says.
Now with her status resolved, the couple are putting their plans in gear. For at least the next year or two they expect to stay in Las Vegas, where Johnson has relatives. After they finish collaborating on a book about their romance, both hope to pursue college degrees. They are eager to start a family—as well as to reestablish a relationship with Al-Khalifa's. "I don't know if I will ever see my sisters or my parents again," says the princess, "but that is my dream."