Army

August 30, 2012

Warriors wed while deployed to Afghanistan


BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Aug. 28, 2012) — Weddings are generally associated with spring and summer, champagne and cake. They are new beginnings and grand celebrations with family and friends, not camouflage uniforms, mortar rounds and danger of hostile fire.

However, for one Army couple getting married, the “wedding” was light on champagne and heavy on Army decorum. With a lot of research, emailing, several long distant phone calls and countless piles of paperwork, they were married while in Afghanistan.

It is safe to say weddings do not happen very often in a combat zone. In fact, military chaplains do not perform marriages in theater, so after consulting with their leadership and legal department at Bagram Airfield, the Soldiers found a way to legally express their love for one another.

Sgt. Drew Fidler, 27, from Glen Rock, N.J., and Spc. Michelle Williams, 27, from Auburndale, Fla., were married by double-proxy, Aug. 22, at Bagram Airfield by a company named “A Big Sky Event” in Bigfork, Mont.

“I think weddings are pretty much for other people,” said Williams, a health care specialist (combat medic) with Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, stationed at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. “All that really matters is marrying the person you love.”

Marriage by double-proxy is a process where all the required state forms and licenses are obtained and filled out online and two designated proxies stand in for the bride and groom. A marriage ceremony is performed by a non-denominational minister, and within a few weeks a legal marriage certificate is sent to the happy couple in another state or country.

“We’ve known we wanted to get married for a long time,” said Fidler, an infantryman with the deputy command general support team, DHHB, 1st ID, also stationed at Bagram. “We just didn’t want to wait any longer, so this worked out perfectly.”

The nuptials were celebrated with an impromptu wedding reception on the rooftop of the Joint Operation Center building located at the Combined Joint Task Force -1 compound at Bagram.

In attendance were a small group of friends and co-workers who were happy to help celebrate with non-alcoholic beer and a wedding cake baked by Brig. Gen. Felix Gedney’s wife back at Fort Riley, Kan.

Gedney, the deputy commanding general-Support of 1st ID, CJTF-1 and Regional Command East, Afghanistan, said his wife wanted to bake the cake herself and his son made an Army figurine decoration to place on top, alongside decorative doves.

“I was intrigued and pleased that Montana offered a double-proxy wedding for service members to get married downrange,” said Gedney. “It’s a great story about two great American Soldiers, both serving their country in Afghanistan. They can now look forward to life as a military family and I wish them both the best for the future.”

Proxy marriages are not that uncommon for military members as they are frequently stationed abroad and are not able to join their bride- or groom-to-be physically. Nonetheless, double-proxy marriages are something of an anomaly.

Williams, a graduate of the University of South Florida, said they plan on having a ceremony on a beach in Florida within the next couple of years to celebrate with their family.

“It feels awesome, amazing,” said Fidler. “It’s special to get married here at Bagram Airfield. I never thought it was possible.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Focused on the battle against TBI’s

Gustavo Bahena Colonel Cheryl Taylor-Whitehead, commander of United States Army Medical Department Activity here, and Shannon O’ Kelley, chief operating officer of the UCLA Health System, sign a memorandum of agreement at For...
 
 

Army’s top NCO gets feedback from Soldiers, families at NTC

When the Army’s senior non-commissioned officer asks for opinions, it could be a once-in-a-career opportunity for Soldiers to make a difference for themselves, their unit, their family or the Army. That opportunity took place when Sgt.Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III visited with leadership, Soldiers, families and community members of the National Training...
 
 
trustAndRespect

Top Army NCO to NTC Soldiers: trust, respect essential to Army profession

Sergeant Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III (right) speaks with Soldiers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the National Training Center, Feb. 20. The unit provides a realistic opposition to rotational training units...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Lewis Elementary back to school

Students return to a repaired Lewis Elementary after 2013 monsoon damage. Ribbon cutting celebrates team effort during transition Gustavo Bahena On Jan. 13, children returned to Lewis Elementary School on Fort Irwin since flood...
 
 
Gustavo Bahena

Army Chief of Staff visits National Training Center

Gustavo Bahena General Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, speaks with officers of Operations Group, here, at a working lunch during his visit to the National Training Center, Jan. 30. The Army’s highest ranking general ...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Maj. Gen. Ted Martin

NTC commander receives second star

Photo courtesy Training Support Center Major Gen. Ted Martin is joined by his family after his promotion ceremony at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, Jan. 24. Wife, Stephanie, and sons Anthony and Teddy attended the...
 




One Comment


  1. [...] High Desert Warrior » Army 1 min ago by in Fort Irwin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the | RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin