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.


 
 

 
front_page

Fort Irwin Soldiers honored at Armed Forces Day event

Children surround Spc. Matthew Bragg – of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment – for a photo opportunity at the 2015 Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade, May 16.   Leadership, Soldiers and civilian employe...
 
 

News Briefs June 2015

Now through Aug. 5 SAC Summer Camp. 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday. 1322 Pork Chop Hill. The Fort Irwin School Age Center Summer Camp Program accommodates children from kindergarten to fifth grade. SAC encourages physical, emotional, and social development through the following service areas: sports, fitness, and health options; life skills, citizenship...
 
 
Sgt. Erik Thurman

Memorial Day ceremonies supported by 11th ACR

Sgt. Erik Thurman Major Bradley Lang addresses an audience during a Memorial Day ceremony at Desert View Memorial Park in Victorville, Calif., May 25. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment had the honor of participating in three Me...
 

 

Garrison command team will miss installation, great people

For the command team of Col. Jon Braga and Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Esmurria, leaving Fort Irwin in July will be a bittersweet moment. The two have been at the helm of Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison, the organization that manages the cantonment area of this military installation, since mid-2013. It will be 24...
 
 
Leslie Ozawa

NTC bids farewell to post CSM, hails interim

Leslie Ozawa National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin congratulates Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers. Travers received a Legion of Merit award for his service to the NTC as post command sergea...
 
 
IMG_5348

11th ACR Horse Detachment demonstrates tradition

Sgt. 1st Class Roman Hacker leads fellow Horse Handlers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Horse Detachment on a beach ride at Salinas River State Beach in Marina, Calif., May 8.   Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse welcom...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>