Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Miracle Wedding

Holger at Holger Awakens tells us about his weekend when he attended "the miracle wedding." Read this touching story of the tragedy and triumph that brought two military heroes together.

This past weekend, I traveled to attend a wedding. Yeah, I can hear you now...."big deal, Holger!" Well, you see, this wasn't just an ordinary wedding, folks ... this was a "Miracle" wedding.

I sat in the overflow loft of a little country church in rural Oregon on Saturday and saw Christopher Frost and Catherine Neary exchange their vows, to promise to love each other forever and ever until death do them part. What most of you don't know, is that this member of the Airforce and this medically discharged member of the Army had to pass Death on their way to the altar.

Let me share this regarding the service of Tech. Sgt. Christopher Frost of the U.S. Air Force (from OurMilitaryHeroes):

On May 18, 2008, while conducting a counter-improvised explosive device mission in Iraq, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Christopher J. Frost was seriously wounded when the vehicle in which he was riding struck a large, buried IED.

The explosion severely injured three personnel and killed one, Frost said. I lost my right leg below the knee, sustained severe injuries to my left foot and ankle and broke the orbit of my right eye. Other than losing my right leg, the physical therapy I need for my left foot, and learning to use a prosthetic, I do not feel that my injury has changed me. I did not suffer a brain injury, nor do I suffer from any [post-traumatic stress disorder].
As Weapons Intelligence Flight team leader for Weapons Intelligence Team 1, Multi-National Division North Weapons Intelligence Section, in Joint Task Force Troy at Forward at Operating Base Brassfield-Mora, Iraq, from Dec. 9, 2007, to May 20, 2008, Frost is described as providing flawless support to the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, and associated units.
When he first arrived in Iraq, Frost was directly responsible for the acquisition, distribution and maintenance of more than $2 million worth of technical exploitation and force protection equipment. His efforts resulted in the overwhelming success of more than 400 combat missions conducted in the most lethal area of Iraq's Salahuddin province.
Despite his injuries, Frost plans to remain in the Air Force for seven more years until retirement. He also plans on keeping his Air Force specialty code of 3E871, explosive ordnance disposal.
Now,  let me share something regarding the bride, Army Spec. Catherine Neary (from af.mil):
"This afternoon, being at Ground Zero, that's very emotional," said Army Spc. Catherine Neary. "It's something that I won't forget."
Specialist Neary was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring while serving at Camp Victory, Iraq.
And this is from Cat's blog regarding the moment she was diagnosed with the tumor while in medical unit in Baghdad:
That morning I finally see the surgeon and the first thing he tells me, "hun I'm not going to sugar coat this for you" and went on to tell me they had found a 4cm tumor on the head of my pancreas. I was going to be medivaced to Walter Reed in Washington DC and have a very hard surgery to remove it. IF I was lucky and they had found this in time, hopefully chemo would save me and I could recover from this.
I took this in, listening carefully...I was so glad to finally have a reason for being sick, that I wasn't just making it up or looking for attention. So when he asked if I had any questions, I asked just one. "Sir, will I get to come back to Iraq and be with my unit?"
Now, I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing Catherine Neary for a couple of years through a blogging network - I first met her when she was serving in Iraq and along with many of her other friends, we lived through the crisis of her diagnosis of a pancreatic tumor and her transport out of Camp Victory in Baghdad to Germany and then on to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland where G_d answered our prayers and surgeons successfully removed her tumor.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting her now husband, Christopher, and saw just what Catherine had seen in him when they met at Walter Reed - an honorable man, a good man and yes, a warrior.

So, as I stood in that little loft in that country church this weekend and I saw these two people who had been willing to dedicate their lives to America's service, well it was emotional - as I saw Chris, thisBronze Star recipient, walk to the back of the altar to light the unity candle with his prosthetic and Cat join him, knowing of her scar under the gorgeous wedding grown...well, I couldn't quell the emotion. How G_d has blessed this young couple - knowing each of them has so narrowly escaped death while in the service of their country, only to meet while healing at Walter Reed...well, man, it's what movies are made of!
This is my chance to tell the whole world how proud of you, I am Cat! And also my chance to tell Christopher again - thank you sir, for your service and sacrifice to this country.

May G_d bless them, and hold them and make their days together forever bright.

(Photo courtesy of: Birkenstock Cowboy)

Posted by Holger @ Holger Awakens

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