March 26, 2003 at 2:44 AM CST - Updated June 20 at 10:00 PM
Soldier Rushes to Marry on Base Before Deployment By: Amy Jacquin
Personal relationships of soldiers can suffer while America is at war. But we meet a military couple who purposely strengthened their bond.
We've heard about these rushed weddings before... even had a couple in our area already this year. But this one is even a little more unusual... because this couple was forced to cancel two ceremonies already!
Carrie Ann Lee is a beautiful bride. Sgt Brian Hopfer is very distinguished in his dress uniform. But this is where things get a little unusual.
"They hurriedly things together, and were married in front of his whole company!" exclaims Linda Brotherton, the groom aunt.
A chapel was exchanged for a Ft Leonard Wood base museum banquet hall. Soldiers in formation stood-in for all but a few family members and friends. But Brian's family from the Uniontown area, and his Aunt Linda of Cape Girardeau were there, and videotaped the ceremony.
"They're very much in love, and wanted to get married desperately," Linda simply explains. "Carrie wanted to be his wife before he left, and anything could happen to him."
This ceremony was originally supposed to happen this coming May in Raleigh, North Carolina. But Brian, who left active military three years ago and tranferred to the National Guard, was called into active duty this past January. So the couple planned a rush wedding for February, but...
"Brian got new orders, saying he was called back into the active army," sighs Linda. "He'd be in training, and would not have the opportunity to leave, or receive visitors. So, they cancelled that wedding, too. That was very upsetting."
But then Ft Leonard Wood announced a "deployment family weekend" last weekend... and that's when Brian and Carrie jumped at the chance to say their vows. From here, the story plays out like any other wedding... the newly weds glowing with happiness and hope... despite the fact Brian is likely heading to the Mid-East.
"He said they're ready, and wished they could have been there a month ago," says Linda.
Brian is still at Fort Leonard Wood, but expecting deployment orders any day. Carrie is living in Paducah until May, when she graduates as a dental assistant. But you can expect their hearts and minds are with each other.