1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Bravo Company NCO Renews Vows in Airport
Staff Sgt. Paul Marler and wife, Melissa,of
Killeen renew their vows at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday,
July 18, after Marler's return from Iraq. Chaplain Leslie Grounds performed the ceremony.
4th Infantry Soldier
renews wedding vows
By Emily Baker
Killeen Daily Herald July 20, 2006
When Staff Sgt. Paul Marler stepped off an airplane that carried him from Kuwait to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday,
he was obviously stunned, an airport official said Wednesday. The Fort Hood soldier's wife, Melissa, greeted him in a wedding dress
and had a chaplain standing by so they could renew their wedding vows.
Marler, who serves with the 4th Infantry Division's Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment,
1st Brigade Combat Team, had just arrived for two weeks of rest and recuperation leave.
The vows renewal ceremony was a first for the airport, which has organized a team of volunteers who greet flights carrying troops from the Middle East
every day, said Ken Capps, the airport's vice president of public affairs. "We were very pleased to be able to work with the couple,"
Capps said Wednesday.
More than 250,000 troops have been greeted by the Welcome Home a Hero Campaign, the volunteers who cheer and shake hands
with the troops as they head from customs to connecting flights, Capps said.
Marler's wife, contacted the hero campaign and told them her idea, Capps said. "We all got so excited," Capps said. "We just had a blast with it.
(Marler) was quite, quite shocked but in a pleasant way. We just all jumped in to be her ad-hoc wedding planners."
Melissa Marler, 25, told The Associated Press she was "nervous, scared" about the ceremony, which was performed by Leslie Grounds,
a pastor who volunteers with the DFW Airport Interface Chaplaincy.
Melissa Marler carried a bouquet of yellow
roses and cried tears of joy when she saw her husband, the AP
The hero campaign arranged for the Marlers to stay at the airport's Grand Hyatt hotel, where they received champagne and flowers, Capps said.
The couple could not be reached for comment.
They were married July 15, 2001, and have spent
one other anniversary together. Marler, 28, was in Cuba,
Korea and Bosnia the other years,
the AP reported. They live in Killeen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright 2006 - Killeen Daily Herald
Jul 18, 2006 3:39 pm US/Central
(CBS 11 News) Melissa Marler stood at
the international arrivals terminal and fanned herself while she
held five yellow roses
one for each year she and her husband, Paul, have been married.
Of those five years, she's only spent one
anniversary with her husband, who has been stationed in Iraq and
around the world.
When the mother of two learned her husband was coming home from Iraq for a 15-day visit, she wanted this anniversary to be just right.
In the seven months since shes seen her husband, the 26-year-old lost 44 pounds and planned to surprise her globe-trotting spouse
with a public renewal of marriage vows.
"This is much bigger than I intended," Melissa Marler said as she looked at several dozen well-wishers and a handful of television cameras.
" I expected this to be at the end. (We would) renew our vows and that was it. I didn't know there was going to be cameras.
Hopefully he doesn't run in the opposite direction!"
As Paul Marler emerged from the gate at DFW International Airport, he showed no evidence of the weary deployment in Iraq
as he grinned to see his wife in a slim-fitting cream-colored dress.
" It makes you appreciate time you have back (at home) a lot, " the surprised soldier said.
With the airport chaplain waiting in the wings, he renewed the couples vows.
The couple's two daughters remained on post at Fort Hood. Daddy Marler called them
and promised to see them when returned home to Killeen on Wednesday.
The airport offered the Marlers a night in the airport hotels $2,000-a-night Presidential Suite for free.
It seems like every time I come back from deployment it's a honeymoon all over again, Paul Marler beamed.
With exchanges of I Love You, the two promised the make this an anniversary to remember.
(CBS 11 News )
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