View Full Version : Marines Marry Before Shipping Out to Iraq

12-29-05, 06:39 AM
Marines Marry Before Shipping Out to Iraq
Dec 29, 2005, 06:22 AM

FOSTORIA -- For many, their wedding day marks the happiest time of their lives. But for two local Marines who said "I do!" on Wednesday, their happiness is tempered with thoughts of war and separation.

20-year-old Amanda Stephenson from Rising Sun expects to be shipped out to the Iraqi war some time in July. 18-year-old Paul Williams from Fostoria thinks he could be going as soon as March. He's stationed at Camp LeJeune. She's in Cherry Point. Both are in North Carolina. Wednesday night, they left the stress of training for war behind and became husband and wife.

Amanda and Paul are used to separation, since their posts are 45 minutes apart in North Carolina. They normally would only see each other on the weekends, but soon they won't see each other for a long time. It looks like Iraq is definitely in their futures next year. "We know how strong our love is for each other so, I'm not too worried about it," said Paul.

They've been separated for a while now since they both enlisted in the Marines this past year. So, the separation may not bother them, but the war - even with their Marine training - is in the back of their minds. "I am very worried," said Amanda. "I'm scared that he might come across IEDs or come across anything that could be dangerous to him," she added.

Paul's parents are former Marines. "The Iraqi situation? That's sort of a gamble," said Paul's father. "Roll the dice on that one," he added. "We have a lot of confidence in him," said Paul's mother Carrolyn Williams.

Amanda's dad Bill Stephenson was a Marine as well. He knows Iraq can be dangerous. "Pretty scary," he told News 11. "I don't want to see them go," said Amanda's mother Denise Stephenson. "I'd rather them stay where they're at or come home. They need to bring them all home," she said.

But for now, they'll live in North Carolina until called overseas. "We'll tell each other that we love each other and I'm always going to be there for him," said Amanda.

The couple had a mini honeymoon Wednesday night, then they pack up and get ready to go to North Carolina on Friday. They're hoping the military will allow them to get a home together off base now that they are married.

Paul and Amanda plan on saving the money they get from going into combat, so when they return from Iraq they'll have a bigger wedding at home.

Posted by AEB