July 7, 2008
Marine, bride wed before 4th deployment

Couple changed wedding plans because of Iraq tour


Peggy Escobedo of Visalia said there was no more fitting day for her daughter, Sarah, to wed than Saturday — right after Independence Day.

Sarah Escobedo married U.S. Marine Sgt. Raul Tarin, who is from Fort Davis, Texas, but is stationed at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

"How appropriate to have the wedding after the Fourth [of July]," Peggy Escobedo said.

After exchanging vows and rings, the newly married couple walked under a sable guard, a "welcome-to-the-Marines-family" gesture that gave the ceremony full military honors. The wedding took place at Praise Center Church in Visalia, where Sarah's father, Arthur, is a senior pastor.

"They are true heroes. They're willing to do what we can't do," Arthur Escobedo said. "They're honoring us with their presence."

Change in plans

Originally, the wedding was planned for October, but word came that Tarin was going to be deployed for a fourth tour of duty in Iraq in the fall, prompting the couple to push up the wedding's date.

As it turns out, Tarin's deployment won't be until February, but the couple decided to keep the re-scheduled date.

"I am blessed with having such a strong woman as my wife," Tarin said.

Three tours so far

Enlisting for the military right after graduating from high school, Tarin has already completed three tours of duty.

"He's a young sergeant," said Tarin's mother, Aida. "We're very proud of his service in the military."

Sgt. Jarvis Culp, part of the guard who carried the "welcome-to-the-Marines-family" assignment, said he has known Tarin for four years and has been deployed with him, despite ending up with different assignments.

Culp said Tarin was his color guard training officer.

"He's a real mentor," Culp said of Tarin.

The newlyweds met through mutual friends while she was attending Azusa Pacific University and dated about two years before getting married.

"It was a beautiful friendship that blossomed," she said.

Golden West grad

Sarah Escobedo graduated from Golden West in 2000 and from Azusa Pacific in 2006 with a degree in Psychology. She's a guest service team leader for Visalia Target.

The couple will live in Oceanside.

Sarah Escobedo will transfer to a store in that area.

With Tarin's future deployment, his family — including the new extended side — is concerned for his safety. And Tarin could be deployed a fifth time if he continues his commitment to the military.

"We have a lot of faith that, like before, he's going to come back well," Aida Tarin said. "We have a lot of faith."

Arthur Escobedo shared Aida Tarin's conviction.

"We not only pray for him or the soldiers who are in the United States, we pray for all the soldiers," he said. "There is power in praying."