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The road to a wedding is often difficult and beset by strife and complications. Finding and booking the right venue, making a guest list, choosing a dress and invitations–all take a lot of time and effort to get right. One can spend days on end hammering out the finer details, and you’re still not guaranteed that the day will go off without a hitch. Indeed, wedding planning is so stressful for some, that they are choosing to forgo a wedding entirely.
But for one couple, the bumps in the road were par for the course. Two Air Force veterans, whose lives had both been beset by struggle and tragedy prior to their meeting just couldn’t seem to tie the knot. Twice postponed, Kiersten Downs and Thomas Martineau could not seem to find the luck to actually get married. First, logistics reared their ugly head, forcing the two to postpone their wedding, though they were engaged only several months after their meeting. They finally set a date and ran the gamut of wedding planning, when disaster struck and Martineau was hospitalized days before they were set to wed.
The two veterans had their fair share of personal crises and harrowing journeys prior to meeting. Downs planned a 3800 mile cross country bike trip as a way to process the horrors she experienced in the midst of the Iraq war, but the trip came at a price. And Martineau was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident ended his Air Force career in 2008. Despite the challenges, the two finally set a second wedding date, and it seemed they might just have the wedding of their dreams. But as their preparations progressed, Downs was increasingly preoccupied with her Ph.d, and failed to notice that Martineau was harboring a big secret.