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    Airmen wed during Hurricane Irma prior to rescue operations

    Airmen wed during Hurricane Irma prior to rescue operations

    Photo By David Sterphone | Senior Airmen Lauren Durham and Michael Davis exchanged vows at the Orange County...... read more read more



    Story by David Sterphone 

    Florida National Guard Public Affairs Office

    ORLANDO, Florida (Sep. 10, 2017) – Hurricane Irma’s storm-force winds couldn’t prevent two people from pledging their love for each other. Surrounded by Soldiers and Airmen from the Florida National Guard’s Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Emergency Response Force-Package, representatives from various state and federal vehicles, and a plethora of disaster response vehicles, Senior Airmen Lauren Durham and Michael Davis exchanged vows.

    Both medical technicians with the Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing Medical Detachment-1, the couple had intended to say ‘I do’ in a slightly different venue than a staging area at the Orange County Convention Center.

    Their wedding was originally scheduled to take place next week on Jacksonville Beach, but rather than sit on sidelines and watch Hurricane Irma spoil their nuptials, the couple volunteered to assist with response efforts.

    “We volunteered to come out here and support Florida,” said Durham, the new bride. “We wanted to help out with the hurricane and give some relief to the citizens.”

    “The Air Force lives by the creed ‘service before self,’” continued Davis. “So that’s what we’re here for: to put the citizens first.”

    Their first night as a married couple will, of course, be spent waiting for orders to head out on search and recovery operations with the rest of their team, a team that came together at the last minute to make their special day possible.

    Friend of the couple, Tech Sgt. Ashley Ridgeway, offered to notarize the marriage and the entire unit served as the witnesses. Even members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Emergency Support Function 13, Public Safety and Security, also currently staged at the Orange County Convention Center, attended the event.

    Even though Davis and Durham have been together for five years, they did not meet in the service, however they enjoy working together and helping the citizens of Florida. They even work together in the civilian side, both employed by UF Health Shands Hospital and currently enrolled students at Florida State College of Jacksonville.

    “I enjoy spending time with her, working together to accomplish the mission together is rewarding,” said Davis.

    “We bounce a lot of ideas off of each other and it’s great to be able to train together,” said Durham. “The Guard is already like a family so it’s even better to get to experience it together.”

    The self-proclaimed non-traditional couple have not yet decided when they will reschedule their original wedding plans for another time and potentially an alternate location depending on the severity of Hurricane Irma. Even though they are disappointed their family and friends could not attend, tying the knot surrounded by their guard family is a unique story the two of them will share for years to come.



    Date Taken: 09.10.2017
    Date Posted: 09.10.2017 20:25
    Story ID: 247690
    Location: ORLANDO, FL, US
    Hometown: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US

    Web Views: 2,466
    Downloads: 2