Tuesday, November 24, 2020

There are weddings, and then there are WEDDINGS

Navy Ball 2009.

Navy Ball 2009.

By Marilyn Honahan

Paula Aldis reached out to the Coastal Breeze News recently to ask for help in making a dream come true for her and her husband, Chris Aldis. She began by telling us that she and her husband Chris met when she hosted a St. Patrick’s Day dinner and a friend of hers invited Chris. They dated briefly before Chris left for Field Medical School in North Carolina. They were only able to see each other three weekends over his two month school. He received his orders to Okinawa, Japan for one year. Before he deployed,they spent a month together in Detroit, Chris’s home town. She went back to her home in Virginia and he left for Japan.

Chris asked Paula to marry him in a letter and she sent him a poster of a big YES. They had a wedding on the beach planned but they were young and poor and so

Chris at Nolay.

Chris at Nolay.

when Chris took a cold weather training course 8 months into his tour in Japan, they met in Reno and eloped. Chris went back to Japan and Paula, back to Virginia Beach.

Four months later, they got their first orders as a married couple to Jacksonville, NC. Chris was a Combat Corpsman at the time and after two months in NC he got another set of orders to go out on a float for six months. Their first anniversary was spent apart. Chris did several other deployments, including after their son, Tyler’s adoption and his first Christmas.

Paula endured several surgeries during those years and finally in their 9th year of marriage, while traveling to their new duty station, Dallas, Texas, recruiting Medical Officers, she suffered a bad break in her already messed up foot which developed into a bone infection. Paula was treated for the infection for a year before losing her right leg

Chris with Kari and Tyler.

Chris with Kari and Tyler.

below the knee. Her surgery was 10 days prior to their tenth wedding anniversary and they had a simple anniversary in the hospital. While they were in Dallas, Chris traveled a lot and also worked on his Bachelor’s Degree online.

With their next set of orders to Virginia Beach, Paula’s home, she began feeling much better and got along fine with her prosthetic leg. They decided to adopt another child, their beautiful daughter, Kari. It was a wonderful experience for Paula as she was actually able to be in the delivery room for Kari’s birth.

Chris served several months in Iraq when Kari was 3-4 and Tyler was ten years old. He missed Kari starting Preschool and yet another anniversary. Paula’s outlook is “I feel that everything we have been through in our wonderful marriage has made us so much stronger and makes us able to handle whatever comes our way. My friends tell me

Chris attending CMDCM Meis Memorial.

Chris attending CMDCM Meis Memorial.

I am able to handle anything and nothing holds me back. I owe it all to the support I get from such a loving and supportive husband.”

They were both pretty down that their time together, prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, went by too quickly. Their promise to one another to have a dream wedding on the beach was again unfulfilled. Now their 20th anniversary is approaching and Paula wants to “make the dream come true.” Chris is coming home on leave on September 18 and the couple will be coming to Marco for a well earned vacation. Coastal Breeze News intends to honor this outstanding military couple by helping them to arrange their long awaited “Renewal of Vows-Wedding on the Beach” event for Saturday, September 24. We invite businesses and individuals to contact our office with advice, assistance, or any suggestions to make this a special day to remember for Chris and Paula. Please contact marilyn@coastalbreezenews.com for more details.

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