Love Walks In

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Stanley and Nicole Medai / Grant Morris, Nashua Telegraph

The Nashua Telegraph reports on an interesting New Hampshire wedding last weekend between a soldier wounded in Afghanistan and his bride. Last August, Stanley Medai was a gunner on a Humvee as it rumbled through Paktia Province south of Kabul. It was third in a four-vehicle convoy, headed out on a routine mission, when an IED exploded beneath the vehicle.

The blast killed two of the five 101st Airborne soldiers inside. It pulverized Private Medai’s legs — breaking both ankles, shattering his left shin, and shredding much of their flesh. He remembered his mother’s concern over the prospect of her boy in combat — with his wedding date already set for February 26, 2011 — and he told her not to worry before he shipped out. “I told her, ‘Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll roll down that aisle if I have to,'” he recalls saying. “She told me, ‘No Purple Hearts.'”

As he lay wounded in Texas, he realized two things: he failed to obey his mother, and that the doctors were wrong when they told him he wouldn’t be able to walk up the aisle with his new bride.

…With his wedding date now less than six months away, he’d be walking a whole lot sooner than the 7 to 10 months doctors told him it would take. “No way I was going to roll down that aisle.”

He made good progress, and ditched the wheelchair earlier this year, reporter Dean Shalhoup writes. Yet until recently, Medai needed help from a cane to get around. His fellow groomsmen agreed they, too, would carry canes during the ceremony. It was only two weeks ago that Medai called them and told them the canes wouldn’t be needed.

On Saturday, Nicole wore white. Her new husband wore his Army uniform. He also wore the Purple Heart his mother feared. And with his new wife by his side, Stanley Medai walked up the aisle, a bit tentatively (but what newlywed groom doesn’t), toward the cheers and applause of more than 100 family and friends.