Ray and Sheri’s Wedding

It is important to keep in mind that our veterans are first and foremost people. Heroes for sure, but people who live lives, fall in love, marry and have children, all the things one would hope for those who serve us all. Some never get that chance, having sacrificed their future for ours. Some are seriously injured in our service and must adapt to life after sacrifice.

Here is one such story, a Marine story, but a story that embraces love, hope, determination and faith in the future that should serve as a model for us all.

Ray and Sheri’s Wedding

Many of you will remember Cpl. Ray Hennagir, USMC. He was one of the first heroes from Operation Iraqi Freedom to be assisted by GOE. I had the honor of being on his escort ride home and at his benefit. That was nearly a year ago. Since then, Ray, who lost both legs to a terrorist IED, has gone skiing, horse back riding, various styles of boating, plays hockey and feels anything but sorry for himself. Recently, we posted a newspaper article that concerned Ray and his then fiancée Sheri. Well, it is my distinct honor to announce that this past weekend I attended the wedding ceremony of these two young heroes. Sheri has officially received the title of Marine wife, which is, without a doubt, the toughest job in the Corps.

The ceremony took place in the Rose Garden at Walter Reed Army Hospital . Not even the 98 degree temps could put a damper on the ceremony. Ray’s best man served both combat deployments with him and gave a moving toast in which he said, in part, “Ray and I have been through a lot of tough times together. May there be nothing but good times ahead for him and Sheri.” Another Marine that served in Iraq with Ray also came in for the wedding.

One of the most moving parts of the ceremony was the other wounded in attendance. Two Marines who were wounded in the same action rose from their wheelchairs onto prosthetics to honor Ray. To see these three warriors walk, without assistance, moved me to tears. Tough guy that I am, I was very happy to be wearing sunglasses because I could not keep the tears from escaping. These fine young men insisted that I take a photo with them. Since they are all Marines I was slightly afraid that lightning would strike, but I was honored beyond description to stand with them.

I was paid the highest compliment by one of these young heroes when he thanked me not only for GOE’s assistance, but for my personal service in the military. As I welcomed him home and thanked him for his service he gripped my hand, looked me in the eye and said, “It’s only because of you who came before that we even exist. We’re just riding on your coat tails.” Even now it moves me to write the words. These men and women who serve now are saving the world, and to be counted amongst their number as veteran is a high honor indeed. Congratulations Ray and Sheri, I love you both and offer you my sincerest wishes for a happy life. Semper Fi Marines. Manchu

Chris Hill
National Director for Operations
Gathering of Eagles

Pictures of the Wedding can be found here.

May God Bless and shine his love upon Ray and Sheri, and may they have a long, happy and productive life together.
God Bless the US Marine Corps
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