I looked at myself in the mirror. “Ryan you look Beautiful.” Grammy whispered. Grammy was my Mom’s Grandma but was like a mom to
her. I smiled at my reflection. I had on my wedding dress as well as my hair in a bun at the top of my head. It had loose curls hanging from it as well as a blue forget-me-not pin in the side. My
make-up was perfect. I looked at Mom as she smiled, tears rolling down her face.
“Thank you.” I smiled as Bailey cooed at me. She was in my arms; thank god she was awake for this. She had on
this beautiful marine blue dress. She had on a red bow on her head that was made into a headband so she could wear it since she still had no hair.
“Okay let’s check. Do you have everything?” Mom asked as Grammy took Bailey.
“I think so.” I said picking up my flowers.
“Something barrowed?” I held up Poppy’s dog tags, just like mom used at her wedding.
“Something new?” Grammy asked. I pointed to the dress.
“Lastly something blue?” I pointed to the forget-me-not in my hair. Mom nodded. “That’s everything.” A knock came at the door. “You
ready for this?” She asked.
“More than ever.” I whispered. Mom opened the door as Dad came in, in full dress blues. He looked at me and I saw tears in his
“Baby you look amazing.” He smiled taking my hand as I walked over to him.
“Thank you Daddy.” I smiled kissing his cheek.
“You ready to marry your marine baby?” He smiled as we started to walk over to the doors to the chapel were the wedding was
“More than ever.” I said again as the music started to play inside. I watched all my bridesmaids walk down the aisle as I walked
behind them. I saw Tanner standing there with Hunters hand on his shoulder as Tanner grinned like an idiot. He looked over at me as I smiled at him. He was in full dress blues smiling at me. Dad
took my hand in his.
“Tanner you take care of my baby you got that?” Tanner nodded.
“Yes Sir.” He said as Dad kissed my cheek putting my hand in Tanner’s before walking over to where Mom was sitting. Tanner pulled me
up to look at pastor. “You look beautiful.” He whispered. I smiled at him.
“You do too.” The pastor cleared his throat looking at us smiling. We both shut up and looked at him.
“Dear Family and Friends, we are gathered here today in the sight of God and the Marines to witness this exchange of vows, and see
the love that these two dedicated, loving people have for one another.” I took a deep breath and looked at Tanner as he took my hand in his.
“Wilt thou, Tanner Williams, take Ryan Banks (who was once referred as the "dependent"), as your Family Member, to dwell together in so far as the Marines will permit? Wilt thou love her, comfort
her via the Postal Service or over the phone, make sure she knows where the commissary, Exchange, and church are and what time she is scheduled to use the laundry room the DAY she arrives, wherever
you are stationed? Wilt thou attempt to tell her more than 24 hours in advance that you will be leaving for two weeks, beginning the next morning? This especially applies to the years you will live
in a foreign country!”
Tanner smiled at me. “I do.” We looked back at the Pastor.
“Wilt thou, Ryan Banks, take this Marine as thy wedded husband, knowing that he is depending upon you to be the perfect (well, almost) Marine Wife, running the household as you see fit and being
nice to the Commander's Wife? Further, you understand that your life with your husband (little that you may have together) will not be normal, that you may have to explain to your children, not
once, but twice, and more often in the same day, that mothers do have husbands. This Marine is their daddy, who loves them very, very much.
“Wilt thou love, respect and wait for him, preparing his favorite meals when he does come home, freezing them when he doesn't, send him all his favorite cookies and pictures of yourself and the
kids, so he can remember what you look like? And last but not least, put on the outside of your door his ‘Welcome Home’ sign when he's do to arrive?”
I took a deep breath again and nodded. “I do.” The Pastor smiled. Asher walked up to the two of us in his little suit making me
smile at him. He held the ring barrower pillow with the two rings on it. He smiled at us. Tanner took my wedding band of the pillow and looked at me.
“Tanner, please repeat after me. “I, Tanner Williams, take thee Ryan Banks, as my independent wife from 1900 to 2200 hours or as
long as allowed by my Commanding Officer (subject to change without notice) for better or worse, earlier or later, near or far, and I promise to look at the pictures you send me, maybe not when
they get to me on the ship, but before I turn the lights out. I will also send a letter if time permits, and if not, to somehow, some way, make time.” Tanner repeat what he said with a grin on his
face so big he looked like the chestier cat. He slid the ring onto my ring finger right on top of my engagement ring. It was the same gold but had five diamonds going around the top. It fit
perfectly on my finger. I knew he would choose the right one. I picked the simple gold band off the pillow and looked at Tanner.
“Ryan, please repeat after me. ‘I, Ryan Banks, take thee, Tanner Williams, as my live-in/live-out husband, realizing that your coming and going and 0330 staff meetings are a normal (although absurd
to me) part of your life as a Marine. I promise not to be shocked or taken by surprise when you inform me that, although we've just arrived at out new duty station, we will be leaving within the
month. Yes, I'll have you as my husband as long as, while you are away, my allotment comes through regularly, and that you leave me a current power of attorney and the checkbook at all times. I am
a Family Member and proud of it, dependent upon myself and my resources. Although I miss you when you are away, I know I can handle whatever comes across my path.’” I repeat what he said before
sliding the ring onto Tanner’s ring finger. He smiled at me and mouth ‘I love you’.
“Now then, let no man or woman put asunder what God and the Marines have brought together, only for them to soon say 'Goodbye' to one another. The Marines hereby issues this lovely, dedicated,
independent, woman, knowing that she'll be an asset not only to your marriage, but also to the Mission of the United States Marines, which is, as you all know to remain in a state of Readiness'.
By the authority vested in the Bible, elaborated in the regulations and subject to current directives concerning the aspects of marriage in the Marines, you are now a Marine with Family Member.
Marine, you may now kiss your bride.” The crowd roar as Tanner took me into his arms and pressed a kiss to my lips. “Ladies and Gentleman, Woman and Marines, I am proud to present to you all
Gunnery Sergeant Tanner Lucas Williams and Mrs. Ryan Patricia Williams. Best Wishes and Good Luck.” Tanner pressed his lips to mine again as we turned to go down the aisle hand in hand, arm in arm.
We walked down into the line of Marines holding up their swords for us to walk under. Dad called out orders for the Marines as we walked under them. The last one dropped making us
“I want to see a kiss.” One of Tanner’s friends grinned at us. Tanner turned to me taking my face in his hands and kissing me
passionately like it was the last thing he will ever do. When we pulled apart I heard cheering. I looked over at the Marine as he smirked. “Welcome to the Marine Corps Ma’am.” He said smacking my
ass with his sword.
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