Coalition in the News

Community Rallies to Give Wounded Veteran a ‘Dream Wedding’ in Georgetown

U.S. Army Sgt. Darren Downing was critically injured during a 2012 deployment to Afghanistan. Throughout his arduous six months of recovery and therapy at Walter Reed Medical Center, his girlfriend Brook put her life on hold and stayed by Downing’s side.

“She went through just as much as I did coming back home, if not more,” Sgt. Downing wrote. “I had support she didn’t…She dealt with everything on her own. I leaned on her during my whole recovery; she carried both of our weight. She watched me look myself in the mirror every day, with tears in my eyes, disgusted for what had happened to me, for the deformity that my injury had left…She was there to pick me back up and to put me back together when I didn’t know how. To this very day she still does all these things; some days are worse than others, but she is always there.”

Following advice from others, Darren and Brook married quickly, before his medical retirement was completed. Brook “agreed to get married on such short notice without her dress, without her family, and without her friends,” he continued. “She didn’t get her fairy tale wedding that she had dreamed of her whole life…She made me promise that on the exact date a year from our original marriage, we could have a real wedding ceremony.” Read More.

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