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Airmen say "I do" in Black Hawk.

BALAD SOUTHEAST AIRFIELD, Iraq -- Two airmen said "I do" above Iraqi soil in an Army HH-60A Black Hawk helicopter in November.

Airmen 1st Class Vernon Millican and Toni Chapman, both of the deployed security forces contingent here, pledged to spend the test of their lives together before God and four of their friends during the helicopter's training mission.

After Airman Millican made an inquiry about the Army's flying missions, Army Capt. Keith Sandoval, a pilot, gave the go-ahead, and off they went.

"I was glad they got to do their ceremony in my helicopter," the pilot said.

Chaplain (Capt.) John Von Almen officiated after some initial hesitation.

"Once I realized how loving and committed to one another the couple was, my reservations subsided," the chaplain said.

He presented the couple with a certificate commemorating the union. Since there is no formal government in Iraq to issue a marriage certificate, the United States won't formally recognize the ceremony. Nonetheless, they said they will still celebrate their anniversary in November.

Both airmen have since returned to Minot Air Force Base, N.D. After their arrival, they had a civil ceremony formally recognized by the United States. They are assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron and met more than a year ago.

--Capt. Monica M. Bland 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Detachment 1 Public Affairs
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Title Annotation:Airman's World
Author:Bland, Monica M.
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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