By Staff Sgt. Rob Strain, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsApril 21, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - Wedding bells may have been ringing at Contingency Operating Location Q-West's Liberty Chapel, but this was not a typical wedding ceremony.
Instead of a white gown for the bride and a tuxedo for the groom, they were both dressed in Army Combat Uniforms, just like the guests and the chaplain.
Instead of a band or an organist, there was an iPod playing the music.
And - the couple was already married.
Sgt. Christopher Jones and Spc. Elyse Jones, a food service specialist and a logistics specialist both with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), renewed their vows to each other during a ceremony here April 13.
The renewal comes exactly one year after they got married, Christopher, a Camden, N.J., native, said.
The couple met in 2008, while stationed in Daegu, South Korea, and got married in a courthouse in Killeen, Texas, on April 13, 2008, Christopher said.
According to Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hutton, a Honolulu native and the battalion's supply noncommissioned officer in charge, Elyse mentioned renewing their vows when they returned, but Hutton suggested doing it here.
"I told her, 'Why not do it here''" Hutton said.
The idea to renew their vows in Iraq started out playful, Elyse said.
"I didn't know they would run with it," Hutton said.
"It was a joke," Elyse said.
While it may have started as a joke about a week before the ceremony, the couple took it very seriously.
After checking with the battalion chaplain, things started moving forward and the date was set - April 13, the couple's anniversary, Hutton said.
The renewal ceremony was a first for Capt. Brent Crosswhite, the battalion's chaplain. He had done renewal ceremonies before, but never while deployed.
"It's a good way to help a marriage become stronger," Crosswhite, a Blanchard, Okla., native, said. "Another to we can use to encourage long-lasting relationships."
They wanted to do something on their first deployment together - something to remember their first anniversary, Christopher said.
"We didn't want anything all big and extravagant," Christopher said. "Just something that was very significant to us.
"We really didn't know if we were going to get a chance like this again," he added.
Renewing their vows was important to Elyse because they didn't get to write their own at the wedding last year.
"We didn't have our own vows the first time," Elyse said. "It was a treat to actually speak what we felt."