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Oklahoma National Guard soldiers marry while responding to Hurricane Harvey

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BEAUMONT, Texas – When it comes to planning a wedding, brides often obsess about the details of their big day.

However, months of planning went out the window when a couple of Oklahoma Army National Guard soldiers were called to help following Hurricane Harvey.

Cpl. Donald Hamilton met Spc. Rainey Jackson just a few months before they were deployed to Ukraine.

“The rest is history,” Hamilton told the Oklahoma Army National Guard. “We’re just made for each other.”

The couple was planning to get married in November, but then they were called to Texas to help with recovery missions.

While Hurricane Harvey disrupted almost every aspect of their lives, the soldiers weren’t going to let it rain on their big plans.

The United Service Organization began planning a wedding for the couple and got food, photographers and the chaplain all set up for the couple.

However, they still needed a musician.

While out on a mission, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 79th Infantry Regiment came across a pastor trying to salvage waterlogged benches from his church.

“I was trying to get these oak pews out of the church when this black van comes up and out pops these soldiers,” said Pastor Mike Deasy.

After getting the benches out of the church, the soldiers asked Deasy, who was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, if he could provide music for the wedding.


Hamilton and Jackson were married in front of their fellow soldiers in Beaumont, Texas earlier this week.

“After seeing so many people, who have lost so much, this ceremony is a bright spot in my day. But I have probably never been so nervous in all of my life,” Hamilton said.