Mike Bowsher, the owner of Carl Black Automotive, sponsors many military events at his dealership. With the help of Operation Homefront, Mike is able to give back to those serve our country. Mike is also the owner of Spring Lake, a new wedding facility located in Rockmart, GA. “Our goal from day one has always been to create a wedding venue that brings the outdoor feeling into your wedding.” Mike and his partners created a venue with a custom cedar arch set between willow trees by the lake along with a rustic lodge style building, antique wedding pews, sunset and a white horse, this is the place where wedding dreams come true. Mike got an idea to give back in a totally new way. So he and Renty Haney, also a co-owner of Spring Lakes, decided to donate a dream wedding to a military couple.
Mike called Operation Homefront and told them his plans. They decided to make it an essay contest with a twist. The essays were to be written by the service member’s mother. Operation Homefront sent out an email to active military stationed in Georgia making the announcement about the essay contest for A Vintage Dream Wedding Giveaway. Service members asked their mothers to write a 1-2 page essay telling the story why their child and fiance should be selected to win. Out of 100s of entrants, only one couple could be chosen. Many of the stories we read were very typical of a military marriage. “My son found out that he was going to be deployed in 5 days. Although he and his fiance had planned a wedding with our family and friends, they chose to go to the courthouse to make it legal the day before he left for Afghanistan.” After reading all the beautiful stories we selected a couple that had not been married yet and are facing deployment later this year.
Dustin was with his family watching a news report about the US Military’s rescue of victims from the earthquake that almost leveled Haiti. Dustin looked at his mom, “I need to make a difference in the world. Im going to look into joining the military”.
Patricia is the mother of 24 year old Dustin and the mother that wrote the winning essay. I spoke to her today and almost off the bat, she told me she was having a bad day. I wasn’t sure why she told me or what she meant, but later in our conversation I found out that Dustin is her only son. Dustin is stationed at Fort Stewart Georgia, but he is currently at Ft. Polk La: a training station prior to deployment to Afghanistan. It being Memorial Day she was full of fear for her son. His mother did her best to hide her anxiety about Dustin’s future. I was relieved to hear her become relaxed and excited as we continued to talk about the wedding, her son and his fiancé.
“I still can’t believe this. I never win anything!” She was still in disbelief that her story of ‘A Life of A New Adventure’ was enough to win a dream wedding for her son. The winner of the essay contest was notified on Friday May 11th, 2 days before Mother’s Day. It also happened to be the day that Dustin was able to come home on leave and put an engagement ring on Katrise’s finger. I told Patricia “this wedding is supposed to be”. She agreed.
Dustin met Katrise during a field trip in middle school. Patricia remembers the first time she met Katrise. “I met her when she came to our home so Dustin could help her with her math homework.” Little did Patricia know that Katrise was going to be her daughter-in-law one day. Although they didn’t date, they maintained their friendship over many years despite attending different high schools, colleges, living in different states and developing other relationships. Then one day Dustin & Katrise feel in love. On September 19, 2011, it was announced, via “Facebook”, that Dustin Edward Haecker is in a relationship with Katrise Roman!
Katrise Roman is 24 years old and is majoring in criminal justice and currently an intern with the U.S. Marshal Service in Miami, Florida. Katrise has worked her way through high school and college, she is putting herself through school. She also has a full-time job on top of college and her internship. She is a determined young lady. Kat lives with her mother not far from where Dustin grew up.
We will continue to post about the upcoming nuptials and Dustin and Katrise’s wedding plans.
We would like to thank the vendor’s who have donated their time and services to make Dustin’s and Katrise’s dream wedding. Thank you Mike Bowsher for donating the venue, http://www.carlblack.com/. Renty Haney for donating the flowers and coordinating the wedding, http://www.georgiavintageweddings.com/. Photos, Pam Jones at Paris Mountain Photography, http://www.parismountainphotography.com/. DJ, John Vandiver at The Rolling Road Show, http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/west-gas-wedding-disc-jockey-temple/website/f08a939840239c70.html. Invitations, Amanda Voyles at Especially Yours Design http://www.especiallyyoursdesign.com/. The food, The owners of The Steakhouse, Rockmart, Ga., http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Steak-House/118344355976. Hair and Make up- Kristin and Nisha at A Glamour Affair, http://www.aglamouraffair.com/.