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marinewedding300.jpg Submitted by Joe Mauceri on Wed, 01/06/2010 - 6:33pm.

To help say thank you to our military, Saint Thomas Preservation Hall awarded one Camp Lejeune marine a free Valentine's Day wedding. The lucky winner who says he's lucky just to be able to walk down the aisle. "Me on the phone going baby we won the wedding!" "Yeah that was pretty exciting" Cory Mathis proposed to Marissa Silva in downtown Wilmington 3 months before he was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan. "waited for nighttime for all the lights to make it look nice and pretty," said Mathis. "And then got down on one knee and just proposed to her and asked her to marry me." While Cory was overseas Marissa was planning their wedding. But in October Marissa got some awful news. "Terrifying," says Marissa. "The worst phone call I've ever had." Cory was traveling through the desert when his vehicle ran over an IED. The bomb exploded right underneath his seat. Marissa said "I actually fell down on the floor. It was horrible I just started shaking." After multiple surgeries, Cory returned to the United States and was eventually well enough to plan the wedding. Marissa called about Saint Thomas Preservation Hall from the hospital room and found out about the contest. "That just immediately brightened my day up and to see here dancing around the hospital room as happy as she was," said Cory. "It really made me happy. I kind of wished I could have gotten up and danced with her." A platoon of volunteers donated their time, money and services to make the Valentine's Day wedding possible. "I keep up with what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan," says Eventz Wedding Planner Judy Bradley. "My heart and thoughts are with these guys all the time." Cory says they've helped make his dream come true. "The day I met her I kind of decided she was going to be my wife." Marissa and Cory say they can't wait to see Cory's platoon members who helped save his life when they join them at the wedding.

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