MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — It was not the wedding Senior Airman Sandra Beckman had imagined.
Standing before a speaker phone in a full-length floral dress, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she said "I do" on Tuesday to Staff Sgt. Max Parris, who was thousands of miles away.
The couple intended to be married Dec. 22, after Parris returned from deployment to Saudi Arabia. However, last month, he received orders for an assignment to England. By getting married right away, the couple could be eligible for a joint assignment.
Master Sgt. David Hipp, 347th Rescue Wing career adviser, remembered seeing a proxy marriage on an old episode of the television series "M.A.S.H."
With some calls to the Air Force Personnel Center legal office and Lowndes County Probate Office, Hipp helped coordinate the wedding.
"It probably took us about a week to pull this together," Hipp said. "That’s amazing, but time was an issue."
Since the couple were not in the same room, witnesses on both ends of the line were necessary.
"There are certain things required by law, but the law is silent as to whether they have to be in the same geographic location," said Capt. John Hicks, 374th Rescue Wing Assistant Judge Staff Advocate.
Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.