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FL National Guard airmen get married while waiting out Irma

That's what two members of the National Guard told each other when they made a decision to cancel their wedding in order to help with hurricane relief efforts in Florida, where at least five people died as Hurricane Irma hammered the state with punishing winds and torrential rains.

Durham had originally planned to Wednesday her now-husband, fellow senior airman Michael Davis, the second weekend of September in an intimate beach wedding-but when the waters of Hurricane Irma began to set in on Florida, they were forced to toss their wedding plans aside and were deployed indefinitely to assist with the rescue. Instead, the couple volunteered to assist with the hurricane response efforts - and on September 10, they tied the knot in the Orange County Convention Center, the staging area for the Florida National Guard's Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Emergency Response Force-Package. "We wanted to help out with the hurricane and give some relief to the citizens".

It started out as a joke, and it just kind of unfolded. "And it turned out to be really great".

The couple's best friend, Tech Sgt. Ashley Ridgeway, notarized the marriage, "and the entire unit served as the witnesses", according to the National Guard.

Durham and Davis have not yet decided whether they will plan another ceremony for friends and family.

In a Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 photo provided by the Orange County government Lauren Durham and Michael Davis kiss after they are married at the Orange County Convention Center in Orange, Fla. Thousands more guardsmen from across the country are also helping with the operation.

"Service before self", said Davis of the affair.

Five deaths have been reported in Florida while in the Caribbean, at least 24 were people were killed during Irma's destructive trek. By Monday morning, Irma had weakened to a tropical storm but continues to wreak havoc as it marches northward toward Georgia.



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