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Special Ops: Mission To Wed A Success

By Roger Roy

January 23, 2003
Copyright © 2003 THE ORLANDO SENTINEL. All rights reserved. 


SPC Carlos Perez.



Fort Stewart, GA. -- America’s largest military mobilization in more than a decade has untold thousands of troops, planes and ships in motion around the globe.

Amid all that, Spec. Carlos Perez pulled off his own much smaller, but entirely successful, operation that ended not in war but marriage.

Six months after moving to Orlando from Puerto Rico, Perez was planning an early February wedding when he got his orders to report to the Florida National Guard for a mobilization that may take him overseas for a year or more.

The more he thought about his fiancée, Alida Ruperto, the more he worried about her.

"I was thinking about insurance and benefits, and how she really wouldn’t be protected since we weren’t married yet," said Perez, 36, an electrical engineer assigned to the Guard’s Orlando-based 2nd Battalion, where he runs communications and electrical equipment.

The obvious solution was to get married, but there were logistics hurdles, not the least of which was that the groom was confined to base in Georgia and the bride was still in Puerto Rico.

First Perez got permission from his commanding officer to get married, then from the post commander to leave the base, then he got his sister in Fort Lauderdale to meet his fiancée when she arrived from Puerto Rico and bring her to Fort Stewart.

"The whole thing was like a military operation," Perez said.

In the end, it was mission accomplished, with Perez and Ruperto married on Jan. 14 by a judge in the courthouse at Hinesville, Ga.

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