- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 5, 2003

BALTIMORE (AP) — Army Spc. Adrian Dupree, stationed with U.S. troops in Baghdad, made a solemn pledge to his fiancee, Mieasha Pompey.

“When I get home from leave we’ll get married,” he promised during daily calls. “We’ll plan it for one week from the day I get home.”

Spc. Dupree kept that pledge this weekend in a brief ceremony punctuated by tears and laughter before 120 family members and friends.

The 24-year-old Army reservist was part of the first contingent of U.S. troops to touch down Sept. 26 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport for 15 days of rest and relaxation.

For Spc. Dupree the past week has been anything but rest and relaxation. After all, he had a wedding to help plan.

“It’s been hectic,” he acknowledged a few days before Friday-night’s ceremony. “I haven’t had time to relax much.”

Miss Pompey said: “It’s been really fun, dragging him around to this place and that. He’s been really good about it, kind of cute, in fact.”

The couple exchanged vows in the banquet hall of a family friend’s restaurant. Miss Pompey cried throughout the ceremony, which ended with the Rev. St. George Crosse praising Spc. Dupree for his sense of duty and responsibility.

“Go back [to Iraq] knowing that friends and others will be looking out for you, most of all that God is looking out for you. … Thank God for young men who are not running away from anything.”

Mrs. Dupree, now a military wife, said she has been following events in Iraq worriedly.

“I watched a lot of news,” she said. “Every time I turned on the TV and saw that someone was hurt, I would cry. He’d tell me he had to go out on a mission the next day and I’d be very worried until I heard from him again. He’d tell me no news is good news, but I’d still worry.

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