Wounded Marine’s dream wedding is fulfilled by A Warrior’s Wish® program with military K-9 by his side
SAN DIEGO, Cali (July 12, 2017) – Longing for a chance to share the ceremony he and his wife never had with family and friends and for the opportunity to celebrate life, San Diego-based Marine Staff Sgt. Mark Daniels recently received A Warrior’s Wish® of a dream wedding from Hope For The Warriors®.
With their two daughters, Aurora and Annaliliy, his military service dog, Aura, and 60 family members and friends, Mark and his wife, Jesca, renewed their vows in their home state of Missouri on June 8.
Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope to service members, their families, and families of the fallen. Its first established program, A Warrior’s Wish, honors the goals and desires of severely wounded service members, veterans, and their families.
Mark and Jesca originally married on her birthday in May of 2009, just one month after losing their first-born child, Jaxon. Blessed to have each other, they married without family or friends present, forgoing a formal wedding.
“We are amazed and honored to know that A Warriors Wish is available to so many Wounded, giving opportunities for dreams to come true is truly a beautiful mission,” said Jesca Daniels. “On a more personal note, we are eternally grateful and humbled for the opportunity to celebrate our love and life with the people that we love, we would not have been able to make this happen without Hope For The Warriors. This whole experience will be one our family will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
Mark is currently in his eleventh year as an active-duty Marine, beginning his career in 2004 when he was 21. He first deployed to Iraq in 2006, and again in 2008 with a third deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.
On June 8, 2013, two days after of his youngest daughter’s heart surgery, Daniels and his military K9, Aura, were returning from patrol when their vehicle hit an IED resulting in injuries for them both.
Following the trauma, he was awarded a purple heart and offered medical retirement. However, he declined and kept serving while in recovery which included a one-year unaccompanied tour to Japan in 2015.
Choosing to renew their vow four years to the date of Mark’s combat injuries, he and Jesca wished to celebrate his life, the gift of family, and the new beginnings ahead by having a formal wedding ceremony marking their “new normal.”
“Due to deployments or being stationed far away from home, many military members make numerous sacrifices including having traditional weddings,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder, president and CEO of Hope For The Warriors. “It brings us all, here at Hope For The Warriors, such joy that Mark and Jesca finally had the wedding of their dreams, while celebrating new beginnings, and creating memories with their friends and family in attendance.”
Hope For The Warriors assisted with the family’s wish by covering the ceremony venue, reception/wedding package and lodging for the Daniels’ family destination celebration. As well as, the airfare and lodging for three wedding attendants.
In addition, veteran-owned The Bustle Bridal Boutique in Del Mar, California donated Jesca’s wedding dress, complete with alterations. And in St. Louis, the family received donated items from Stallone’s Formal Wear, Southern Floral Shop and Party Starter DJ Co.
Prior to the wedding, Mark and Jesca received support from a longtime Hope For The Warriors partner, Anheuser-Busch, which provided a family day of fun at its Grant’s Farm including animal encounters, a private tour of the grounds and lunch. And on a separate day, family and friends enjoyed a private tour of the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
In 2017, 12 wishes will be granted through Hope For The Warriors. The wishes fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.
Since the program’s inception, A Warrior’s Wish has granted 166 wishes.
Donations are still being accepted to sponsor Daniels’ wish. For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for the A Warrior’s Wish program, contact Lindsay Holzer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 295-2544.
To apply for a wish, visit hopeforthewarriors.org/story/19331538/a-warriors-wish and register online.
For more photos: http://bit.ly/2sSHEqn. Please credit Vintage Lens Photography.
About Hope For The Warriors:
Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served more than 13,000 through a variety of support programs focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connections to community resources. The nonprofit’s first program, A Warrior’s Wish, has granted 166 wishes to fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of more than 22,000 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook or Twitter.