Do you take this sergeant?

Couple on leave from Iraq weds at hospital

Couple on leave from Iraq weds at hospital

September 22, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Two soldiers on leave from Iraq were married Friday afternoon in a simple ceremony at Washington County Hospital, where the groom's mother works as a nurse.

Army Sgt. Ronald Cummings Jr. and Sgt. 1st Class Diane Garces planned to get married at the courthouse until the groom's mother's coworkers planned a ceremony for the hospital meditation room.

"In the Army, if you don't take the opportunity when it presents itself, you'll regret it," Ronald Cummings Jr. said.

"Everything has been kind of overwhelming," he said.

The couple got engaged in June. Diane Cummings wore her engagement diamond, its ring slightly too big for her finger, while serving in Iraq.

She tightened her ring by wrapping it with Army green duct tape.

The Cummingses began dating about two years ago and serve in the same unit - but not the same company - and work across the hall from each other.


After the ceremony, the couple was whisked away to City Park in a white Escalade provided for the afternoon by Hoffman Automotive.

Ronald and Diane Cummings initially planned on getting married in Spain, but they decided to return home for the wedding to be with family.

"It's just nice to be back," said Diane Cummings, whose family is in Waco, Texas.

"Walking around without weapons ... that's nice, too."

The groom's parents, Ronald Cummings Sr. and Natalie Cummings, were on hand Friday for the ceremony.

Natalie Cummings credited her boss, Amy Farmer, for planning the nuptials and reception when she found out the couple was in Hagerstown to be married.

"She (Amy) did everything," Ronald Cummings Sr. said, who wore a red rose matching the bride's bouquet pinned to his jacket.

Hospital Chaplain Katherine Lippy married the couple in a Christian ceremony. Lippy called marriage ceremonies a "sacred privilege."

"It was an honor to do it," she said.

Hospital staff chipped in to give the couple a gift certificate to a local restaurant and a local bed and breakfast, hospital spokeswoman Nicole Jovel said.

The newlyweds must return to Baghdad by Oct. 3 to complete their tours of duty.

Both intend to serve in the Army for at least another four to five years, they said.

Once their tours in Iraq are complete, the Cummingses plan on having a large church wedding, but they didn't want to wait to tie the knot.

"We definitely knew," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles