CLEVELAND - Ten veterans and their wives honored their love this Valentine’s Day by renewing their vows during a special ceremony at the Cleveland VA.
For James Bland, the vow renewal was celebrating six years of marriage — and the completion of his 28-day alcohol recovery program. He planned for 20 days to surprise his wife, Eileen, even handing her an outfit to wear as she walked down the aisle.
“I thought I was picking him up from his closing program ceremony, coming to cheer him on,” Eileen said, laughing. “This was a complete surprise! I had no idea we were doing this today.”
James Bland served 30 years in the Navy as a building engineer.
From six years of marriage — to 66 years. Donald and Rose Simmons were among the inspiring couples renewing their vows as well.
For Kenneth and Lydia Debelak, it is a reaffirmation of their love — and their 42 years of marriage.
Kenneth has been living at the VA for the last three years, suffering from a spinal cord injury and MS.
When asked what their secret is to their happy and loving marriage, Kenneth simply replied, “I love her.”
This was the second year the Cleveland VA held the ceremony on Valentine’s Day.