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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
November 23, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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November 23, 2012

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Military couple returns to Isle of Romance to plan wedding "---o. Brandi Tucker's son Cody welcomes Lewis home from his second tour of duty. Following a one-year tour in Afghanistan, a solidier and his fiance visit Avalon to plan their big event BY THERESA CUMMINGS In June 2011, the Islander re- ported on a romantic weekend for Sgt. Steve Lewis and his sweet- heart Brandi Tucker. He had completed a tour of duty in Iraq and was headed for another tour in Afghanistan. He surprised Tucker with a visit to Catalina in order to propose b e- fore heading back into battle. Last weekend, the couple re- turned to the Island to explore wedding Options on Catalina. Lewis had returned from his BlueSea Care Services "Our Care Is As Unique as you Are!" dignity & with one of our . twe & Lono Professior B lueSea toeaa in Seal Care Services Free 949-554-5411 I Established 1993 Visit Our website: Friday, Novemix.'23 aia Opah Brandon Chatham Matt Beach Sean McAkavy Kristi Clason Joe Hemandez Paul Rojo Salm:l, Nomlter 2A Cathenne Ponce Pd Hemandez I Birthdays  J Tuesday, November 27 Sunday, November 25 Colin Eubank Bret Rinehart Nicky Flynn Charlie Canby Mallory Sterling Jim Smith Jeannine Clay Wednesday, 28 Monday, November25 Dawn Sampson Reed Quinn Denise Pereyra Dean Hallum Mitch Marincovich Matt Jones Yolanda Garza, Eddie Chavez " Thulay, November29 Claire Moncado glltqlPg Anniversaries llqtqlp Friday, November 23 . ThurKlay, November 29 Bad & Judy Glass Jack & Amanda Cook Brian & Diana Bue David & Kathleen Cadisle Dean & Maj Monroe year in Afghanistan a mere 10 days earlier. They arrived on Friday, Nov. 16, and headed back to the main- land on Sunday. The Islander talked with the couple during their recent visit and asked Sgt. Lewis about his year in Afghanistan. He lost 30 pounds during his year in Afghanistan and enjoyed every meal much more than any ordinary person would. Out of his many incredible sto- ries, one of the most memorable was when there was direct fire in his location. "On June llth, 2012, our COP (Combat Outpost) came under "IDF (In Direct Fire) from an 82mm recoilless rifle," he said. "The first round sailed over our motor pool and our living tents, and exploded just outside our northern wall. "The next round went through one of the living tents, inches above a soldier's head that was ly- ing in his bunk," Lewis said. "It then went through the air conditioning vent, and proceeded to go out the opposite wall without exploding," he said. "After the round went through the tent, -it penetrated the wall of the chow hall, and exploded on the floor underneath a row of tables. Nobody was injured in this attack, which is incredible given the tim- ing of it," he said. "We had just had a convoy of higher-ranking personnel come in, and it was lunch time. Normally this chow hall would have been packed with soldiers at this time of day," Lewis said. "The food was Brandi Tucker accepted Sgt. Steve Lewis' marriage proposal in Avalon in June 2011. Now Lewis is back from a tour in Afghanistan and the couple is planning their wedding. making everyone sick due to the unsanitary conditions, so on this particular day, it was empty." A year apart Tucker spoke about her year without Lewis at her side. "It is difficult not knowing what is going on while he was gone, but it is part of being with someone in the military, '* Tucker said. "I had attended a pre-deployment train- ing class to let me know what to expect, so at least I understood what he was facing. It just Was so difficult knowing that he was in the line of fire and I needed to give him space from my world so he could focus on remaining safe." They said their second visit to Catalina .was a magical experi- ence. The Santa Catalina Island Com- pany provided discounted housing for the couple at the Pavilion Ho- tel, a free tour to the Airport in the Sky, and many other discounted experiences. Seeking a wedding location, the couple visited the Wrigley Memo- rial, various churches in town, as well as Descanso Beach and other locations. A date has not yet been set. The couple anticipates 100 attend- ees and have to factor in travel and accommodations for their guests, as well as costs for the wedding itself. Not having the ability for a larger venue, they are continuing to explore what they can afford. Anyone who wants to help them may call Theresa Cummings at (310) 245-6275. Dessert Island 417 Crescent Ave Get a free ice Cream Cone on your.birthdayl Sugarioaf Video (Pifiatas Now Available/) Get one free Movie Rental o- your birthdayl Must show vaUd identJtation / proof of birth date al each-location, Offer valid between July 20, 2012 and July 19, 2013: II Enjoy Sunday Brunch at Descanso " Beach Club in one of our cabanas. Enjoy complimenry bottomless $35 per person *Cxnnplhnent- usc,Cn rh brur'h. Wea permitting. 6 i Friday, November 23, 2012 THE CATALINA ISLANDER