DOC PARDUE'S
MIRACLE BRIDE
Some  people call it fate, some call it destiny, some people say you create your own path, others call the
things that happen to us miracles.  Some say we are given doors of opportunity everyday.  The ones we
decide to open and walk through make up our life. I happen to believe in God and miracles both!
Kerry & Stephanie
Wedding Day--9/5/69
Balitmore, Md.
Class of 1967
Kecoughtan High
Hampton, Va.
I graduated from Bloom Township High School (Chicago Heights, Ill.) in 1966 and went to college for a year  I
was really bored in college so I decided to take a break for a while and just work.  My draft board had other
plans for me.  They sent me a letter and my mother called me to let me know I was to report for a physical.  So
I decided it would better for me to pick my field rather than be on the front lines as an Infantryman.  My
recruiter suggested medic and all he told me was I would be stationed at some nice hospital .  Great man,  you
hold the paper I'll move the pen.  What he failed to tell me was that medics also served on front-lines with
Infantry units.  I left for Basic then AIT, then the orders, my whole class was going to Vietnam.  So on March
23, 1968 I landed in Vietnam.  I was assigned to 170th Assault Helicopter Co. Dispensary in Plieku.  It was there
I picked up a magazine called
Hotrod Cartoons and saw where GI's could list their names and get pen-pals from
the states so I wrote in.  Within a few days I was sent to Ban Me Thout to work the dispensary with 155th
Assault Helicopter Co.  While I was there two things happened.  First, over 300 letters began to arrive from girls
from all over the States, I picked out 5 to write to and Stephanie was the only one to write back. I gave the other
letters away to other guys.  The second thing to happen was I found out that my uncle was assigned to the
Scouts, 2/47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division.  Doug Burrell is my uncle we grew up together.  So I decided I
would put in a transfer to be with him.  I was sent immediately.

Stephanie graduated from high school in 1967 and got married to Roger K Jones.  Roger enlisted in the USMC
and went to Vietnam and was killed on May 16, 1968  during a mortar attack  on Hill 55, leaving behind a wife
and a 19 month old little girl.  Stephanie moved in with her father, Col Albert Gamache, a fighter pilot stationed at
Andrews Air Force Base near DC.  She was there to help him with his three sons.  Her brother, Scotty went to
camp and came home with a magazine called
Hotrod Cartoons. Stephanie found a section where GI's in
Vietnam were asking for pen-pals.  So in August 1968 began to write a GI named Kerry Pardue and two others.  
I was the only one to write back.  Soon we were writing everyday.  For the next 7 months we became best
friends.  Before I left Vietnam I told Doug that I was going to marry Stephanie.  Right after we started writing
she decided to go to school to become a Hairdresser and moved into her own apartment in Balitmore, Maryland.

Doug & I left Vietnam on 3/23/69.  I went home  to Chicago area and stayed for a week.  While there Stephanie
and I talked on the phone everyday.  I caught a flight to Balitmore, Md. to meet her and Candice.    I stayed for a
week.  We really hit it off.  I had orders to report to the 18th Airborne Corp. in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  So I
knew I wanted to marry Stephanie and decided to go to the Pentagon and get my orders changed.  I found the
section and asked if I could get my orders changed to Ft. Meade, Md. and they told me no but I could go to the
Flight Surgeon's Office at Ft.Belvior, Va. and do flight physicals.    That was only 60 miles away I said I'll take
it.  I left thirty minutes later with  new orders. Stephanie and I went over to her aunt's house to celebrate and I
asked her to marry me. She said yes and we set a date for Sept 5, 1969.  Three year old Candice gave her
mother away.  That was over 32 years ago and we are still together and are best friends.  We raised three
children and now have seven grandchildren.
I do believe in miracles! I had to go to Vietnam to meet my
future bride.
30th Wedding Anniversity 9/5/99